This photograph encapsulates my ideal professionally appropriate and sustainable look for the sweating and sweltering summer: a neutral shift dress, with nude peep-toe pumps. Despite the numerous other articles in my wardrobe, some dated or some crap, some interesting in their own right, mostly it seems all I really want to be wearing is something tailored and simple. And lined, even in the heat. At least as far as my salaried duties are concerned. Due to a recent mishap, dresses and skirts have made me a bit self-conscious.
Unfortunately, a few weekends ago, before a bridal shower brunch honoring my dear friend Nicole, I rumbled with a scrap of plastic, the taut string in a circle, and splayed, splattered, hard on the pavement, scraping both knees and various other areas of my legs quite badly. Bleeding knees are not foreign to me, a former goalkeeper in soccer, but, admittedly, with a mostly sedentary office lifestyle and my exertion delegated to gym equipment, it has been a number of years. Naturally, I was wearing a crisp white dress with beautiful, sweeping fuchsia and olive florals, from my sister's baby shower, and carrying a nearly full cup of iced coffee. Miraculously, the dress was not tainted, the coffee was not spilled, and in fact was nearly caught by the strangers ambling casually behind me, a canoodling couple.
Whenever anyone from anywhere complains that New Yorkers are rude, I am always the first to interrupt and vehemently disagree with them; this topple was a prime example. The couple who scooped up my coffee, without a drop missing, helped me to my feet, steadied me, and made sure I was mostly in one piece and not seriously injured. They offered to walk with me to a medical center, or at least to the nearest pharmacy. Another complete stranger, walking his small dog, joked, "So, my mother gives me this first-aid kit for Christmas, and I'm like what the fuck am I supposed to do with this, I'm fifty fucking years old," as he graciously handed me two antiseptic wipes. Honestly, I needed the chuckle, to calm my nerves and reclaim my composure, as much as I needed to kill the various microbes and Eighth Avenue bacteria feeding and performing fission in my skin.
Thankfully, I was able to hobble into a nail salon bathroom, clean myself off, and then to a local pharmacy to scour for the biggest adhesive bandages available for purchase. Since then, after a diligent regimen of ointment and bandages and warm water with soap, my knees have scabbed. They were already completely scarred, a testament to my true, not ladylike nature, so, nothing to fear there. Still, donning and displaying the knobby and almost-putrid knees of a five year old boy seems to directly contradict any aura of glamor I may have originally exuded with my fantasy neutral shift dress.
(image taken from The Pursuit Aesthetic)