An interesting assignment was assigned to us this week, one that I was excited and a little nervous to get started on. Our society is quite dependent on what is “normal. ” Normal is following a routine, one that was set only by you and no others. Normal is to dress in what is considered socially acceptable, not garb that would throw you into a social outcast setting. But what happens when you defy these norms and start to step out of the box? At home my husband and I have established a routine that works well for us. Simple chores, such as, loading and unloading the dishwasher and laundry are split equally between us.
Another routine that took shape shortly after we were married was where we sat in relation to the television. I sat on the long couch on the middle cushion; he sat on the love seat with the recliner. I have no idea where this tradition came from but I was excited to shake it up. I started sitting in the recliner. No words were spoken about it beforehand; it was just claimed as mine. This behavior merited a few odd looks and that was that. I suppose to think this behavior was odd is to know my husband. The most laid back person I have ever met, he shies away from confrontation on any level.
I brought up the subject a few days into the experiment and he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that it was just a place to sit. We have since fallen back into our routine but now we both have an unspoken knowledge that it is indeed, just a place to sit. When it comes to fashion sense, mine falls under classy yet comfortable. I was excited to see that fashion could play a role in this assignment and actually chose to utilize the entire week. Being a stay at home wife means that there is hardly a dire need for me to leave the house.
Errands can be accomplished in one day. However, I do enjoy the library and frequent it often, but instead of visiting in casually comfortable clothing I wore a party dress. Not just a party dress but one with ridiculous shoes, rain boots. I felt so silly at first but boldly embraced my fashion choice as the day wore on. Many patrons of the library stole glances but didn’t say much. I was feeling sad for myself, I was finding that standing out is much harder that I imagined but also admiration for those who do it daily and have no tribulations.
As I was leaving a little girl came and grabbed my poufy skirt and told me she liked my dress and I found it to be an instant mood booster, one that made this little experiment well worth the challenge. My mother and I have a wonderful relationship, one that took years and years of teenage angst and stubbornness to overcome. These days, however, we are thick as thieves. I call her daily just to chat and she is a shoulder to cry on during hard times. She is, in no way, soft spoken but in her aging years has gotten to be much calmer. We rarely fight or argue anymore and when we do we simply get off the phone.
One day I called her and talked to her in a loud voice. As I did I was having flashbacks to my teenage years where, it seemed, all I did was talk to her like this. She was instantly upset with me and asked why I was mad and yelling. I wasn’t yelling just talking loudly and since it happens so rarely anymore she mistook it for yelling. We have maybe a minute long talk and she hung up. I was severely upset and hated doing this experiment. I had no idea it would upset her so much and that, in turn, would upset me. I called her back immediately and informed her of the assignment. She thought it was hysterical.
She laughed so hard but I feel it was more out of relive than anything else. Overall, this assignment was enjoyable. I learned how to step out of routine and that sometimes that is ok. It is not going to shake up life as much as would be expected. I learned that fashion is in the eye of the beholder. It is not something that should hold as much pressure as magazine emphasis and that sometimes a little girl knows all the right words to turn your day upside down. I learned how sensitive my mother can be and also, how sensitive that makes me. I learned not to take myself to seriously because nobody else does.