Today, like most days, I am wearing clothes. Unfortunately, these clothes are not really working. I am wearing a jacket, a black t-shirt and black leggings. Which, when I put them on this morning, seemed perfectly OK. They are not. If I take my (very nice, and much admired) jacket off, I look like an extra from Cats, who has taken the Summer break as perfect license to gain all the weight years of gym and dance training have held at bay.
If I keep my jacket on, however, I look both sweaty (it is too hot in the office to wear a jacket) and as if I am just about to go home. Despite what several magazines have told me about the desirability of appearing flexible and dynamic in the workplace, the tone with which I have been asked if I am ‘leaving already?’ suggests otherwise.
This is not the first time I have created an unworkable outfit. Earlier this morning (pre-office), I had to dash to the GP to get some hayfever tablets. (Discussing my hayfever misery with a friend last week, she encouraged me to ‘ask for the shot’. It is a testament to my GP’s solid, unflappable nature that he politely ignored this request, and its follow-up appeal for ‘something that will enter the bloodstream quickly- maybe something I can snort?’)
I wanted to get in and out of the GP’s office quickly, so when I woke up I simply exchanged my pj bottoms for a pair of jeans, and hopped on my bike. Which was completely fine, and I felt that I was successfully channeling a tousled, just-got-out-of-bed, pre-workout look, until the GP asked to take my blood pressure. ‘Just take off your jumper so I can put this round your upper arm,’ He told me, scribbling notes that I am sure had nothing to do with the earlier ‘needle or snort’ issues. ‘Hmm,’ I replied thoughtfully, as the arm of my hoody refused to move past my elbow. ‘I should probably have worn a t-shirt.’