Monday, April 8, 2013

Bitches and Cankles

Spring is here, and it terrifies me. This isn't because of the allergies threatening me as the cherry trees blossom. This isn't because of the societal pressure on women to be as tan as Penelope Cruz. This isn't even spring's fault, because this uncertainty happens every time the weather begins to change. Fall brings the same sort of terror. It's the terror of the closet, or whatever do I wear now? 

The problem is that I've finally figured out how to wear my fall clothes. I know which top to wear with that skirt, and which tights work best with those shoes. I can dress with reasonable confidence, but the warm weather is threatening that newfound confidence with the knowledge that I will now have to figure out how to dress for warm weather. 

As the seasons pass I grow increasingly picky about what I wear. It's not just what is the current style anymore. It's whether it works on me and makes me feel confident enough to board that metro car and not care when other women rake you with their eyes. You see, the truth is that as much as we pretend to dress for our boyfriends, we don't really care what they think. If your boyfriend likes it, that's great, but that's just a coincidence because what you are really worried about are the withering stares of the other girls around you. Girls dress for other girls, because girls are the ones who are capable of such cruelty as they look you over from head to toe, leaving you feeling like an Ugly Betty in a room filled with straight haired supermodels. 

So, with these horrific scenes in mind, I went shopping for spring clothes. I was skeptical, like a girl who doesn't believe in the good of mankind anymore. Only I didn't believe in the good of clothes, which is even more helpful in keeping yourself safe from fashion missteps. I found two skirts and a few dresses, went into the fitting room, and began to work. I slipped off my jeans and tried on the skirts. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. But then I remembered to take off my socks.

Once I dated a guy who told me that he absolutely loved my ankles because they weren't thick like other ankles he had seen. This was one of the nicest compliments that I have ever been paid, even though I do not believe him because he had the mental capacity of a hamster. Every girl is secretly afraid of having what is known in the modern lexicon as cankles. Cankles are very large ankles, and it's arguably one of the worst things that can happen to a girl because there's not a thing you can do about them. They are usually inherited from some great great grandmother or aunt no one remembers anymore, and they are yours for life, just as surely as you inherited your grandmother's ugly vase. There are no magical diets or exercise regimens for cankles. Sometimes high heels help to camouflage this condition, but more often than not you don't want to be stuck in high heels if you have to make a getaway, so you're wearing flats, hoping no one notices your ankles.

One of the hard and fast rules about trying on skirts is that no matter how cold that fitting room floor is or how worried you are about catching a scary foot disease, you cannot try them on with socks or you will instantly be thrown into self doubt about your ankles. And in late winter when it's still cold outside but you're desperately needing new skirts for spring, those socks will turn out to be just as debilitating as those mean girls on the metro making you second guess your fashion choices, only instead, it will be you second guessing your body, and sometimes there's not much you can do with what the Good Lord gave you.

But spring is on its way. The birds are returning, flowers are blooming, and I will have to practice wearing new clothes which I've forgotten how to wear. And it's okay, because I will be so good at wearing them by September that I will have forgotten my March doubts, and the vicious cycle will begin again.

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