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Fashionista, Arise!

Never again will I buy anything from Eddie Bauer. Today I’m decked out in full EB attire: cotton, flat-front slacks and a solid-color, button-down long sleeve shirt. For the clothes’ lack of obtrusive logo, I am grateful. But I decided just now that I hate them. I’m uncomfortable. I imagine middle managers—the sort who pretend to like golf because it’s a management kind of game, who relish their MBA because it lets them say things like “We need to revamp our creative intensity structures to better modernize their efficiency quotas” with a straight face—must feel as I do all the time. I admit it is possible that I’m currently uncomfortable because I bought these clothes when I weighed 10 lbs more than I do now and wore them at 20 lbs more, the height of my graduate school fat. It’s also possible I’m uncomfortable because I’m overdressed for summer. But I like long sleeves, especially if they’re well cut, and they’re often necessary in air conditioning. Still, I think there’s something else going on. These clothes are big; they drape in strange ways on my body. A few minutes ago I decided it’s because they’re made to cover for people who are fatter than the measurements of the clothes they buy. They’re also stodgy: pants, an awkward crotch; shirt with balloony sleeves. I’m embarassed that I’ve been wearing these clothes for as long as I have. In dust and ashes—in anything to cover up these horrible clothes!—I repent!



Of course, at lunch I realized that I wore exactly these pants and this shirt (and a tie) at my wedding (insofar as what K & I did when we got married can be called a “wedding,” that is).

This changes nothing! I was uncomfortable then too…

you’re just chaffing against becoming a memeber of society!

Chafing isn’t quite the right word, although if I walk just so, there might in fact be a little chafing, yes…

that’s why i said chaffing… but you are right…

you’re it’s not… this is one of things that drives my wife the craziest… my misuse of words.

so, what would the phrase be?

kicking against the goads?

chafed from?
chafed by?

actually, it has to be in the preposition…

chafed at is a perfectly fine phrase… so, it’s the preposition and not the verb

you’re just chafing at

How about “pulling at the collar of respectability”?

But you're right, chafing is a fine word, although my sentiment is not exactly one of chafe or of my prospective position: I generally despise men’s fashion. It’s boring, and American fashion, beyond that, is too often ill fitting. Sigh. If I could wear French cuffs every day of the week…

Let me just rephrase it all like this: middle American fashion is deplorable. (So are many other fashions deplorable, but at least they aren’t often boring.) Even Thoreau, whose approach to pants was certainly minimalist, understood the value of a good fit: “Every day our garments become more assimilated to ourselves, receiving the impress of the wearer’s character, until we hesitate to lay them aside without such delay and medical appliances and some such solemnity even as our bodies.” AMEN!

Ah yes. . . beware all occasions that require new clothes. I am currently trying to figure out what to pack to go from cool, dry Wyoming to hot, humid, but interspersed with freezing conference rooms New Orleans.

As for chafing, chaffing, what have you: there’s always my great-grandfather’s phrase, “Don’t kick against the pricks.”

she is/was a wise woman… if i can just remember this phrase, i may actually get tenure!

I bet he is/was wise woman, too.

now, if i could just read… i swore it said great-grandmother!

have i over-used my exclamation quota for today?

overused? no way! it makes for great comity.