My clothes have never matched.
I mean, I always thought they did. But the moment I'd arrive at school, I was promptly told otherwise. Via friends. Via teachers. Via the morning announcements over the PA system.
OK, OK, no one made fun of my clothes over the morning announcements, but the unwelcome commentary was pervasive with, well, my entire life experience. I never cared much for how I looked, so the whispers and blatant mockery weren't so much a concern as they were baffling.
Most of my heroes don't match: Pippi Longstocking, Ramona Quimby, my dad. But all those crazy characters knew they were being outrageous, whereas I was just trying to look like your average cool kid/teenager/adult/professional. Once, at work, when I was dressed in an outfit that I thought looked particularly professional and adorable, my boss came up to me and said, "Have you ever heard the saying that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have? Perhaps you could try implementing that."
I looked down at my clothes. What was wrong with them? My clothes were not tight or short. They were not loud, outrageous or inappropriate. And seeing as how most days I rolled into work in something that looked shockingly close to pajamas (shh, they were pajamas), I assumed I looked far more respectable than usual. When I got home, I asked my husband what he thought of my outfit. He giggled, "It's fine — other than the fact that you clash horribly."
There was that word again: clash. My arch-nemesis of words. My husband was laughing so hard that I couldn't help but laugh, too, but as I looked down at my outfit, I didn't see anything that clashed. In fact, I don't think I've experienced what "clashing" looks like.
A few times on days when I've been drenched by a wave of fashion insults, I've found myself looking around for Ashton Kutcher to jump out from some bush, laughing his stupid face off. But that hasn't happened, and even in my most vain and self-absorbed moments, of which there have been plenty, I have never been quite able to convince myself that my life is a "Truman Show" type of conspiracy with my fashion choices at the crux of the show's high ratings. Though, now that I'm thinking about it again...
A number of years ago, I was given a vision quiz and discovered that I actually cannot see the hues. The smaller variations among colors are lost on me. Clashing is an impossibility.
In the wake of whether the dress is blue and black or white and gold, I have never been more aware of my lack of color clarity. And now, this week, I am being met with my biggest color challenge.
Our roof is falling apart, and we are at risk of turning into an aquarium by next rainfall. In the whirlwind that has been our lives lately, my husband and I forgot we needed to pick the new color for our roof. Now he is on a work trip, and I, the colorblind-ish one, am left alone to make a multi-thousand-dollar decision.
(Enter hyperventilation here.) I can't do this alone! Somebody needs to help me! I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a roof that will clash with my house for the next 30 years! I sent my husband a text message in a panic. He simply wrote back, "I trust you."
"I trust you"? Are you crazy?! I didn't just ask an easy question, such as what flavor ice cream I should bring home from the store, whether I would look good in bangs or whether we should get a divorce — perhaps not typically an easy question but one that seems exceptionally obvious in this moment.
I called a few good friends and asked them to drive around to look at roofs and pick colors that would match my house — one that I describe as orange but others claim is a peach color. (As if it's not the same exact thing!) No one was available.
So I guess it's just me. Colorblind-ish me. It's not a big deal if the house clashes with the roof, right? It's just 30 years of my life and resale value on the line. If I survived junior high, I can survive snarky neighbors.
Maybe I'll just paint yellow stripes and purple circles on the house. WWPD? (What would Pippi do?)
Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. Check out her column at http://didionsbible.com. To find out more about Katiedid Langrock and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.