the language of…

Last week was the work holiday party. I didn’t go the first year, but I went last year.

I was very concerned last year about creating a good impression and being circumspect. I wanted to check it out and see what it was all about.

Now that I know, I decided this year I would be myself. Which is not entirely circumspect. I got together my outfit, which was really great. And I made sure I had very high heels that were still good for dancing.

And I got a hat.

Now, I would like to talk about clothes for a minute. On a very basic level, clothing is for shelter from the elements and for modesty.

We’re way past the basic level though. And now, it’s all about the message. I’ve read Dress For Success; and I see all the magazines with Best and Worst dressed.

Dress to Kill.

Or maybe to get laugh. Or to turn heads. There are a lot of little strings you can pull with the right outfit.

I think of dress as a whole language, and I like to make jokes with my outfits. I like to make people think, “hmm…That’s interesting. I never thought of that before.”

For example, my party outfit had two major elements:
a huge hat
a red feather boa

Now, the boa spoke for itself. It was a lot of fun to wear a red feather boa to a work party. Stopped a lot of folks dead.

But the hat! _I_ was thinking New Orleans. Chris told me I looked like a pimp. I was willing to go along with either.

However, all the people who commented on it (more than the requisite ‘what great hat!’) said it looked like Ascot.

English. Horsey. Interesting.

I had used the hat previously for high teas. Of course, for this occasion, I had added a tiara to the front, a red scarf, a puff of curly gift ribbons and it’s own little fluffy white feather garland. I thought all that made it something else.

But the language of the hat spoke England to a lot of people.

Of course, the outfit had it’s moment during the first half of the night. THe second half, the band was playing.

And that is when a different language took over.

The language of dance.

I love dancing, and I think it also has it’s own message. And no, that’s not what I mean. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Certain movements evoke responses. Ever hear of physical humor?

It’s funny when a group starts doing the electric slide. And of course, the Travolta pose when “Stayin’ Alive” comes on is necessary.

But throw in a little Pee-Wee Herman dance, and see if you can get a smile of recognition…? Eh? I like that one.

I’ve taken the time to learn a lot of dances, thought I’ve never had a decent partner stick around long enough. I know that pretty much no one but me is gonna get the riverdance moves I throw in. And then there is the old hollywood 7 brides for 7 brothers one I do every once in a while.

Swing moves slip in very easy.

Once, in San Francisco, I had a great time with a very happening gay guy. He would call out the dance. “Riding the bus!” And everyone would do some kind of dance in the stance of holding a strap while on the bus. “Shopping cart!” and we’d all boogie around pushing a cart and throwing our invisible purchases in.

How much fun was that! It was great.

And that’s what I like to do, with my dancing and my clothes. Make little statements. Surprise people, make them happy. Just be silly. It’s worth a little effort.