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Being a woman is fantastic! No really, I am serious. I love being a woman. Ok, so I don’t love the fact we still get paid less than  men, and I don’t love our hormones, and I don’t love the general stereotypes of women.  Nine days out of 10 though I am happy to be female. We have more opportunities than we ever have had to succeed. We, in some ways, are freer than men. We are allowed to express our emotions more. We can be crazy, passionate, tender, scornful, protective and loving – some of us can do all that within a matter of minutes.

I love being a woman until it’s time to go somewhere. Then one has to ask herself, what I am going to wear? Just thinking that thought is enough to illicit a groan of dismay. For some women its such a big deal that they have devoted entire TV programs to what not to wear. I never know what to wear, and it seems like I never have the kind of clothes I need for an occasion. Work, sure. School? I’m covered (no pun intended – unless you laughed, then it was totally intended). It’s all those other in between events that I am unsure, you know like real life. Being so absorbed in school and work the last few years, I never had time to really consider my clothes. I had clothes for what I needed. Work, school, and the occasional trip to the symphony. If I were to go out to dinner, it was a puzzle. Thankfully we live in a jeans friendly society. Otherwise, I would be screwed.

Tonight I have plans to go to see a show. I have no idea of what I am going to wear. The thought of it makes me a bit queasy. I need to look nice, but I still want to be comfortable. Who knows what the weather is going to do, this is St. Louis after all. I have seen us go from 70 to tornado to blizzard conditions in one day.

In this regard, I envy men. Men have it a 1,000 times easier. Shower shave (optional) and pants and a shirt. Done. If they want to dress up hand ’em a jacket and a tie.  Women however are held to another standard. We too, have to shower, shave (NOT optional), then determine the dressiness/casualness of the event, put together an “outfit”. This could consist of a blouse and pants, blouse and skirt, a dress, or jeans and casual top, or a more casual skirt and top. Then there is the question of the shoe. This is not just a matter of matching the shoe to the outfit. We must also consider the comfortableness of the shoe in relation to how much we will be walking, sitting, and standing.

Once that is complete then jewelry must be determined, and hair and makeup done. And men wonder why it takes us so long to get ready? As far as it goes, I am in general a low maintenance sort of gal in all this. Generally I follow a basic pattern when it comes to getting ready. Basic pants or jeans or skirt and a basic sort of coordinating top. All solids and generally all neutrals. I then add a jacket, a scarf, or an intricate piece of jewelry. I keep it all basic and let the accessories speak for themselves.  If its a casual sort of thing, for shoes, I love boots. They are more comfortable than heels and more polished than a sneaker.

So what is the solution in all of this? I have no clue. Some say well let’s just relax the attire and make it all casual. I don’t think that is a good solution. I think that despite all the headache, there is something wonderful in getting dressed up and taking the time to put on the accessories. I think we all feel better when we know we look our best, so why do we want to dumb down the standards? To be more convenient? Sure it’s easier, but I think we would miss something important – our pride and self respect. No matter what you wear, you still have to put on pants, so why not make them a nicer pair of jeans, and we all have to put on a shirt, so why not make it something a little more special?  Once you are done, you will feel better about how you look than if you had put on that ratty sweatshirt and old pair of jeans. You will feel better about you, and more confident. And ladies, you tell me, what is sexier than a confident woman?

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