We've all done it. You know, ask the husbands, boyfriends, best friends, and even complete strangers in the dressing room next to you, “How does this look?” Do we really want to know what they think even though we liked it enough to try it on or thought about buying it? The answer is unequivocally YES! That, my friend, is why we asked.
But, what about those times we don’t ask? Usually it’s those moments after we carefully select each item of our outfit from top to bottom. The vintage earrings that highlight the colors of the new shirt purchased solely for the skirt you have yet to wear despite the fact it works well with the one pair of shoes you bought last summer because they were on clearance. That’s when your husband, who you've asked 1.2 million times for his opinion, decides to bravely offer without prompting, “is that the shirt you’re going to wear? I’m not sure it works.”
This is where that unsolicited advice gets tricky, or it may lend itself to thoughts of raging violence (not really...okay yes, really). Our first thoughts aren't heartfelt gratitude, but more along the lines of “Who the (insert favorite obscenity here) asked you?” What we should be is grateful of how this person is looking out for us, but nah...we suddenly despise their very existence (not really...well, maybe just a little). Here a little example of what I mean. I’ll set the scene.
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
That’s pretty much how it went before I stomped back to the closet, but notice how I waited until he quickly left the room - he’ll get no satisfaction from me. Well, hell. Now what? Do I comply or stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the opinion from the one person I continually seek advice? The person who stops me before I dare leave the house in $3 plastic flip-flops when a perfectly good pair of heels or sandals would look better. Honestly, I've only worn this shirt a few times and it's one of those items I always put on, then immediately take off because I'm not feeling it. What does that tell you?
It was a fashion conundrum I seldom find myself in being no fashionista, so I comply. Damn. How can I possibly wear this stupid turquoise shirt knowing he’ll be scrunching up his nose every time he looks at me? Did I do it for him? Not really. Okay, maybe a little bit, but after almost 20 years of marriage, who else would know what looks good on me? There is only one other person, but I know she wouldn't appreciate the vast media attention my blog posts attract. So, I’ll just say that I’m fortunate that the place I volunteer weekly allows for not only a variety of fashion options, but managed by someone who is usually on the mark on what works for me. Her only competition - the Husband.
Sometimes these worlds collide and quite honestly, the clothes that cast a cloud of doubt in my mind usually get a thumbs down by the Husband. I’ll even venture as far to admit that I often verbalize how the Husband probably won’t like it. That is so very annoying I know, but helpful. So do I appreciate his bravery to tempt my mood when offering advice about my attire? Yes. Will I tell him that? Not a chance. It’s better to keep him guessing and somewhat fearful.
And by the way, if you have to ask a total stranger in the dressing room, who knows nothing of your personality or lifestyle whether the outfit you seemingly already questioned works for you, put that little gem of a dress back on the rack. Yes, even if it’s 75% off - I promise you’ll never wear it, at least not wholeheartedly. Those strangers aren't going to be willing to tell the truth anyway and we need that honesty to essentially confirm the doubts we already had.
But, if you’re still needing some advice, just ask my Husband. Apparently he’s working as the fashion police in his spare time.
I came to realize this morning that it isn’t an obsessive-compulsive-disorder that makes me start scouring a cookie sheet pan to remove the those pesky little grease spots along the edge. It isn’t an OCD that makes me start scrubbing around the edges of the kitchen faucet to remove the water stains. And, it's definitely not an OCD that interrupts those two tasks to clean the onion skins stuck to the bottom of the veggie drawer in the fridge. I owe it all to my passive-aggressive tendencies. I have ignored these tasks so long that they annoy me - immensely. In fact, it seems that’s how all of my cleaning chores begin, by sheer aggressive necessity.
According to a really smart doctor at the Mayo Clinic, the following are signs and symptoms of passive-aggressive behaviors. I’ve added my thoughts on how they apply to me:
Unfortunately, for insurance purposes, it isn’t considered a mental illness. Fortunately, you still need therapy which may include mood-altering meds. Oh, wait...did I get that backwards?
Either way, I’ve apparently got a whole bullet list of New Year’s resolutions at my fingertips. So, maybe I’ll give some thought on how to change my “pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them.” Or, maybe I can simply not do anything until it really bothers me.
My photo adventures in Florida