Sometimes there are events in your life that call into question everything you believe about yourself. Sometimes, they happen all at once. In the past month or so, the business I worked for was sold, leaving me without any job security. I've figured out that my dream of mastering even beginner's French before an upcoming trip to Paris is likely to go unfulfilled, and in the haste of preparations for the aforementioned trip, I've had no time to work on my manuscript at all. And then of course, there's Paris itself.
Despite the fact that I'm nearly giddy with excitement, I'm also pretty nervous. I'm not what you'd call Parisian Chic. To give you an example, I'm currently wearing a pair of jeans, my husband's socks and a t-shirt I bought almost ten years ago. Yep. Definitely not Parisian Chic. That doesn't mean I want to be immediately identified as a tourist though. I know I'll never pass for a true Parisian, but it'd be nice if pickpockets couldn't immediately pick me out of a crowd of a hundred.
I've been reading up a lot on Paris (and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT), from blogs to memoirs to guidebooks and they all point to one thing: the more stylish you are, the better service you'll get and the less trouble you'll get into with people trying to take advantage of the poor ignorant tourist.
Now, it would help a lot if I could speak French, but since that ship has sailed, I'm trying to up my chic for the trip. It isn't easy. Although I've never had a problem with my sense of style before, this trip has called into question my entire sense of fashion. I've realized I'm just not comfortable in a lot of the more stylish clothes. To break it down for you, I hate things that are uncomfortable. Freedom of movement is quintessential. Fabrics cannot be itchy or stiff and I'm uncomfortable in skirts. I just don't get how other women can wear them. Every time I put one on, I feel pretty until I step outside, the wind starts to blow and suddenly I'm in fear for my dignity. A walk through the park becomes a battle royale against showing complete strangers my underpants. (While at the same time, attempting to appear as though there isn't a problem). I find skinny jeans to be the most heinous invention ever put on this planet, same with animal print, and the bunions on my feet make "cute shoes" a hopeless dream.
So, you can see my problem. And although I can hold my head high and say with absolute conviction that I will never be the ugly tourist wearing kulats and socks with sandals, I'd also like to aim a little higher than that. I might not have Parisian style, but I'd still like to have style.