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Flash Fiction Friday: Outfits and Rituals

Published onMay 10, 2009
Flash Fiction Friday: Outfits and Rituals

Well, I’m late again…see if you can guess what I was up to this weekend from the story. But more importantly, see if you can guess the rule that connects all four stories this week from myself, Crow (rulemaker and creator of this weeks’ awesome FFF graphic I’m featuring), Caiti, and Robin. Enjoy. Or don’t. Whatever suits you.

Outfits and Rituals

As far as rituals go, unpacking after college is about as un-stately as they come. It’s just the transfer of your wardrobe and a few select items from a box to a drawer, and if you do it right, you don’t even have to refold. Not much pomp and circumstance, physically speaking.

But in a way, unpacking is a bit like sorting through old memories. Not that the outfit defines the moment or the person, but it’s hard to unpack and not remember things you’ve done and said while wearing your favorite pieces, and your least favorite.

Because clothing does influence, in a small way, how people characterize you from the outside, and you have to wonder if things would have gone differently had you, for instance, been wearing your nice black shoes instead of the dirty sneakers you rocked at the last party of the year. Unfortunately, you had already packed most of your nice things, and were making due with the tennis shoes, a practical red corduroy, and what your friends describe as “the middle school jeans.”

Of course, looking back on it, what really would have changed? Maybe you were just a little more self-conscious than usual, and maybe you were just a little less open than usual. Maybe it showed a tiny bit in conversations and interactions, but nothing would have been noticeable except on a subconscious level.

Still, it’s that subconscious level that drives you to dress better. You realize how important even the smallest choices can be, and that attention to detail means you already have plenty of insecurities about yourself as it is. Knowing you look good is just one less concern weighing on your mind that could derail a conversation, and possibly a whole evening.

Today, however, you have to remind yourself that it’s impossible to trace exactly what caused you to be off your game at the party, and equally impossible to live that way. That was three thousand miles and a weekend ago. You’re home now, just unpacking.

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