…is the flavorful compliment I received a couple days ago. I’ll back up.
I left for work on Tuesday in kind of a hurry. I threw on some rolled up boyfriend jeans, Keds, and a certain green shirt I’ve had for a couple years. It’s a little longer than average, with a mock bib and sort of puffy sleeves blah blah blah… it’s most distinctive characteristic is that it is very green. Like, REALLY GREEN. So green that instead of trying to describe it I will just point you in the direction of some of the leading experts on color:
- Crayola would call it “Slimy Green” and invite you to knock yourself out with one of their “Heads ‘n Tails” Double Sided Markers!
- Benjamin Moore would refer to it as “Clover Green” and passive aggressively hint that I don’t know… maybe that color is just a little too bold for your dining room?
- Wikipedia would proudly pronounce it “Forest Green” and be all “this shade resembles the color of trees and plants in a forest. Please click the links for questionably accurate information about trees, plants and forests.”
I really like it, yet every time I wear it I hesitate for a second. “Is this shirt just too green?” I ask myself. “If I wear it, will I look like a Sesame Street/Barney/Zoom cast member?” “Should I just save it for St. Patrick’s day?” “IF I wear it on St. Paddys Day, will people roll their eyes at the obviousness of my blatant celebration?” You know, just your average inner dialogue. But like I said, I like the shirt. So 90% of the time I end up shrugging and throwing it on anyway.
Back to today. I was wearing the shirt, loose jeans and Keds as I hopped out the door and began to walk in the direction of the subway. The man at the next apartment door was just leaving. He stopped on the apartment stoop and looked at me.
“MAN,” he said loudly, “That green shirt is bringing out all your sex appeal!”
My eyes widened, but only because a stranger had just yelled at me. The momentum of my power walk pushed me right past him and I was nearly halfway to the subway before I fully realized what he’d said. All of my sex appeal? Guys, I swear, I usually try to only bring out a maximum 40% of my sex appeal at a time. Why buy the cow, etc. This was just such a rookie mistake on my part. I mean Jesus, it was a Tuesday afternoon! Save some for the weekend, Madeline!
Now, I feel a little hesitant about saying this because to me it’s walking the line of saying “OMG someone complimented me but they are so wrong, there’s no way I look attractive!” which thereby obligates people to disagree with and, in turn, compliment you. I am really not trying to do that. I wear what I like and like what I wear – I don’t think I was doing bad at all. I just don’t understand the “sex appeal” crux of his compliment: the shirt has puffy sleeves and a big ruffled bib, it goes up to my neck, and is 100% cotton. What would this man say if he saw a woman in a tank top? Or a two piece bathing suit? His head would explode!
But hey, a compliment is a compliment and I just got one vote that says the color of my shirt is A-OK. Of course this incident brought up other things to worry about while deciding whether to wear this shirt…
Is this shirt going to bring out too much sex appeal? If I wear it, will I look like I belong in strip club/hip hop music video/Livelinks commercial? Should I just save it for my wedding night? IF I wear it on my wedding night, will my future husband wonder about my past professions?