Wednesday, 22 April 2009

My Day in Red, also known as The Post That Is Going Nowhere

I tried a social experiment yesterday. My working days are long and tedious and I need to amuse myself in whatever ways I can.

I had been trying to persuade someone they should wear my totally unworn red dress to a wedding last week, and had even gone as far as getting it out and taking its picture. Here it is:

It's a terrible picture, but I am too lazy and inert to try and take another one. Passons.

Being a disgusting slattern, the dress had never made its way back as far the wardrobe and was sitting on the chair in my bedroom waiting for the clothes pixies to carry it away. Getting dressed yesterday morning, it caught my eye.

There are several reasons why I have never worn this dress (bought on a whim on the internet, very cheap). Firstly and most importantly, it is a COLOUR. Aaaah colour. My basic rule of thumb is that I limit myself to the colour spectrum of the domestic hamster. If it isn't a colour that hamsters come in, I will not wear it. This dress is emphatically not a self-effacing russet. It is OH MY FUCKING GOD THAT IS RED. Orangey red even. Secondly it is made of tremendously light summery silk, and I live in Belgium and lead the existence of a cave dwelling hermit. Where, exactly would I wear such a thing? [Belgiana dwellers, this is your cue to invite me to the kind of parties where I can wear floaty silk nuclear red dresses. I have many other skills including falling over, becoming totally mute in company and stealing your spoons.]

But something in my reptilian brain snapped yesterday morning and I put the damned dress on. Then I put on some thoroughly opaque black tights and black ballet flats and went downstairs. I told myself that I would wear the dress to see whether life would be different in red. Also, that if anyone asked, I would tell them I was having a midlife crisis. I will set out my results below. I think, if I were scientifically minded, I would have to say that the data is unreliable and inconclusive.

1. Offspring

The children were nonplussed, but relatively undemonstrative.
"Waouh. You are red!" said Lashes, before turning back to Pokématters. Fingers did not comment, but prodded me a couple of times speculatively, as if checking to see if it was really me.

Conclusion: children notice changes in dress habits but do not care.

2. Other household members

The CFO was away, so no comment from him. Probably for the best. The dog behaved like a shithead, laying waste to my tights, so was apparently not affected at all.

Conclusion: the weepette has no brain and should not be included in the data set.

3. Corridor of Ennui meeting

Two women commented favourably, if slightly eyebrow raisedly on the dress and I gave them my line about the midlife crisis. They laughed nervously. It solicited no male interest or comment whatsoever. Most attendees were already busy staring at their shoes. Eye contact, previously rare, became non-existent.

Conclusion: women notice sartorial nervous breakdowns, men don't. I am totally breaking new sociological grounds with this investigation aren't I? It's GROUND BREAKING, people. .

4. Lunch

Went out for lunch, in and of itself an achievement in these credit crunchy times. It was tremendously strange, with menus in giant perspex cylinders, tiny burgers on perilously long sticks, waving in the breeze and luridly green sauces in small plastic syringes. I got drunk on 2 glasses of champagne, thereby screwing up the remaining data entirely.

Conclusion: Drinking champagne in a red dress is nice, but screws up necessary scientific objectivity for the remainder of the day, sorry experiment.

5. Tram journey home.

The driver lurched away from my stop in usual murderous fashion sending me flying. I was caught by three pairs of male hands, one of them on my arse.

Conclusion: the red dress increased tram chivalry and possibly accidental groping from elderly military gentlemen. The red dress has no effect on the homicidal tendencies of 92 tram drivers.

6. Back home, dog duty

When I took the weepette to the parc du caca, the beautiful baseball throwing Mexican boy who makes me go all trembly, threw his baseball for the idiot dog many times then sat next to me on the bench and asked the weepette out for a drink. This was just weird. He bent down and addressed the weepette and said "If you are allowed, you can come out for a drink with me this weekend". WHAT DOES IT MEAN, INTERNET? I know you may suggest it was sort of addressed at me, but there was NO follow up. He left a couple of minutes later. Does he date skinny dogs? Is it intended to be mysterious? Did I imagine it? Was it a joke? I blame the red dress for allowing me to imagine it was anything other than yet another piece of Belgian weirdness.

Conclusion: the red dress allows me to entertain, or possibly hallucinate, the possibility of enigmatic invitations from handsome youths. This is not a good train of thought for me. Bad dress. Bad, bad dress.

7. Final stage

I took the red dress off (now very crumpled, and quite constricting around the ribs), as the red dress friendly pants I had to wear with it were cutting me in half. Then I got food poisoning.

Conclusion: the red dress provides protection against food poisoning.

Final conclusions

I remain a graceless idiot whether in or out of a red dress. I should plan posts earlier in the day, especially when I know that the latter half of the day will be spent dancing attendance on Team Beast. The weepette may or may not have a date.


Mr Farty said...

Groping is never accidental.

That is all.

Mrs Trefusis... said...

Cool. Erm or should I say 'arriba' which I think is Mexican ( I heard it on a cartoon - andere, andere , 'arriba' or summink) wear it again to park. Is evidently what they call a 'results' dress

GingerB said...

The Mexican boy does date skinny dogs, and he recognizes the potential for increasing his datability with people if he takes a skinny dog out for a drink. I agree with Mr. Farty, no grope should be discounted as assistance. I tell my husband this every time he gropes my ass as I go up the stairs ahead of him.

Marie said...

I am wearing a red dress today. It elicited comment from my friend's mum. She liked it.

Juci said...

Well, groping on public transport and mystifying (and dangerously thrilling) conversations are only to be expected when you chose to ignore the very wise 'cavia caveat'. Love the dress, though. Wear it with heels next time for added impact (if that is, indeed, what you are looking for).

mothership said...

well DUH! This is NOT a wedding guest outfit unless you want your friend to be the pariah of the celebration.
Red dress says SEX SEX SEX to elderly men on trams (the arse groping is the clue) and also to Mexican love slave (the asking your DOG out because too intimidated to ask you directly for a date is the hint in this case.) This is also the reason that no men in the office could look you in the eye (is not professional to give the I'm-thinking-about-what-you-will-look-like-when-I-rip-that-off-and-shag-you-silly- look to a colleague when discussing whatever it is you discuss in lawyer meetings).
Boys did not react because they are relatives and prepubescent. Dog totally got it which is why he chewed up your tights.
Agree with Mrs. T. Wear it again to park and tell Mexican teen that you are thirsty, where shall you go. He needs help.
And when you're done, please can I borrow?

Wife in Hong Kong said...

I think you need to collect more data. Dresses in orange, yellow, green, blue and pink or purple need to follow. The new rainbow you. I'm a colour girl, mostly orange and apple green but not together and when I very occasionally wear black everyone thinks I'm off to a funeral.

Summer said...

You should wear it again girl..That dress is so lovely..;D

pinklea said...

I like the red dress, too. If nothing else, the red dress causes things to happen. Not necessarily things that make sense, but they do happen. So it's good for shaking up the regular routine.

Can I borrow it after Mothership?

dragondays said...

Very strange ... the word verification is 'unkiss' ... does this say anything about the red dress?

screamish said...

I'd love to perform this experiment on myself but I'm two hundred sizes too big for any piece of clothing I ever bought in my life. Men don't look at me at all anymore, I have a kind of anti-results dress , which is a twin pram. I become invisible. Groping is a faint memory. While reading this post I was eating two scrambled eggs and a can of sweetcorn with lime pickle out of the pot with chopsticks but its eating habits like that that will ensure I will NEVER be able to wear a dress like yours again.....wear it as often as possible..see how the CFO reacts...

Red Shoes said...

God, that red is beautiful. I'll bet you were drop dead gorgeous in it.

Bath bun said...

Wearing a red dress in Uccle - wow - not only challenging the age demographics but the colour ones (if they have such things). You know how to live dangerously. Way to go girl!

Solo said...

Wowow wait!
You need to wear that dress again.It is so fab,i think it will look good on you.;D

justme said...

It is a lovely dress indeed, and I bet you looked stunning. Am highly amused that you have been propositioned by young man in parc (yes, you have), and am wondering if you too are going to end up with unsuitably young lover? What fun!

`````````````````````````````````` said...

I went to that restaurant! It was awful. I didn't get food poisoning though...

monk said...

As a language professional, I can confidently say that asking someone's dog for a drink is a Mexican idiom roughly equivalent to suggesting a bit of how's your padre behind the bushes.


redfox said...

RED! Holy shit. I think it is glorious and know it looked fantastic on you. The colors of my own wardrobe range from black to mushroom to very sedate greeny blue, the end. Even my underthings follow this pattern, with one sedately greeny blue brassiere representing my sole daring foray into colorful lingerie. I never get food poisoning, though, so I have to think that in fact red clothing may be the vector rather than the protection. Beware! Beware!

Jaywalker said...

Mr F - thank you for 'A Man's Persepctive' Vol 1 (and only, as usual. Où sont les hommes, internet??).

Mrs T - I am not sure vomiting is quite the kind of result desired, but let us hope for better things next time..

GingerB - It must be so hard to be beautiful and dark eyed and wentworth miller-esque and surrounded by adoring women, when all you want is a skinny bony, hot as hell dog.

Juci - heels no good in parc du caca, sink into the mud (I know I tried today. Yes, I am officially pathetic).

Marie - well then! You can add those findings to my highly scientific study.

Mothership - you see I NEVER go to weddings so only have vague idea of appropriateness and I knew you couldn't wear black. I really don't think that was it with colleagues. They would rather rip the cellophane lovingly off the Law Society Gazette.

Wife - the excitement nearly killed me. I need at least 6 months back in hamster shades to recover..

Summer - I think it was wearing me!

Pinklea - of course. We should spread the love. £35! Such a bargain for all this love.

dragondays - ah, the word verification oracle is verrry mysterious.

Screamish - it was exhausting. I am back in a hoodie eating bonne maman petits pots de crème and looking like the missing link.

Red Shoes - I am really unconvinced, but thank you. It would look infinitely better on you...

BathBun - It felt most siren like. Thankfully I didn't drop into Mr Cambier's corner shop, because I don't think Damien could have coped.

Justme - I really don't think I can live up to it. Sad but true.

'''''' yes. .bar ridiculous place..

monk - oh well if you are a language professional, I am totally sticking my phone number into his basketball glove next time.

redfox - oooh the risk you suggest worries me a good deal. Hmm. I hate food poisoning more than I love mexican weirdness I think.

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