Saturday, August 10, 2013

The red mood

As you know, I have a red pair of Zumba pants. I love them but not only are they the hardest pants to match a shirt to, I have to be in a "red mood" to want to wear them. Someone once suggested I match a white top with them. I can see why they would have thought that, given all the white trim, but follow my logic for a moment if you please: What happens when you go to Zumba? You sweat. What happens when you sweat? Your top gets wet. What happens if that wet top is white? Yeah... Okay, yes I always have something on underneath, but still. I don't own white cargoes for the same reason! But forget about white, let's talk red. So, I haven't worn the red pair much recently for a couple of reasons. One was that they just didn't fit and two was that by the time they did fit, it was summer and most evenings are far too warm for me to wear long pants. This week we've had a number of cooler days so last Monday, knowing I was looking at a long pants kind of evening, I suddenly found myself in a red kind of mood. Here's me before class that night. You can tell it's before because my top is still dry. It -is- a grey top... One of the two survivors of the purge, and it has the red pants to thank for its continued presence in my closet. The other two shirts that I will pair with these pants are a purple one, and a black one (the other survivor). The black one is just like the grey one below with the word Zumba up the side.
Monday, Aug. 5, 2013
If you were to look in my closet where my regular summer clothes hang, the majority are some shade of blue or green. I love red as a color, I just don't own many clothes that happen to be red (or pink, or orange). Hrmm, now that I read that, I think that should change... To get back on topic, when I first bought these pants, I was actually a little put off by how... What's the right word here...? Bright? Flashy? I know.... Noticeable! I was put off by how noticeable they were. Putting on red pants, I might as well have put a blinking sign over my head that said: "Look here!". I've actually had these for a couple of years, which means I bought them prior to The Great Color Reckoning Of 2013. So why on earth did I buy them if I was trying so hard to be un-noticeable at the time? I have asked myself that too. Back in February of 2011, I wanted a second pair of pants. I had started my second year of Zumba that January and by then I knew I was committed, so I figured investing in a second pair wasn't a big deal. I also thought it might be a good idea to give my favorite black pants with the silver ribbons a break. Remember when I said I'd learned the hard way that metal rings can break in the dryer? Yeah... They needed a break and a repair. You're thinking, okay, that's a reason to get new pants, but why specifically red ones? In short, the cause.

Zumba frequently promotes awareness of causes by holding Zumbathons to raise money, with large portion of ticket sales going to the cause. They also sell special clothes and accessories related to the event (so people can get all dressed up!) and 30% of the proceeds go to the cause. Besides the American Heart Association, Zumba has raised money for breast cancer, Augie's Quest (ALS), and stopping world hunger. I have a grandparent who died of a heart attack, and another who had a severe stroke. It's a cause close to my heart (excuse the pun) and one I have a personal investment in since it obviously runs in my family. I guess I really liked the idea that part of what I was spending on these was going to help stop heart disease. Obviously it's not going to help either one of my grandparents who have both passed on, but maybe it will help -someone's- grandparent. So, for the sake of the cause, I was willing to set aside my reservations and be noticeable. From time to time anyway, and admittedly, it wasn't a particularly long period of time. My intentions really were good, but I was still largely uncomfortable in my own cargoes back then. Looking back on it now, I can't help but think that the red pants were a power play by the inner, more colorful, me. An attempt to wrest control of the wardrobe away from that camouflaged and muted me who was clearly running the show back then; it -almost- worked. When my birthday rolled around that summer, I bought myself another pair of black pants. I was buying a new pair of shoes already so I asked myself: "What goes great with new shoes?" New pants! Happy birthday to me.

So what puts me in a red mood? I can't tell you exactly because even I'm not completely sure. It's just a feeling deep inside that makes me go, "Ooh, I'm wearing the red pair tonight!". That particular Monday was a dragging, dreary day, so maybe the day needed some brightening up. The previous Monday, I'd worn my favorite black pair, so maybe it was wanting something other than black. Getting back into these pants was one of my weight loss goals, so maybe it was pride. I've never met another person who owns this particular pair of pants, so maybe I felt like being unique. Just because Zumba has moved on from Party Hearty to Party In Pink doesn't mean we just forget the cause, so maybe I felt like representing something. It could be any one of those, all of those, or something else entirely. That colorful me finally achieved the hostile takeover and I feel pretty good about that proverbial blinking sign these days, that one that says, "Look here!". As I said, it's just a feeling, but perhaps you know what I'm talking about.

And now for something completely different!

Question: Doesn't just about everyone have at least one piece of clothing in their closet that they put on when they want to feel strong and stand out? Even if it's just something small, like socks, or a scarf, or some piece of jewelry? If not, maybe it's time.

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