Friday, January 23, 2009


I've never had an overly developed fashion sense. I would even be tempted to say I don't even have a developed fashion sense.

Growing up, Mom had 3 types of clothes for me--dressy (those frilly, lacy clothes for special occasions), regular (no holes, no stains for school and such), and play clothes. Play clothes were the regular clothes that were no longer acceptable for regular purposes. Play clothes were also called grubbies, meaning if you get them dirty (grubby) or otherwise ruin them no one is going to be upset.

When I would stay with my Dad, he only recognized two types of clothes--dressy and regular. As such, he would often dress me in what Mom would call regular clothes for something Mom would have put me in grubbies. Which, of course, by the time I was done doing whatever I was doing, I had new grubbies.

As far as Dad was concerned, kids shouldn't be dressed in anything you don't expect to get ruined anyway--it was only natural for kids to destroy their clothes. He never understood why Mom got so angry when I came home with a suitcase full of grubbies that used to be school clothes.

Eventually Mom just stopped packing regular clothes for me when I went to stay with Dad and I'd run around all summer dressed like a ragamuffin urchin, which is totally fine when you're 9.

These days I have dressy clothes (formal wear, very few of these), office clothes (slacks and blouses), casual (denim and cotton shirts), and grubbies (denim and t-shirts I don't mind getting dirty or ruining).

Today, the editorial department at work will be fulfilling our pledge and volunteering at the Alameda County Food Bank. We've been instructed to wear comfortable clothes that we can move freely in and that we don't mind getting dirty in the warehouse.

Clearly, this is a situation for grubbies. But I also need to wear these clothes to work in the morning. Not a situation for grubbies. I could just take a change of clothes, but it's casual Friday anyway (not that we limit casual to Friday at our office--cargo shorts and flip flops are de rigeur).

Most of my co-workers are pretty cosmopolitan; I'm just fretting that what I consider grubbies might really belong in the rag bin. Because after clothes are too ruined to even be grubbies, that's where they go. Another Momism.

I'm starting to think my neck may be redder than I realize.

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