Life Goals: Grace and Frankie

I watched Grace and Frankie on Netflix partly because I was hard-up for something to watch and partly because I had heard such good things about it. There was also a part of me that wanted to support a show with two female leads in their 60s. As you may have suspected, the show is very, very good; how could a show led by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin NOT be good, you guys?

I didn't know it was going to give me fashion goals.

Lily Tomlin's character, Frankie, has a career doing art therapy with ex-convicts. She also does meditation, owns at least one Ramones t-shirt, and could probably teach you a thing or two about vision quests involving peyote. I am a goth chick easing her way toward 40. What is a goth chick to do once she has to retire the schoolgirl skirts? While there are plenty of roads that could be taken (industrial ass-kicker, historical costume fan who favors Victorian clothes), I find myself favoring “old hippy goth,” aka “dress like an old art teacher.” It's comfy, it allows for a healthy use of patterns, and it justifies my taste for patchouli and large, chunky rings.

But what does that LOOK like? And how do you do it without looking like you just came back from a Phish show? How do you do it without looking like you'd almost assuredly smell like armpits?

Like this:

Or like this:

Or this:

And yes….there are also caftans:

And could we maybe all agree that her hair looks AMAZING here?

Everyday is Halloween (unless you buy pants at Sears)

Working on the 10th floor means a couple of things. First, it means I have to watch my back when getting off the elevator in the morning since it’s dreadfully easy to step out on the wrong floor. Working on the 10th floor also means waiting for the elevator each afternoon when it’s time to leave. 

 
Today is Friday, casual Friday, and I’m standing at the elevator bank in a t-shirt, black skirt, high-top black Converse and knee socks. Knee socks that are gray and emblazoned with purple and orange argyle and bats. Bats with fangs. 
 
The man standing next to me is eying me top to bottom, looking down his nose in that way that old ladies sometimes do at Kroger. He is looking at me as though he’s sure I’m up to no good, I’m not really authorized to be in this building and I’m probably high.
 
“You’re a little late for Halloween.”
 
If I had been on my toes, I’d have pointed out how it’s not Halloween but it IS Friday the 13th, so my socks are technically still apropos. I was not on my toes. I generally not on my toes when people fill me with a cocktail of hate and embarrassment.
 
Fantasy response: “I’m sorry, I don’t take fashion advice from people wearing pleated pants.”
 
Actual response: “But they’re whimsical, no?”
 
What I’m feeling is silly. Working in the MIS department, it’s easy to forget what goes on outside. That people wear suits and have serious, adult meetings about serious, adult things like “accounts” and “clients.” We live in a bubble where everybody pretty much gets along. We don’t have office politics. Or maybe we do and I don’t notice because I have headphones on and I don’t have a beef with anybody. All I know is that this guy I don’t know is making me feel wrong and stupid in a place where I spend almost a third of my life, and that I kind of want to tell him to quit harshing my buzz. It’s casual Friday. Get off me.
 
I don’t tell him off, of course. Never tell anyone off unless you know who they are and whether they can fire you. I just get in the elevator and play with my phone, ears feeling sort of red and burny. It’s like being in high school, only you can’t put anyone up against a wall and yell at them.
 
I later told this story to a table of coworkers.
 
“Who was it?”
“I don’t know. People in pleated pants all look the same to me.”
“You should report him to HR for creating a hostile work environment. Seriously, who DOES that?”
 
Their reaction was one of offense, like how DARE that guy offer unsolicited fashion advice. Like what business is it of his? Like “please tell us his name, so we can make fun of him AND his Sears pants.”
 
And this is why I have no office drama with people in my own department. 
 
I still have no idea who the guy in the pleated pants was. He is a faceless mass of Random White Guy In Pleated Khaki Pants. Perhaps I’d remember him better if he’d worn something interesting. 
 
You know, like some argyle socks with bats.
Bats with fangs.