To know me is to know of my distaste for suits. And slacks. And ties. Or for fashion in general. (Which is probably costing me some serious princess points!)
In my lifetime I’ve never felt comfortable in what I consider “dress clothes.” Or Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes. Maybe because I’ve never had anything that fit quite right. Or maybe just trauma from being dressed up as a kid.
Or perhaps at heart I’m just a schlub.
With the summer heat sucking the life out of everyone, my inclination is to arrive at the office in shorts, a polo, and tennis shoes. This is particularly true on the days I don’t have client meetings.
Except last Friday I had an unexpected request from a past client to meet that afternoon. Should I run home and change? Should I not go? Or should I beat myself up for not having a backup set of clothes for these moments?
Instead I let my client know I would be looking casual. He in turn answered the door in shorts, a t-shirt (tucked in) and sandals. Letting me know that what I was wearing wasn’t that important.
Bear in mind I have a friend who no matter when you see him, he’s put together. The only time that wasn’t true was in the hospital after having four strokes. Yet even then, though he could only hold anything in his right hand, that hand held an electric razor so he looked somewhat presentable for visitors. And even afterwards, visiting him at home during his recovery, he still made a track suit look stylish!
I, on the other hand, keep thinking of the adage of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. And I probably look like I should be asking if you want fries with that.
Just looking at the title of the blog, you would know I don’t make a lot of bones about being a gay architect. Especially the gay part. I’m out to clients, contractors, vendors, etc. And no apologies.
However, once in a while I think to myself: “Too gay?”
I had a moment early this morning during a site visit. The weather was a balmy 25 degrees, and in my own defense, I was in a heavy denim coat with a sweater underneath. Clothing I was sure would be warm enough.
Except I was wrong. Because 25 degrees is 25 degrees.
My client shows up dressed much more appropriately, but he likes to be outside and knows what to do for this type of weather. I, on the other hand, consider staying at the Radisson camping.
And then the moment comes when he tells me I really need a hat because you lose most of your heat out of the top of your head.
I would like to say I was graceful. Or that I looked like I was carrying out something slapstick from Three Stooges. Except I can’t.
After 20 years on the job and countless site visits, I finally had my first work injury Thanksgiving week. And it was about as ridiculous as you would expect it to be.
Walking across a floor comprised mostly of joists, I stepped off. Not intentionally. As I quickly discovered, the end of the board someone had laid down as a path didn’t quite reach the next joist.
No blood lost or stitches required. No feet dangling through sheetrock ceiling. Only the job super there to see it.
Trying to figure out how to get my foot off the board – now sticking up in the air – without having the end swing back up and hit me in the nether regions. Trying to gracefully extricate myself from the crawlspace. And did I mention that the job super was there to see it?
Mind you, I did end up with quite the bruised shin. Or at least kind of a bruised shin. While I was expecting my lower left leg to be black and blue, all I got was a little discoloration and swelling. Here I was feeling so butch with my work injury and that’s the best I could do?
Not that it didn’t hurt and is only now feeling close to healed. And not that I’m not grateful that it wasn’t something far worse. (On one high rise project we had to take the stairs up while they held the elevator for a framer who shot a nail into his kneecap.)
I just expected to be the one more bruised. Not my ego.