Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Scenes from a bathroom

"You look so cute today, Ayelet!" said my perky feminist classmate Jeannie. We had sex last summer -- the Human Sexuality class that led to my first professional publication. We did a sex therapy role-play together -- I pretended to be a fervently Christian conflicted lesbian, and she pretended to have a high-powered career and a bad case of vaginismus. She wrote her term paper on vaginal cosmetic surgery, and I encouraged her to submit it for publication.

"Thanks," I said, bemused and searching for a soap dispenser that actually contained soap. She was the third person to tell me that today. I was wearing a little black slipdress with a patterned johnny-collar shirt underneath it, and a headband that matched one of the colors in the shirt. Apparently I made quite the fashion statement.

"But you always dress up for school," continued Jeannie, who was wearing velour sweatpants and a hoodie sweatshirt.

"Well, I don't look good in jeans," I joked, "so I have to wear skirts and dresses."

"It's not just that," said Jeannie. "You're always in your little outfits, you're coordinated, everything matches... You always look so nice!"

Interesting. This morning, looking down at myself while walking to the bus, I thought, "Crap, my dress and my tights are two different shades of black. Ah, who cares, no one'll notice, it's just school." And whenever I'm in the bathroom, I look in the mirror and experience a moment of silent despair about how frizzy my hair looks.

But that's not how my classmates see me. They think I look adorable. Maybe I should take their word for it. Then again, they are social work students, so they're nicer than about 99% of the population.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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