it's nothing short of laugh inducing when you catch yourself being a hypocrite. i've been in situations where others have caught me saying or doing something i said i wouldn't/shouldn't do (where humor has been my best friend in sluffing off any guilt that would be oh-so-natural to cling onto). and, it's those moments where something that was seemingly SUCH a big deal isn't so insurmountable - once the context is shifted. like plaid and corduroy pants.
falshback to spring 2012. my online dating heyday. a connection made between myself and a well-written (sometimes an online red flag -- sometimes not. it's a crap shoot) dude living in VanCity resulted in a planned coffee one evening. i was running late, so said dude arrived first. he let me know he was 'the one in the blue plaid shirt' - i high-fived myself for landing someone who was a plaid-advocate. so into the shop i venture to meet my potential-future-plaid-wearing-husband-to-be. i learned in the first moment i saw my date that 'plaid' has many meanings - and to some, gingham (short sleeved, collared button down to be exact) falls into that category. and, in those few moments that i sat down and took off my seasonal outerlayer, i put on my judgey-pants. then judged his pants (thick ribbed khaki corduroy) and shoes (aasics). outfit aside, the date wasn't the best match, so upon parting ways we had a (sufficiently awkward) hug and went off into the night.
flashforward to today - on granville island - getting in line for a warm bevvy and i notice a well dressed gentleman in line a couple people in front of me. and, what did i notice? yes. plaid and corduroy. and never for a minute did i question the pairing of THIS plaid and THESE cords (plus his shoes were a win - boots. real good). i did, however, stop and pause myself and remember the epic fail that i had labelled the previous outfit with - and how quick to judge i was and to make that kind hearted soul so very very wrong for his outfit choices. yeesh, jess.
so what i came to in that lineup today was that context sure can change a lot of things. without any weight to a situation or interaction, without fear of being judged on someone else's way of showing up, without having much of or any investment in the outcome of an expereince with or of someone, the things that we fear in ourselves to be judged for essentially slip away. we reflect what we judge in ourselves onto those we interact with. or, onto those we may have some invested relationship with. so, what if we could catch ourselves in those moments of 'oh my gosh...what is he wearing?' (for example) and let the judgements take a back seat? to give ourselves an extra dose of l-o-v-e for all those fears and silly insecurities so we can be with the person, and not their fashion faux-pas?
i'm trying it on - and might even throw on a solid plaid in the process. a gingham-plaid, even.