Seriously, I always seem to get it wrong when I move. My favorite climate zone is in the south where it’s always warm, like in the subtropics or tropics. And still I end up in places where winters are way too cold, wet and long. Disappointing. I always feel better as soon as I am in the warm sun. This year I even noticed that the weather influences my clothing style. As long as I am in cold Boston, I wear many grey and black shades, and a little bit of dark blue for a change. I also hide in long pants and warm sweaters, my shoes are flat because they make me walk faster into the next warm room. I don’t only feel gloomy, but also dress accordingly. When I lived in Istanbul, I at least used to wear high heels whenever there wasn’t any snow. I remember that for a whole school year I didn’t even wear any pants, but only dresses and skirts at work.
It is my big goal to wear all my pretty clothes once temperatures here exceed 60 °F (15 °C). Also I think the weather is one of the biggest reasons why I now plan to spend my whole summer vacation in Turkey. On the beach. I want to take all my bright and short clothes with me, and high heels. Imagine that people there think it’s pretty to wear them. Whereas here women tend to look at me disapprovingly (no joke – some of them have even stopped me in the street to tell me that my shoes are pretty, but so inconvenient, and this happens in a region where people think of themselves as very tolerant). My hairdresser tried to explain it to me: apparently it is a New England problem (I call it a problem – New Englanders don’t). Women here are very feminist – so far so good. This means that they don’t dress femininely because they want to be equal to men. I believe this is also why last summer I saw so many women who didn’t shave their legs or armpits here.
My hairdresser also says that of course I love places like Florida because women there have another attitude towards being feminine. Because looking feminine doesn’t rule out being feminist. They are more southernly laid-back, like to dress up, and look more soignée. Many hairdresser shops there apparently host Botox parties in the evenings. I’d love to attend one because I personally think that a little bit of Botox does wonders, although I haven’t tried it. Yet. Because those kind of parties don’t exist here.
So when we were in Florida, I wore all my clothes that hang otherwise in my closet, and rarely see daylight. They don’t seem to fit into New England because they are too bright and too short. Like my pink dress which has peacock feathers printed on. I wore it on the beach in Key West, and on that day I was in a great mood. But I also know from experience that it always takes me some time to adjust to living in another country. In Turkey I at first also couldn’t deal with how my style might eventually fit in with what society seemed to expect. So maybe in a few months I’ll have finally got used to the fact that most women around here dress rather casually, while I still walk around in my favorite clothes. Maybe their comments aren’t meant as bad as I perceive them either. Maybe they are actually concerned about me falling and injuring myself – doctor’s fees are very high here.