Black Beauty

girl-in-blackMood: Ready, Set
Drinking: The tea with the ice

Packing for a trip, even a long weekend, takes me awhile. There’s so much to take into consideration: weather (do I need an umbrella or a big huge coat?), activities (kick-ass boots or hiking boots?), amenities that will be provided (my mom’s house is well-stocked with my favorite shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste), etcetera.

And when I’m going someplace I’ve never been before (Alabama) and doing something I’ve never done before (featured speaker at a conference and church service), there’s a lot of outfit selection, laying-out, trying-on, and discarding going on. (There may be some shopping involved, as well. I’m always happy to have an excuse to expand the overcrowded wardrobe.)

When I’m wearing something that makes me feel like me, something comfortable yet stylish, feminine yet odd, pretty but weird, something that makes me stalk around like a long-legged bird… Although that analogy is kind of creaping out on me, because now that I think of long-legged birds, I’m realizing that they’re not all that graceful. They’re actually kind of awkward looking, with the head-bobbing and the beak-pointing. But whatever. Long-legged and graceful. That’s what I’m going for.

So in the midst of all this packing and shopping and modeling in front of Boy and mirror and dog, I’ve been realizing something that’s really pretty damn obvious to everybody else.

I like black a lot.

It’s not something I do on purpose. Not anymore. Yes, there was a day when I used to comb the racks for the blackest inky blackness I could find. I even owned a tube or two of black lipstick at one point in time. But I’m not the queen of the underworld anymore. Not even a duchess. Maybe an acolyte, for old times’ sake now and then.

And I’m no Johnny Cash, either (and I’ll hear a thousand “Amens” to that one). I’m no romantic (wo)Man in Black. I’m not wearing black for the poor and the beaten down or the sick and lonely old. I don’t have any reasons as noble as that for my monochromatic style.

Actually, most times when I go on a shopping spree, I’m thinking in bright, starry-eyed colors. “Red this time, for sure.” “Maybe I could make violet work without looking to Grimace-y.” “Something green. Make my eyes pop.” But the color gods are not fans of mine. Most times, when I find what I’m looking for, guess what color it is? Yup. Black. I’ve even asked, “Do you have this in a nice cherry red?” Nope. “Just black, miss.”

So you see, it’s really not my fault that black appears to be my favorite color. It was just meant to be. And I’m not upset about it, either. Black is quite convenient. I’ve worn white on a few occasions and only last about 15 minutes before I’m looking all BritneySpears-frump with some anonymous stain marring my outfit. Black doesn’t betray you like that.

Plus, it just goes with everything. When you have a wardrobe that’s mostly one color, you don’t have a hard time matching.

And here’s a rabbit trail for no apparent reason…Wearing black does not make you “goth”. Yeah, I gladly wore the label not that many years ago, but truth be told, I probably only ever ascended to gothling stage. I was never a full blown goth like Siouxsie. (I never could get my hair to such light-socket stature.) But just because you like to dress in the color of night doesn’t mean that you secretly (or not so secretly) long to be a vampire or that you spend inordinate amounts of time languishing in midnight graveyards, clutching bouquets of dead roses and sighing while singing The Cure…

Anyway, my mother will be happy to know that I am branching out. I’ve recently discovered that navy blue has taken quite a liking to me. So much so that she’s earned a place of honor in my suitcase. Next weekend, I’m taking on Alabama while wearing the color blue.

Watch out world. It’s gettin’ crazy up in here.

-Lo, who had a very brief flirtation with the color orange back at age 15.

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