Saturday, February 21, 2009

How's Lisa


I think I'm transitioning from numbness to an overwhelming feeling of sadness. That coupled with the always troubling feeling that we are all ultimately very much alone in this world.

In addition to the emotional turmoil, I've spent way too much energy trying to figure out what to wear to my father's memorial service. He always hated how I tended to dress like I was about to head out the door to a funeral, so I'm really conflicted about my clothing choices. If he hated seeing me dressed in black all the time, would he have hated seeing me dressed for a funeral at his own memorial service? What a brain twister.

I also have no idea what the social mores for French funerals are. I'm uncomfortably aware of this, having shown up in the completely wrong clothes for European weddings on more than one occasion.

Add to that the fact that the stores are in "resort season" and there's not a long sleeve to be found anywhere. Well, that's not entirely true. I've found plenty of trampy trendy clothes, clothes suitable for a cocktail party, or outfits that look like something that Laura Bush might wear. But what's being prominently featured are bathing suits and skimpy tank tops. In February.

I recently read some funeral fashion advice, "As long as you don’t look like a hooker or a hobo, wear what you want. It’s about saying goodbye to someone you loved, not a family fashion show."

And I had to laugh.


Anonymous said...

I had the same dilemma recently about what to wear to wakes. I actually thought about buying an outfit specifically suited for that, but realized it would be horrifyingly depressing to see that hanging in my closet. I went with muted colors that were not black for a top and black dressy pants, myself.

I wonder if everyone goes through the clothes dilemma? I had 2 friends call to ask what I was wearing as well because they had no idea what to do.

Lastly, that's Gorey writing, isn't it?


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

It sure is Gorey. He was my fashion adviser for many years.

gollygee said...

Honestly, if he thought you wearing black meant you were going to a funeral, wouldnt' that also mean he thought it was only appropriate to wear all black to a funeral? And therefore would approve?

Also, I totally understand about the French and their obsession with wearing the right thing. My mother's side of the family is still this way even after being in the U.S. for quite a few generations now. Luckily Dad's side doesn't care as much (both sides are French though). Have you tried using the internet? There must be a website with DOs and DON'Ts somewhere?

Anonymous said...

All the european movies I ever saw that featured funerals in them seemed to espouse a sort of 'the more you swath yourself in sheer black veils the better" sort of mindset. Of course, they all looked sexy and daring when they did that, ( it probably had something to do with the plot line) but they did indeed pull it off. They looked good, and suitably respectful.

Just dont go dressed for an American Monster Truck Event in some god-awful t-shirt emblazoned with a glow in the dark decal and you will be ok. Or SPECIFICALLY wear one of those t-shirts, and be a trend setter. Just dont expect anyone you know to sit next to you!

Either way, you and your sister are just going to be "the Americans" and you can pretty much expect to not measure up to the locals, and I say why try to? Dress as you wish and go anyway. What you wear is ultimately the last thing you will remember about the funeral.

Just look good and show up, it's sort of like life itself. When are you going, by the way?

By the way what size are you? I have an absoultely fabulous dress from the 1940's that would be appropriate, and perfect for you. I can send it to you if you are range in between a size 1 and 2. I think you and I are built the same, so it should fit ok.


2007 said...

Because you will be feeling sad and perhaps overwhelmed, you need, first and foremost, to be comfortable. Nothing tight, comfortable shoes, warm enough but not so you can't take a layer off if it's stuffy. For me, this would also mean that I must be true to myself and not dress to someone else's vision of what's "proper". You are such a beautiful original, Lisa. Your style is your own and perfect for all occasions. Your father only cares that you are there.


Eclipse said...

Worry less about what others will think about what you choose to wear, and more about what feels right and comfortable for you. This is your time to grieve, however you do that is your business.

Unrelatedly I found this website today and immediately thought of you guys, especially Robb. I imagine you know all these tips and tricks already but maybe you'll find it useful or maybe you have something to share. It's a compendium of tips and tricks from people with spinal cord injuries:

My thoughts are with you and yours...

Sheri Earnhart said...

Whatever you choose will be lovely. You have a wonderful sense of style.

Those boots are awesome BTW.

-many hugs-

Anonymous said...

Condolences on the loss of your father! You know, I think stressing about what to wear is your mind's way of focusing on something other than the *real* pain. Since you are immediate family, I think you can't go wrong with all black, fairly formal, probably skirt or dress in lieu of pants.

On the other hand, I hear the "hobo hooker look" is considered tres chic in Paris this spring. LOL.

I do agree with the above poster about comfy shoes! You may be on your feet for a while.


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