This is the first image that shows up in a google image search for “nanny.” Don’t let this be you.

For a less serious topic, I thought I’d tackle the most difficult sartorial aspect of my job: the plumber’s area. My job involves a lot of bending over and squatting. As in, I’m ALWAYS bending over and/or squatting. The worst part about this isn’t even the potential embarrassment, as I’m usually in the boys’ home, but the fact that it creates a DRAFT. A DRAFT DOWN MY BUTT. Now, I’m one of those people who “runs cold” (in fact, I run practically hypothermic), so this isn’t just inconvenient, it harshes my mellow to an obscene degree.

I currently have a work-uniform that breaks many laws of fashion, but I don’t really care. I view my work clothes as akin to scrubs for doctors: purely utilitarian. I have given up on trying to be cute, which I could kind of get away with with the Schmoops who were pretty benign in terms of mess and time spent chasing/carrying, but no more. The boys are rough, messy, and require every ounce of strength and energy I have. I can’t afford to spend one iota of that energy on getting dressed in the morning. So… I commit the sin of bib overalls. “Plumber’s Area” is pretty apt since I look like I’m going to get down to some hard labor on the construction site. I care not, I built entire cities out of blocks!

Yep. Waffle shirt, hoodie, overalls and red Mary Janes. (Mine are Dansko and super-comfy.) Inside the house, I even wear fuzzy slippers. Warm, cozy, and best of all: I can get painted on, barfed on, pooped on, and my clothes all just go right in the wash when I get home. (I carry a change of clothes in my car consisting of an extra shirt, yoga pants, and socks – yes, socks, you have no idea how quickly they get besmirched in the event of all out mess, especially where bodily fluids are concerned. I highly recommend ALL childcare workers have a change of clothes handy as both times I’ve been puked on, I didn’t have a spare set and ended up using a blanket as a skirt while my pants went through the wash.) My plumber’s area is protected and I have umpteen pockets for clean/dirty tissues, that thing that the child just gave me that he wants me to hold on to, chapstick, and a pen in case I have a SPARE MOMENT to write something down.

If you don’t want to go for the overalls, I recommend a long cardigan, which is a look that I rocked pretty much all last winter. I had to run around the city of Boston all day long with kids in tow, and this was my default back then.

Yeah, I really am “Red Sonika.” My closet palette is all earth tones with red (and the occasional pink) accessories. My winter coat is red. My purse is red. My wallet is red. My iPhone case is red. The staples of my wardrobe are grey, brown, and green, with hints of orange. I refuse to own anything blue or purple as going into “cool colors” isn’t my territory. Since making these arbitrary sartorial decisions, shopping is much easier and I don’t ever have to think very hard about “does this match?”

On my off days… I’m a little more fashionable in a very boho kind of way. I like to think of my style as “urban bohemian” – also very feminine with a few tomboy accents.

Since it is effin’ freezing out here most of the winter, all outfits are topped with one of my excellent coats. At least, I find them excellent as they are both a) warm and b) not totally butt ugly, a combo that is surprisingly hard to find. Don’t worry, my fur coat (which is more awesome than the one pictured) is totally fake. I like to refer to it as my “No Animals Were Harmed in The Making Of This Coat. Coat.”

And there you have it. Polyvore proof that I am one of the most sartorially boring, if also totally obsessive, human beings alive. But I am also WARM.

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Winter in Boston.

February 13, 2009

Beautiful, n’est ce pas? 

I keep trying to look up and remind myself of winter’s beauty, because the reality of it on the ground is really getting me down. I’ve grown up in New England, lived in Iceland, and this is really the first time that winter has made me feel totally emotionally gutted by mid-February. Boston’s the biggest place I’ve ever lived and there’s something about winter in the big city that just slays me. These photos were taken hours after a fresh snowfall – all the snow around here right now is filthy. Totally filthy. It’s literally black. The sidewalks are death traps – totally covered in ice where snow melt has been met with neglect. (Honestly, there are times when I would like to walk down the street with a shaker of table salt just to do *something* about the ice.) When it has snowed recently, the sidewalks are full of slush, which you’re likely to get sprayed in your face by oncoming vehicles. I can only imagine what hell it must be to try and park. 

I didn’t mind winter so much in Iceland, where there are two seasons – light, and dark – or in Vermont where the snow accumulation has been known to go above my head – sometimes by several feet. Something about being able to be outside, despite the weather, helped. Sure, I could be outside in Boston, but it’s just a thousand times harder to do so than it was back in November. 

This winter has, unfortunately, really soured me on Boston. I’d happily live here for the rest of my life… if it would never snow again. Since the latter isn’t going to happen, the former probably won’t either.