Friday, March 12, 2010

Wardrobe Discussion

I'm visiting my family for the weekend and as I was chatting with my mom this evening, we began to talk about my degree progress and how things will probably go for the next couple of years. We discussed how comps and the dissertation will generally go and also talked about the possibility of applying for jobs in the Fall. For the last couple of years, I have been suffering repeated sinus infections, which seem to be much more intense and frequent where I currently live than any other place I've lived before, so improving health would be one of many benefits of getting a job and moving somewhere else sooner rather than later. My mom then said that when the time comes for applying for jobs, she feels that I need a new wardrobe. A male wardrobe. I couldn't bring myself to tell my mom that I don't plan on wearing male clothes for my interviews.

I feel that situations like this will only continue to increase in the future and I'm uncertain how to deal with them. Do I allow my parents to pay for new clothes for me that I don't intend to wear in order to not upset our relationship? I'm torn about decisions like this because I want to enjoy my relationship with my family for as long as I can but I also don't plan to stop living as a woman. I've been trying to balance my relationship with my family and my need to be who I am, and everything has been going very well. But I'm not sure I want my parents spending money on expensive clothes like dress shirts and suits that I don't intend to wear.

Fortunately, the "wardrobe situation" won't be an issue for a while so I have some time to consider my options.


  1. Your sensitivity to the issue speaks well of you. 2 cents from a stranger if you do not mind.

    If you feel that Mom would feel good about gifting you things, then please accept the gift. If you cannot make use of the things, surely there will be somebody at an off-ramp who can make real use of the clothes.

    It is a generous act that you can amplify. Perhaps there are better outcomes from that than forcing an understanding on your Mom that she might not be ready for.

    Good luck in any event. Glad to find you through Staci's blog roll.


  2. I had an analogous situation a few years ago with my mother. She's from another era and wanted me to have suit, overcoat etc. for work. I tried to explain to her that software developers wear scruffy slob clothing and it would remain right there on the hanger and we ended up having a row about it. She bought the clothing and spent a lot of money and unfortunately I have very rarely worn them, they so aren't me.

    I feel I mishandled that particular situation by letting it become a row. I hope you manage better than I did.