The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Mostly I Use Text to Send Messages

Since I wrote the famous “mortgage-slut” column on Public Address, I’ve seen a lot of perfectly reasonable people talking about the messages clothing sends, and how careful you should be about how you dress in case you send the wrong message. It happened over Boob-Quake, and again over SlutWalk. Covering your boobs up is just a reasonable precaution, in case they start semaphoring people.

Maybe there’s something to it, though, at a very basic level. If you’d assume that someone is going swimming if they’re wearing togs, maybe there are other things that people can genuinely deduce from clothing. What could people learn just from looking at the way I’m dressed? And there are a few things. You could tell, for instance:

  • I have been in the garden
  • I work from home
  • You have arrived at my house before ten in the morning
  • Megan heavily influences some of my shopping decisions
  • I have cats
  • I have been drinking
  • I am holding my shoulders like this so my dress doesn’t fall off, and no you can’t look behind me
  • I really like purple

What you can’t tell from my clothes, however, is whether or not I am Up For It*. So I guess there’s no way you could possibly find out.

*Apparently, the first time I snogged my current partner, I was wearing bunny ears and a tail. As I don’t remember this happening, however, it’s not admissible as evidence.

14 responses to “Mostly I Use Text to Send Messages

  1. Lucy Stewart May 22, 2011 at 2:42 am

    I spent some minutes trying to envision what you could wear that would convey all those messages at once (and what you were doing gardening and drinking in a dress before ten am) before I realised you probably meant them separately.

    • tallulahspankhead May 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

      “(and what you were doing gardening and drinking in a dress before ten am)”

      I don’t understand…would there be something wrong with that?

      • Emma May 22, 2011 at 10:32 am

        The only way that could possibly happen is if I’d been up all night on the piss, and suddenly, about dawn, I’d decided that it would be a Really Good Idea to plant some poppies.

  2. Oliver May 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Bunny ears and a tail don’t necessarily indicate ‘up for it’. Perhaps some sort of card you could hand out? Or some variety of verbal signal, perhaps. Actually, I really like the idea of cards, being utterly inept at picking up any signal less subtle than a tongue in my mouth.

    Have been thinking about what my clothes indicate. Someone told me last week that I was always ‘impeccably’ dressed (she’s only seen me at work). I suspect impeccable means definitely not up for it, in case I muss myself. Need to rethink that.

    • Emma May 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

      I’ve put my tongue in your mouth, it wasn’t a signal.

      I do like impeccably dressed men. They’re so delightfully mussable.

      • Oliver May 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

        Fair point, but not necessarily universal. It usually at least makes further inquiry reasonable.

        And good point on the mussing. Like librarians. No rethinking required, then.

      • tallulahspankhead May 22, 2011 at 10:43 am

        As far as I can remember, every time I’ve put my tongue in someone’s mouth, it has been a signal.

        I’m not sure what messages my clothes send…possibly that I like colour, and am incapable of finding dresses that adequately cover my tits.

    • @missannajane May 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

      Emma… were you on an infamous Christchurch bus trip wearing bunny ears and a tail, per chance?

  3. Isabel May 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I’m pretty sure I have dressed in a manner which could suggest “I’m up for it”. What I haven’t conveyed is “I’m up for it, right now, with you, in this particular manner, without being asked”.

    If I stick my tongue in someone’s mouth it’s not necessarily a signal of anything but it’s a reasonable indication that I’m not going to take offense if you ask.

  4. Annanonymous May 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I heart this post. I heart it with all my heart. And I’m up for it, so long as ‘it’ is either consensual sex or amusingly satirical anti-rape blog posts.

  5. meganwegan May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    “Megan heavily influences some of my shopping decisions”

    And proud to, by darling. We should go slutwalk shopping together. I need something new and appropriately cleavagey.

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