Sunday, June 03, 2012

Things (not) to miss about Egypt: Year round long sleeves

It's hot here.  We live in the desert after all.  Right now our highs are in the upper 90's and it's going nowhere but up, up, up this month.  Sure, we have all 4 seasons:
"Fall"- November-December (in which children are bundled in 10 layers of clothing at 65 degrees)
"Winter"- (in which children are bundled up in heavy jackets/scarves/gloves/10 layers of clothing at about 59 degrees) January-February
Spring- March-mid-April (still 10 layers of clothing)
Summer- mid-April-October

Nevertheless, you do not wear tank tops.  You do not wear sleeveless.  You do not wear shorts.  And you certainly never would *think* about a strappy anything, except for a shoe.  

This has led me to a few new things:
1.  Compulsive thin sweater/cover-up clothing purchase.  I now own very thin throw-on cover ups in white, black, and light blue, 3/4 sleeve sweaters in numerous colors, and even a few short sleeve cover-up type things.  This solves many a problem.
  • Wanna wear a spaghetti strap dress to school?  No problem!  Throw a tank top under it and a long sleeve cover up over it!  Push the cover up sleeves to your elbows.  Bam.  Dressed for the day, any season! 
  • Tank top?  + Sweat jacket even in 100 degree heat, you're ready to go! 
  • Strapless shirt?  Add a cute cardi and some jewelry and make sure all day the cardigan doesn't fall open.  You're good!
  • Halters prove to be challenging.  The whole strap going behind your neck thing means that there's a skin gap between your sweater and the halter fabric.  This is a no-no.  Or it feels like one.  Shoulder skin?  Don't do it girlfriend!
2.  Compulsive purchasing of leggings.  I've got pant leggings, cropped leggings, and heck, I'll even wear jean capris as an appropriate underling for a dress/long shirt.  Can't show too much knee, now.  In fact, I'm wearing the tank top/spaghetti strap/cover-up number today and I'm shocked I didn't throw some leggings on to complete the ensemble.  And I got a dirty look from a lady immediately after exiting my building this morning.  And another one while walking home from the store this afternoon.  Should've gone with the leggings...

3.  Thinking that women in western countries are all dressed like ladies-of-the-night when in fact, they are just dressed like American/Canadian/Spanish (help me, Lord they don't like much clothing!)/British, etc women.  This thinking led to a funny conversation when Dana & I were home for Christmas.  We were at a party our church friends were throwing for us when these words were said:
Me: Have you seen all these American whores? (jokingly referring to how shocking the American dress was, even in the middle of winter-- please note they were actually dressed fine for the States.  We just have different eyes now.)
Dana: (laughing) I know, right?!
Man standing next to us looks over with shock and horror across his face.

Now, this may not be a habit I'm able to kick for a while.  I just think Americans should put on more clothes.  However, I'd love to walk around in a tank top and not feel sinful.  A story to prove the engrainment of this new normal:
At my job interview in January I work a sleeveless shirt with a black 3/4 sweater over it.  The principal, who once lived in Kuwait, remarked, "I can tell you live in the Middle East."  I asked why.  He said, "Because you keep pulling your sweater onto your shoulders."
Apparently my sweater kept falling off of my shoulder slightly, exposing half an inch of skin and I self consciously kept pulling it back to cover up.  Skin is sin! ;)

Anyway, I'll miss the modesty, but I won't miss the sweaters.  Those are staying here.

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1 comment:

Tara G. said...

Should've been in Kyiv, girlfriend! Short skirts and heels no matter what the weather! ha!