I will not be perfect on Saturday.

Kohl’s makes me cry on a semi-regular basis.
I can’t even say the name without a bit of a sneer… Kohl’s.
I find just about everything about the place disagreeable for some reason, and the one thing that keeps drawing me back into this heated vortex of anger and shame is the simple fact that Lauren Conrad is pretty and her clothes are pretty and pretty Lauren’s pretty clothes are sold at the Hellmouth Kohl’s.
That said, I’ve never bought any of her pretty items, because Kohl’s is dreadful, and yet, today, I was in furious, single-minded pursuit of an item on that website. I found it… then I lost it… then I went and sat in a dark conference room because we are adults and we do not punch computers when we do not get our way, so we need to calm down, don’t we?
Yes. Yes, we do.

On this (desperate) occasion, I was (desperately) looking for something (anything) that would perfectly complete my outfit for my boyfriend’s wedding.

I shall rephrase that.

My boyfriend is not getting married on Saturday, but he is, however, a groomsman.
I am his plus one.
His headachy, panicky, plus one who can decide on nothing to wear but questionable skin, fluffy hair, and a big ole FROWN.
I don’t normally have issues with getting dressed… very rarely do I have one of those days in which I stand in front of a decently full closet and think, “I have nothing to wear”… but this is a wedding full of people who don’t know me from Eve, and I’m not only “the new girlfriend”I’m “the new black girlfriend”,  so if I don’t look like a cross between Lupita Nyong’o, Audrey Hepburn, and an exceedingly well-groomed nun, I will have failed with a failure that will sear the very souls of my future offspring.

I can hear your eyes rolling. Stop it.

I know a handful of people that will be at this wedding, and they are lovely.
Please note: “lovely” means that they are “fantastic”. If I did not think they were “fantastic”, I would have said that they were “nice”, or even “perfectly nice”… which is just a horrible thing to say about anyone.
The rational, psych major part of my brain tells me that everyone else will have a better than average chance of being equally lovely, but the non-Spock areas tell me that I need to lock that chance in by being unassailably perfect (because perfection is a TOTALLY reasonable goal for humanoid creatures).

You see, my very tall, ruggedly handsome, ginger-bearded boyfriend is (if you didn’t catch on with the ginger-bearded… honestly, are you even paying attention?) white.
As we are all aware, I am… not.
He and I are obviously not bothered by this, but there are people that are. 😃
REALLY. 😄
I’ve met them. 😆
So, when we go to dinner together, and our (fluidly graceful) movements are tracked by many eyeballs, I assume that it’s 97% because we’re both huge cute, and 3% because a few souls in the restaurant don’t know that miscegenation laws came off the books years ago.
3% is probably low, but if I want to be able to swallow any of my food, I have to be allowed some delusions so, gosh darn it, WOULD YOU JUST LET ME LIVE, PLEASE?

I’m familiar with the “well, your relationship is going to be hard” argument (because every other kind of relationship is like sliding open-mouthed down an Everest-sized mountain of sweet, freshly-made whipped cream, right?) as well as the “THIS IS FORBIDDEN BY GOD argument (and, you know, I’d argue that point with you, but we’re clearly not friends, so your opinion carries no more weight with me than an onion at a pumpkin farm) and, to be entirely frank, I really have no level of care reserved for people that I don’t know who want to pass judgment on a relationship that doesn’t involve them.

BUT…

… it still feels weird to have people stare, and ask random questions, and in some cases, be openly disapproving (particularly since, in the Ozarks, I’m usually the one being disapproved of). As much as I’ve grown to expect it, it doesn’t take that tiny, sneaky edge of anxiety away. It’s a bit like “Meeting The Parents” a thousand times… it feels like simply everyone is going to have an opinion, and around here, it’s usually on whether or not he’s doing a foolish thing by dating someone who is clearly royalty of some kind a WOC.
So, the non-Spock areas of my brain, in an attempt to construct a reasonable, well-ordered strategy to make myself so thoroughly and irresistibly impeccable that no one could ever pass a negative judgment, insisted that I needed that perfect lacy top to complete the perfect outfit so that I will be inoffensively perfect except DANG YOU KOHL’S it is now sold out and I hate you.

I know that’s ridiculous.
The people that have a problem with the two of us being together are not objecting to my sartorial choices, are they? They’re objecting to melanin… something which neither of us can change. So, if I wear four-inch heels and a different blouse, it won’t change anything. I could say a few words from Coriakin’s Book of Incantations and morph into a being “beautiful beyond the lot of mortals”, exquisite of face and speech and spirit, and that still wouldn’t make me satisfactory to people that will not find me satisfactory.
And here’s the funny thing: the people that I love and respect and care about care about the two of us as individuals… reasonable, huge adult individuals, not as paint chips… and those same people, who speak into my life on a regular basis, don’t think I need perfect blouses to be good enough.

Still and all, though… Kohl’s is terrible.

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