My Alter Ego

Today, I wore a lucky jade bracelet that my friend gave me. It’s lucky because jade is considered good luck in Chinese culture, and the string is red, a lucky color for Chinese (my friend is Chinese, if you haven’t ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????figured that out). There’s a reason I’m saying this. Bear with me.

Last night, we had our first blizzard of the season here in New York, and many of us had to dig our way out this morning. I arrived at work and found myself with a situation.

Where I work, there is a very strict dress code. No jeans or sneakers, no exceptions. Not even in extreme inclement weather are we given a pass. So, what most of us do is wear our jeans or whatever on the way in and change into “appropriate” attire when we get there. Here’s where my situation came in.

We got about 8 or 10 of snow overnight, and the temperature this morning was 11 degrees F (-11.7 C), with the high for the day reaching 15 (-9.444 C). So, my plan was to dress in layers: long johns, jeans, and sweats. On top, I put on a long-sleeve shirt, a zip-up sweatshirt, and a fleece vest underneath my coat. Two pairs of socks and snow boots. I was going to peel off the layers and change into slacks at work.

I had weather, clothes, and shoveling on my mind, so I almost left without putting a bracelet on my right wrist (I always wear a watch on my left). I feel a little naked when I’m unadorned, so I ran back upstairs to my bedroom and quickly put on my lucky bracelet.

But I also forgot something else. On my way to the train, I realized that I forgot to bring the slacks, but I wasn’t going to go back because it was difficult enough walking through the streets the first time. Okay, so I had to rethink. I decided that once I got to work, I would run out to one of the local stores and buy pants or a skirt to wear over my long johns, which could pass as leggings. One of my co-workers had a skirt for me but it was too tight. Then another co-worker handed me pants and they fit, but the shirt I had on was too short to wear with it, so she gave me a blouse. My entire outfit was someone else’s!

The funny thing is, everyone began telling me that I looked thinner in this outfit and that I looked “so cute.” I told my co-worker that I was keeping her clothes and started calling my new look my alter ego.

Now, why did my co-worker have an entire outfit on hand? Well, she had originally planned to stay with her parents overnight—they’re a bit closer to the job and it would have been easier for her to get to work. But yesterday, she decided to go home and left the extra set of clothes at work.

My lucky bracelet paid off.

I’m hoping that this is the start of a trend for the year—fortuitous occurrences.

How’s your year so far?

By the way, if you’re wondering what that horse is up there, 2014 is the Year of the Horse in Chinese astrology, and it’s supposed to be a portent of good things. (For more woo-woo discussion, see Andi Marquette’s blog over at Women & Words.)

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