A Wardrobe in Need of Bolstering

It's a luxurious thing to think that we should be covering ourselves in new, and more importantly, unique ensembles of textiles every day. It is maybe a purely Western thing that has consequently seeped in reverse, against the stream of emigration, back to even developing countries where the notion is all the more absurd. In my case, the fundamental problem is a tad lighter: I keep wearing the same damn clothes over and over and I always have. What's worse is that I have pictures, decades worth, that indisputably prove this fact.

If you went to public school in the U.S. you may recall picture day. For some kids, it was a day to shine in fine outfits, those normally reserved for church or holidays. My mom also did her best to send me to school looking decent that day. The on-going problem presented itself not on picture day but on the day when the prints were delivered.

It was a much anticipated moment; "Did I blink? Where there boogers? Was my hair sticking up?". These and other childlike doubts ran amuck as the overpriced prints were handed out. The photos inevitably came out fine, and my mother would be satisfied for that school year. The most embarrassing issue, though, was the fact that as I slid the prints out of the envelope, I would almost always be wearing on that day the very same clothing I had been wearing when the images were made.

I guess it was not enough to worry about during the first couple of coincidental "mirror image" moments. Other kids would notice (if I allowed the coincidence to be picked up) and before true, hormone-induced self-consciousness had set in, I wasn't all that perturbed. However, as grade school turned to junior high, high school, college and the official picture-taking opportunities grew, I noticed that what was once an infrequent happenstance had become a distinct trend.

Literally every time I had a picture taken, the image would reflect my attire at that moment and in future. So, as it turned out, my identifying documents then had an unmatched representative realism. If I were pulled over for speeding, I'm not sure if the officer would notice, but I'd be wearing the same striped shirt as on my driver's license. It was the same instance with my passport; I'd come to a customs official in an airport, and there I was, just as I appeared in the photograph.

I suppose it's remarkable that I'd have this innate, inadvertent skill of choosing the exact ensemble to represent myself in images as I would in person. After all, I stood in person to be photographed, right? It's almost as though I'd established a personal uniform, like we all do, but maybe this trend should alert me that my uniform has become just a little too uniform.

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