Saturday, April 21, 2012

749. Uniform Starts With "U"

I was born wearing a uniform.  I naturally gravitate toward the simplicity it offers.  I love knowing my attire is acceptable in a given situation:  t-shirt, jeans or khakis, tennis shoes; in the summer, swap for shorts.  Now, as a mom, this makes my life easier.  A uniform whispers, Don’t obsess about what to wear.           

Back in the mid-1980’s, my parents sent me to a private high school that required uniforms.  While the other students saw this as oppressive, I viewed it as liberating.  Four happy years of my life were spent wearing a plain white blouse, navy plaid skirt, and saddle shoes.  A uniform announces, You belong. 
My first real job was at a health club.  I did not exactly look like a college grad wearing my uniform of a preppy pink polo shirt (and plastic name tag) paired with tan shorts, but I did save big on my clothing budget.  A uniform helpfully suggests, Save your money.      
I left the health club job to pursue a more lucrative offer working in a hotel.  And, along with the job upgrade came a uniform upgrade:  a navy suit.  Navy always was my color, and it was the uniform United Airlines handed me a few years later when I began my career as a flight attendant. 
“I could not wear a uniform day after day after day,” says my friend Trish, her voice oozing condescension.  “It would be too depressing, to look like everyone else.”

Trish, of course, is wrong.  As a flight attendant, I stood out from the passengers, and the uniform gave me an aura of power and authority.  A uniform declares, Treat me with respect.
Is it any wonder that my younger son adores his first real uniform, a navy and white soccer jersey?  “I am on a team, Mommy,” he explains, “and this is our special outfit so everyone knows I am a real soccer player.” 

He wears the uniform every day, whether he has practice or not.  I have to beg him to take it off so I can wash it.  “Short, come on, it’s filthy.  Wear something else for half an hour.”    

“No, Mommy,” he resists, “it’s fine.” 
Deciding it’s not worth the struggle, I relent and let him wear it for the rest of the day.  That evening, he refuses to put on pajamas. 

“I’m sleeping in it!” he demands.        
“Short,” I say, as my patience evaporates, “NO.”    

“Oh, Mommy, I love my uniform so much,” he sobs, his eyes brimming with tears, “but you wouldn’t understand.” 


  1. I'm a uniform person too, I just haven't decided if it's because I wear scrubs which are more like pajamas or if because I am too lazy to pick out clothes to wear every day.

  2. Heh... you should get a "uniform" for him to wear at home. Something simple - maybe in navy?

  3. I've never had a uniform in my life - but if it were something snazzy I would love it!

    Your son is adorable - can you get more than one Jersey so that he can alternate?

  4. Oh i'm completely the opposite - I hated having a uniform in school (and was constantly getting into trouble for swapping shoes for DMs, coat for leather jacket, rolling skirt up... to try and make it as un-uniform like as possible!) when I worked at a supermarket, my uniform was unflattering, uncomfortable and a horrible colour. I love not having to wear a uniform for work now - I went for an interview at a school (that as it turned out I would have run a mile from anyway) where the early years staff wore a 'comfortable' and 'practical' uniform and that in itself would have had me turning the job down!

  5. MOV, you may be uniform in clothing, uniform in purpose, but clearly not uniform in mind. Make the little guy another one. 'You're only a kid in uniform once" ":)

  6. Sounds like he takes after his Mom. :)

    -Barb the French Bean

  7. My kids went to Catholic schools and they all liked not having to think about what to wear. I love uniforms! My standard is shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. Can't beat it.

  8. I love uniforms too, makes life so much easier! I don't have uniforms for work now, wish I did. I do have a little collection of hippie tie dye beach wear that are my at home uniform :)

  9. When my daughter went to kindergarten, she was at a public school that required uniforms. I have never had a harder time getting her dressed everyday as I did when she had to wear the uniform. She wanted to wear everything BUT..
    Now flash forward 8 years, and she's obsessed with Japanese culture. So what does she want more than anything? A Japanese school uniform.
    I cannot win.

  10. The public schools in my parish require uniforms. I suppose it is OK. Kids aren't as obsessed about clothing. I have never worn a uniform in my life.

    I love stories about Short and Tall, though!

  11. So now I'm wondering if men feel the same about women in uniform as some women do them ?

    This does remind me of the time Son got some "wellypets" green boots , the front of which had eyes so they looked like frogs. Bought for rainy days but worn to school, out to play and even to bed for the first week. If I took them off him by the time I went to check on him before I went to bed they were back on.

    ps seriously impressed by the number of followers your gaining, well deserved though :)

  12. I feel like there is a loose uniform description for moms that determines which category of moms one falls into. I just hope I am not in the unhip wearing the wrong thing group!

    1. I am definitely in the unhip group! (but that makes it easier, doesn't it??)


  13. Not surprisingly, I also love uniforms. Plus, they allow you to really accessorize!

  14. I love my uniform of a robe and fuzzy slippers. Makes me feel important.

  15. I so agree with you. Uniform= not having to worry about how good/bad you look for the rest of the day :D

  16. I often lament the fact that I wish I had a uniform for work. As a teacher, I think scrubs would be great- forgiving waistband, and available in seasonally-appropriate, thematic designs! I decided to make my own "uniform" this winter- black yoga pants every day with tunic-length hoodie sweater, with white tee underneath. I am sorry to see Spring arrive, as I haven't come up with a warm weather version yet!

  17. I've never worn a "proper" uniform. When I worked at the Olive Garden we had a sort of uniform -- tan pants, white button down dress shirt and maroon tie. When the Scouse was a lad he had to wear a uniform to school every day. Sometimes I do think it would make public school a little fighting about $150 sneakers.

  18. I had to wear a uniform for school, but we all hated it so we rebelled. We did our ties too short, never tucked our shirts in, basically did anything we could to make the uniforms better. I loved it when I went to college and could wear whatever I wanted to! :)


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