Sunday, March 28, 2010

Is "Black" Really So Difficult to Understand?

You wouldn't think so, would you?

In our community choir we have a dress code.  It's much more relaxed than a truly formal group, which would be tuxedos for the guys, and a uniform black dress for the gals.  We just go black.  And modest.  Because, really, the idea is that it's not about me.  We're a group.  Nobody's appearance should be a distraction.  So we all look pretty much the same, without requiring anyone to buy anything expensive.  For heaven's sake, you could probably get your whole outfit at Goodwill.  (Well, except for the shoes and the hosiery.  Ew.)

The dress code for the men is: black dress shirt, black dress pants, black socks, and black dress shoes.  Although, if you had a really nice pair of all-black tennis shoes, I doubt anyone would bat an eye.

For the women: black dress or skirt - below the knee or longer, black top (if you're wearing a skirt), dark black hose and black dress shoes.  No distracting jewelry.  (Small rings, or stud earrings are okay.)

Does that seem pretty straight-forward?

I thought so.

But, alas, apparently several others didn't.  I was new at Christmas, and not confident enough to say anything when the young woman who stood next to me showed up in a cocktail dress, no stockings, and light gray python shoes

No, I am not kidding.

I wish I was.

But this time around I teamed up with the only woman on the chorale board (because the men are, frankly, terrified to approach a female about her clothes) and confronted  the ones that showed up not dressed to code.  Because the first night we had four gals who just didn't get it.  Now, granted, one was very young and came in a black dress and black shoes... with black bobby socks.  Cute, but no.

Another was also young, and wearing enormous brown clod-hoppers.  And a skirt about four sizes too big that she thought she could hide them under.  Except that it dragged on the ground like a bridal train and the risk factor for tripping was just ridiculous.

Two others came in black skirts/dresses with bare legs.  No.  Just no.

You should've seen their faces when I presented them with a bag of (used) black nylons the board member had dug out of her own stash.  Let's just say that I'm not going to win any popularity contests.  But for cryin' out loud, if you don't want to wear someone else's pantyhose, you should've brought your own!

One girl gave me a haughty look and said, "But I stand in the back!"

To which I replied, "But I don't care."

She peered into the bag.  "Do I really have to?

"Yes, you do."  Unless you'd rather sit in the audience.

The board member and I had a good laugh about it later.

I told her if she was out of pantyhose, I'd bring a can of black spray paint the next night.

Shoes.  Legs.  Whatever.   

If they aren't black, you aren't singing.


Ruby said...

Shades of black?!
Good for you. Glad to see you have gumption :-)

Tina Marie said...

I used to work with bands in the area. We once had a kid show up to a game without black shoes.

He knew enough to grab a sharpie and start coloring. :)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

My husband was in a marching band - he recommended the spray paint!

leah said...

Since your rebellious choir members can't seem to get the idea, perhaps you could make a poster-board sign. One side could have a picture of appropriate dress, the other could have inappropriate dress in a big circle with a slash through it. Then write: "This means YOU!"


Hopefully the concept of "uniform" will not be a problem next time!

The dB family said...

Lol! Love the spray paint. It'd last more than a night too! There always has to be someone that doesn't get it. I commend you on standing up to those who didn't!


Colleen said...

Wowsers. When we sing together at Christmas and I show up in my GRAY and black skirt, don't even think about handing me something else. to wear. Just sayin'.