I’ve arrived at my first residency. I stopped off in Hanover to have lunch with an old college classmate, and to pick up a blanket and sweatshirt at the Co-op, having forgotten that “summer” in northern New England is not equal to “hot” or even, necessarily, “warm.”
I told my friend that I was as nervous now as I was the first time I went to college. For me, anxiety about fitting in always manifests itself as a preoccupation with clothes. My subconscious apparently believes that if I can just get the externals right then all the other things that feel wrong will take care of themselves.
This anxiety is most effectively alleviated with a short course of retail therapy. For college, I insisted that my mother buy me an astonishing number of chinos in all shades. Had to have chinos. Which I wore for a week and then never again (Sorry, Ma).
This time, Sunday found me making an emergency L.L. Bean run for … chinos. Evidently I still believe that preppy clothes are what all the Cool Kids are wearing.