Things That Should be Large

Greetings, StyleNation, from the midst of my research leave, almost end-of-term, and month 7.75 of my pregnancy. I should be large. And I am.

Also, something creepy but simultaneously kind of hilarious happened last week. I have little else to report, so I’m posting mostly to share about that.

First, the outfit I was wearing when it happened.

#1. Worn to an early evening professional event with cocktails

As my footwear choices are currently limited to those that can adjust to fit my stupid swollen preggo feet, I wore this.


Pointe knit draped blazer: Grace Elements (new to blog, via Belk); Silver bib necklace: Stella and Dot (gifted by DSW, remixed; Black maternity tunic/t-shirt: Bump Maternity (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Brooch: made by an artist whose name I forget, from a series called Blue in the Face; Black pointe and pleather maternity leggings: Queen Mum (new to blog, via the new maternity boutique down the street); Boots: Khrio (new to blog, via adorably hip shoe boutique by my favourite coffee place downtown)


I strode into the event and began mingling with students and colleagues. It was lovely because I mostly work from home right now and haven’t seen anyone all term.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a colleague from another institution doing a huge lean out of her conversation group, clearly eyeballing my preggo form. She had a big weird grin on her face was trying to catch my eye. (This particular colleague has been awkwardly and arrogantly hot and cold with me in ways I’ve found both embarrassing and annoying in the recent past. For example, despite our knowing each other for years and having attended (and hung out at) many of the same conferences, at a social event a number of months ago, she refused to acknowledge my efforts to catch her eye. Later, when I made a point of seeking her out to chat briefly, she acted like I was a ridiculous hanger-on with a major crush on her who was, her demeanour implied, embarrassing both of us in front of her new girlfriend. It was the dumbest.)

At last week’s event, she soon made her way over to me, grinning all the while, and we had the following creepy and kind of awesome exchange:

COLLEAGUE: Hey A-Dubs, you’re looking. . . . . you’re looking (pausing and grinning strangely). …

MOI: Uh, is “rotund” the word you’re looking for?

COLLEAGUE: Well, no. Uh (more pausing, grinning, and looking me up and down), it’s hard not to objectify pregnant women. I mean, don’t you find that?

MOI: (at a loss for words) Ummmm, what?

COLLEAGUE: No, I mean, it’s hard FOR ME not to objectify pregnant women. (more awkward and now openly lecherous grinning)

                              The M.C. begins her opening comments; everyone but us is now sitting down.

MOI: Hmmm. Well, more on this later. See you afterward. (I escape to my seat.)

                                         She left early, so we were both spared any further interactions like the above.

WTF? I suppose I spend so much time in feminist spaces that I’d forgotten what it’s like to be leered at in a professional setting. That said, I kind of love that she embarrassed herself in this manner.  I believe now, according to the grade-five-rules-of-mean-girl-relationships, I have the upper hand. And yet, blech. Also, this took place in a feminist space!

In other news, I wore a variation of the all-black-with-fat-feet-adjustable-boots outfit. I will show it to you via my exceptional photography.

#2. Worn to attend two research talks on campus


All same as above, but switched out jacket for Black silk/cotton blend non-maternity slim sweater, and switched out bib necklace and pin for gifted and oft-remixed silver
Tiffany necklace


Mostly, I am over being pregnant and cannot wait to carry this baby on the outside of my body. However, I have another two articles to complete and submit to journals, and at least two weeks worth of research-related administrata to take care of before this baby comes into the world. So probably I should just embrace the largeness and all associated crappy symptoms (carpal tunnel in both wrists, for example) for just a wee bit longer.

Finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list, shall we? I’ll do 5, and you add your ideas in the comments section:

Things that Should be Large

5. One’s publication record prior to the commencement of maternity leave

4. More of my boots

3. One’s capacity for compassion (currently, I excel instead at smugness)

2. One’s wine collection and accompanying glasses

1. One’s budget for the purchasing of baby supplies (srsly: holy maude)

What else should be large, StyleNation? 

Competition: The Squeakquel*

A-Dub’s post of earlier this week has had me thinking about competition. One of the things I particularly dislike about the kind of rancorous competition she was talking about is the way the word “deserve” tends to get thrown about. We get competitive when someone gets something we think we “deserve.” People get competitive when we get something they think they “deserve.” All of which strikes me as a certain kind of entitlement. Particularly when we start talking about professional competition. When I got my job, a lot of people, on congratulating me, told me I deserved it. Yes and no. Yes, in that I had worked really hard to get my Ph.D & professionalize myself in ways that had an impact on my getting a job. No, in that I was not alone in this. I didn’t “deserve” this job any more than the other candidates or many of the other people who applied. I was lucky and in the right place at the right time (which is the sad reality of academic jobs). This language made me particularly uncomfortable as I had some very “deserving” friends who hadn’t gotten jobs yet. There are also some very “deserving” academics who will probably never get a job like I got (to say nothing of the many people who lead a much less privileged life than I, a straight, middle-class, able-bodied white woman). I didn’t do anything to deserve it any more or any less.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there are certain things we all “deserve:” shelter, food, safety, etc. But these are rights, it seems to me. And rights are political. Rights demand action–both by those who want them and by those who have them. And, this Stylenation, is the long, tortuous segue to my outfit. Today I wore purple for this reason. Because LGBTQ youth deserve more then they currently get.
Purple tunic: Old Navy
Skirt: Eddie Bauer (from AGES ago)
Belt: New York & Co.
Gold Flats: Nine West (remixed many times)

Anyone else using their clothes to make a point today?
*My apologies for the ridiculous title. But I wanted a frivolous title in the face of a not so frivolous post.

Neutral Territory, Sartorial and Otherwise

In between discussions of seafoam lady crotch rockets, and coveting expensive and unethically produced yoga gear, I spent a good portion of the weekend feeling bad about what I thought, on Friday, was the culmination of some politically charged job-related negotiations. Then this morning, another email arrived asking my thoughts on another possible arrangement. This most recent suggestion seems exciting, but politically risky.

As a post-doc turned sessional, turned post-doc, turned faculty member, I thought I understood just how political space issues can be in the university. As it turns out, I know nothing.My new strategy, therefore, is to remain neutral. This way, I can watch and learn as (tenured) others make these decisions. Because I do NOT want to risk permanently pissing off those whose good will I most require down the road.

From now on, my line is, “I’m happy with whatever you decide is most feasible.” Today’s outfit reflects my new neutral position:

Navy & white striped jersey top: Linea Domani (via Winners, remixed); Khaki cotton skirt: Raindrops (thrifted); Brown leather belt: ?? (remixed); Khaki & silver-studded sandals: Steve Madden (via DSW)

Please note: I’m aware the pose in the image on the right is wonky, but I included the pic anyway because I like how thin I look in it.

Anyway, the wonky collar on this top is really starting to bug me.I see a visit to the tailor in its future. Otherwise, I’m happy with this ensemble.Next time, I might spice things up a little, though.And as always, I am open to your excellent suggestions. (Bring ’em!)

Also, what do you do when things get political at work?