Dress = Morals?

Today was rough.  Started out with itchy, watery eyes and progressed to a random stranger implying I was immoral because of the way I was dressed.  *sigh*

Allergies suck.

Room capacity limits suck, especially during a very popular children’s program.  Sorry people, I can’t let you in no matter how much I’d like to.  The Fire Marshal set these limits for a reason and there is literally no place for you to fit.  You can beg, cry, threaten, stomp your feet like a 2-year-old, but I’m not letting you in.  What’s that?  Your child is in there?  Well, you’re welcomed to go in and remove him from the program, but I cannot let you stay inside the room.

Then, soon after the program ended, there were a million people in the library (only a slight exaggeration).  One asked if I was in charge.  I said that I was one of the managers and asked how I could help.  She then proceeded to tell me that I was dressed inappropriately for working with children, and that it might give young boys ideas that they were far too young to understand.  Then she said that she wouldn’t expect someone of my morals to understand the importance of wearing a bra or not showing cleavage.

I thanked her for her input, turned around and walked away.  What I really wanted to do was show her my (very pretty, very supportive) bra, and then point out how hideous she looked.  I mean, seriously?  A man haircut that looks like it’s turning into a ‘fro, bad teeth, buttoned up shirt tucked into belted mom jeans, not a lick of makeup, socks with sandals and a bad attitude to match.  But I didn’t.  I went back to helping the rest of the patrons, reminding children to walk, tracking down parents of crying children, and working my ass off to keep the library running smoothly.

One of the staff wanted to know what the lady said because she could see that I was upset.  I told her what happened, and the staff member said “She told you she was worried about children seeing cleavage?  She told me that someone needed to tell you to cover up, because her husband had been staring at you the whole time you were out here.” Sounds like good old fashioned jealousy and insecurity to me.

So I feel mildly better about the situation.  Especially since regular patrons have been complimenting me all day about my dress, and encouraging me to dress up more often.  And especially since the lady called my boss who said that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my outfit, that it was appropriate for library work, and that she would not be telling me that I shouldn’t wear it again.

It still just bothers me that she – a complete stranger, whom I had never seen before – would have the nerve to come up to me and question my morals based on a dress that was considered appropriate attire.  DH asked me if she was part of some weird religion.  I couldn’t tell you whether or not she was, but it might explain why she felt it was OK to be so mean to me.  Otherwise, I’d have to fall back on the jealous, ugly and crazy explanation.

After the beer, pizza and relaxing on the patio with my husband I’m definitely feeling better.  It’s amazing how the simple things can make everything better.



  1. What is up with people? I am sorry you had to listen to her garbage. I have never, ever seen you dress inappropriately. Sheesh. On my bad days I think, this is a great example of why “public servants” have great benefits–and deserve them. There is so much crap that people can throw at you. There are really wonderful people too. I hope you get to interact with some and get some good vibes to counter this bad apple.

    • Thanks Susan. I was just so offended, you know? It was really upsetting to basically be attacked out on the floor for no reason at all. I just fell back on my rule when dealing with crazy people: Don’t provoke the crazies. It seems to work in general, and it’s a “rule of thumb” that I tell all new library clerks too.

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