Twenty years ago I met this marvelous man that I eventually married. He owned nine three-piece suits, no less than ten dress shirts in white and light blue and he had at least 50 silk ties. I had eleven pairs of blue jeans and one dress. I feel as though he took me out into a world I never would have explored had it not been for his guidance and encouragement. He took me to parties at country clubs, we visited cities all over the world and he introduced me to cultural events I never would have considered attending. My life is certainly richer because of the experience. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. But my background didn’t provide the exposure to even begin to think about participating within his comfort zone. It wasn’t much of a problem the first three years. I spent most of my time in awe of his accomplishments and the doors that he opened for me. But eventually it got to me. It felt like I was living on the edge. There wasn’t a single week that didn’t involve some level of manufactured stress.
When I was in my 20’s I moved to the Bay Area. I owned 13 pairs of blue jeans and one dress. Obviously I was more comfortable in casual attire than dressing up and hanging out around suits.
I was in the Bay Area for about six months before I met the man I would end up marrying and he had 14 suits, about 30 dress shirts and 8 pairs of dress shoes. He was ivy league all the way. He had 3 Masters degrees and 2 PhD’s. We were as far apart in our comfort zones as you could imagine. He was also just as comfortable in jeans but his versatility was much broader than mine.
Through his influence I began to work in a Fortune 500 organization and my client base was more inclined to wearing suits to work. They responded more positively to me when I wore similar clothes to what they wore at work.
It occurred to me we all prefer to be around those who dress similar to what we are comfortable with. It is much better to have someone in your life who is in line with your comfort levels rather that trying to fit into there’s.
Why work so hard to fit into someones life when it is so much more fun to be in someones life who fits into yours as well.