This is only remarkable because, at age 44, I have the first job I've ever had wherein I don't wear some type of uniform. I worked at Baskin-Robbins and wore the uniform and silly hat, I worked ambulance and wore a jumpsuit (my personal favorite - step in, zip up: dressed), I was a nurse for 16 years and wore scrubs everyday with the requisite stethoscope and various tools and papers stuffed in my pockets.
Now I go to work in "clothes" versus "scrubs." So far, it is very fun, but I haven't had that day yet where I stand in the closet thinking I have nothing to wear.
Yesterday, when I was in the hospital cafeteria with my dear friend Holly (who bought me lunch! - thank you), someone - I don't remember who - remarked loudly and with great enthusiasm, "You are wearing clothes!" Now I know, and everyone who works in a hospital knows, that her comment meant that I was wearing clothes and not scrubs, but the poor elderly lady sitting in the corner got a most painful look on her face that I could only mentally transcribe as "did she used to walk around nude?"
I was entertained by this for the rest of the day.
There have actually been a few variations on this theme, such as "oh, I didn't recognize you in your clothes!" and "isn't it nice to wear real clothes?"
Again, these things, said around anyone who works in the hospital, would not make them pause their thinking or activity. But sometimes, there are visitors or patients nearby and I just smile as I look around and see them regarding me with confused expressions. The explanation is too long. It is an inside joke.
I live in a small town. My writer brain goes immediately to the coffee shop on Spring Street where the old folks sit and chat and I can hear them saying "Did you know - I heard them saying she didn't used to wear any clothes!"