I have never been one to check the weather - unless, of course, we are in a heat wave, and I am obsessing over the exact moment in time at which point the heat index might fall BELOW a hundred degrees... But for the most part, I base my clothing decisions each morning on how the weather was the day before, and then learn about the weather as it occurs around me. And I've always been this way. And it doesn't always work out nicely. And I never learn!
The first memory I have about being dressed-appropriately-challenged was during one winter while I was in middle school. It was somewhere between fall and winter, and we were outside at recess. Most of the girls were standing in a circle trying to decide what game to play. I had on a short-sleeved shirt, and after a few minutes of deliberation I was shivering. One of my friends offered me her sweatshirt, but she said that once she got cold, she'd want it back. I gratefully accepted.
A few minutes later, she made good on our deal, and asked for it back. I returned it to her, and she went on her merry way.
This might have been an unusual situation for kids growing up in the south. It's not uncommon for kids to pay no attention to the weather when they're dressing - that's not what I'm referring to. What I'm struck by is her deep-rooted inclination to take care of herself, in direct opposition to our southern upbringing. Southern women, and maybe Christian women (at least the more conservative and/or evangelical breeds) in general, do whatever it takes to make the people around them feel comfortable, even if it means suffering some discomfort themselves. It's a typical woman thing, typical woman thing, to do. We put ourselves last. You know how it goes.
So how did she, a self-assured 11-ish-year-old, not succumb? What did her parents do right to instill a healthy sense of self-love? And what can I do to encourage this same practice in myself?