I dress like a bum. I like to dress casual - cotton shorts, a nice fitting tee shirt - slippers.
But there is another extreme to me. I love to dress up for the occasion. I enjoy putting on a perfect tailor made suit and contours itself to my body. I love feeling that pinch in my waistcoat - its like your own personal body conscious made manifest!!
I also really appreciate the joy that I can see in other people's eyes when they see me well dressed. The women and young ladies turn their heads or dart their eyes sideways to look. Even the old Dowagers nod their heads with approval. And that makes me happy.
You can call it vanity if you wish. It seems anything that makes you feel good is considered sinful by conservative Christians.
But the desire for appreciation is strong in me - deeply ingrained in my psyche.
One of my most vivid childhood memories was this - my mother told me to comb my hair and make myself presentable. I obediently went to do it. Washed my hair a bit, combed it nicely and as a last second decision - patted my hair with a towel.
I walked out proudly to my mum and dad who were both seated. My mum asked me "Have you combed your hair?" And I answered with affirmation, "Yes I did."
And then she reached over and slapped me hard in the face. The sting and the shock caused me to immediately burst into tears and I ran off, crying.
My father turned to my mother and whispered something disapproving of her act.
It turned out that when I patted my hair with the towel - the towel had caused parts of my hair to get ruffled. But I didn't check. My mother thought I was just being insolent.... but surely she could see my honesty?
I can't forget that incident. And there are many more like it.