My current before bed read is Women in Clothes (edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton). I have a problem that I think a lot of writers and readers and editors have, there are certain kind of books I can't read before bed. If the book is brand new and really good, my brain wakes up too much. I'm thinking about the sentences and the work of the novel along-side enjoying it. If the book is new and disappointing, I, this makes me sound like such a dork, can't fall asleep because I'm either thinking of all the ways the book could have been fixed or feeling too sour to get relaxed enough to sleep. You know how some couples have a don't go bed to angry clause in their relationships, I have a don't go to bed after reading something not that good clause.
I am not that great at sleeping.
Anyway, what I like about Women in Clothes is that the majority of it is very charming, but it's also a low stakes read for me. I'm not writing a novel about clothes right now. I don't have any big watch me put together an anthology plans. I can just read it and think about clothes. I like hearing people describe where their ideal shirts come from (me lately: tank tops Uniqlo, V-neck t-shirts, Madewell when they're super on sale. Just because I love a shirt doesn't mean I'm yet at a point where I think paying above twenty dollars for a T-shirt is reasonable. My brother recently came back to the US after spending 4 months in Tanzania and one of the biggest changes for him was clothes. Tanzania made him want to wear patterned shirts and not like the average straight dude's idea of patterns: some flannel. He came back wearing a shirt with a neon Keith Haring-esque squiggle. One of my sisters says he dresses like a 1980's drug dealer now! And he does, but like a cool one in movie.). I like reading about when and wear (I know it's actually where, but I like that my brain made this pun, so I'm leaving it in. If my brain wants to have fun, why should I stop it? This is a blog. This is the low stakes zone.) people describe themselves as feeling their most attractive, their most beautiful.
It is a question I would like to have answered by everyone I admire and like a lot. I just think the answers (or at least in Women in Clothes they are) are so revealing personalty-wise. I'm also interested in other people's answers because thinking about it for a little while, I can't really answer either with any certainty. Maybe it's the kind of question someone has to be asked after glass of wine number one and while glass number two is being sipped. Or maybe now that it's in mind, there will be a moment where I just know: OK, now I feel the most beautiful I have ever felt.