My first real job after grad school was in academic research. At the time, I thought that was what I wanted to do, and therefore was super excited. There were several weeks between the day I was hired and my start date, because I had to go through a background check, and I had just graduated and they needed my final transcripts, and blah blah blah. Sometime during the waiting period, I received a call from my future boss asking me to come in and sign some random piece of paper they had forgotten about. “Sure,” I said, “I can be there later this afternoon.” But he wanted me to come in right away. I explained that I was on campus and not dressed appropriately, to which he responded in a semi-aggravated voice that it didn’t matter because all I needed to do was sign something.
So I get there, exit the elevator, and tell the person at the front desk who I needed to see. The receptionist told me he was at his desk, and I could go find him. Only he wasn’t at his desk. I asked the nearest person if he knew where my future boss was, and he kindly told me to stay put, he’d go find him for me.
The research department took up the entire floor, and it was all open – cubicles with half walls. As I waited, I noticed a woman nearby giving me major stink-eye. She got up and spoke to another woman, and then I got a double look, and the next thing I know, women were standing up at their desks, looking at me as though a crack head had just walked into their midst. I had on shorts, sandals, and a blouse. And no, my ass cheeks weren’t hanging out of my shorts. I was dressed decently, but not even remotely work-appropriate.
I’m fairly certain by that time I was crimson-faced, and right about then I noticed a woman marching in my direction with murder in her eyes. She asked who I was and what I was doing there, and when she discovered I was a soon-to-be employee, she totally lost her shit and reamed me for my attire. I was mortified, but explained I was only there to sign some papers. As it turned out, she was my boss’s boss. The Big Boss. Needless to say, I learned a lot about the work culture of my new place of employment that day. Business casual was the rule, no jeans, open toed shoes, etc. Got it.
On my first day of work, I wore slacks, a sweater, and a super cute pair of heels (closed toe, thank you very much). While I was not reprimanded in any way, because my dress was appropriate and in compliance, I was still given the stink eye. Looking around on the first day, I saw my error. There was an additional, unspoken word missing in the office dress code. Business Casual Frumpy. In a nutshell, this particular place was very, very conservative. I went to the mall that evening and purchased several no-nonsense, shapeless articles of clothing and a pair of clogs. After that I fit right in.
And that brings me to Spider Man.
Over the weekend my husband said, “I feel like watching something stupid. Do you want to watch Spider Man?” Which was met with silence from me. I am so sick and tired of superhero movies. I mean, for Pete’s sake, is there a comic that hasn’t been made into a gigantic, 200 million dollar movie yet? So I asked what our other stupid movie options were. I could tell his pick was Spider Man, and since he just worked 12 days in a row, I figured I’d go with the flow. Also, my husband reminded me the new Spider Man has someone other than Toby Maguire, whom I loathe (I can’t help it, he just comes off as a whine-y bitch).
Twenty minutes later, we’re all cozied up watching the movie. For those of you that haven’t seen it, Spidey is in high school. His crush (Emma Stone), also in high school, is the head intern in a science lab. A seriously high-tech science lab. Okay, sure. In the beginning of the movie, Stone is giving a tour to other interns, dressed in a short flouncy skirt and thigh-highs.
Thigh highs. In a research lab.
I am fully aware that you need to suspend logic a lot of the time to watch movies. And honestly, I don’t usually get so caught up in minutiae, but this killed me. Also, for the fanboys out there, yes I know this was what the character wore in the comic. Never mind that a high schooler would never be given that level of access in a lab, or that Peter Parker gets bitten by a spider and morphs into this super human/spider hybrid. And the Lizard Man that can regenerate body parts? I can totally accept that. These are the sorts of unrealistic things that don’t bother me. Thigh highs in a science lab, however, well that would never happen in real life.
It ruined the movie for me (although, to be fair, even without the thigh highs I would have thought it was lame), and I in turn ruined it for my husband by providing a running commentary throughout the whole thing. By the time Spider Man was over, he was really, really wishing he had picked Magic Mike instead.