heavy metal

I pass through metal detectors several times a week. I've been doing this for years. This has created a subtle pressure on the way I dress and the way I organize my personal effects.

First of all, I never carry any change in my coat pocket. Concealed weapons--other than a sharp wit--are no longer an option. I do carry an odd assortment of toys for the children in my pockets that have to be emptied into the bins for the guards. I simply am not willing to give that up.

Second, hair ornaments and clips that appear to be solid plastic always seem to have a metal spring or wire somewhere. I only have four fillings, so it's not my teeth. Part of my "look" is to wear stuff in my hair, so I have become accustomed to having my head hand-wanded.

Third, belts are simply not part of my working wardrobe anymore. It feels creepy to me to start peeling off clothing at the courthouse door. I'll put on my armor there, thank you very much.

But the most metallic part of the style I've developed over the years is my penchant for elegant high-heeled shoes with or without fun stockings. Years of dancing have given me the confidence to call attention to my legs, and my years of a mail-order budget are long gone. Not surprisingly, when you think of it, sometimes what appear to be the flimsiest of pumps are built on a foundation of steel springs. In my experience, Ferragamos are built like a brick house, whereas Marc Jacobs shoes have no metal reinforcement, and demonstrate this by falling apart on my feet within a season. The guards at the courthouse, a fairly small crew who know me my now, have their favorites among my shoes because they have hand-wanded them so frequently.

They particularly like slingbacks.

A side note: Michael Jackson does not know how to dress for metal detectors.

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