birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Uniform of the Future

In 2010, after nearly a decade in journalism followed by a brief period of unemployment and then motherhood in a new city, and then a stretch as a contract editor for a website, I joined an internet marketing company as a website editor.

I felt morally compromised by the work we were doing, but I did not have any professional connections in the area where I found myself, and I wanted a steady job. The company was young and fun; I liked my coworkers, although it didn't really feel like there were any grown-ups running the show.

As Halloween approached, I wondered if people would dress up. I asked around. Sure, people said, some folks dress up.

My husband had attended a Star Trek convention with an actor friend who had a role in the new Star Trek movie, and had brought back matching adult-child Star Trek uniform costumes for me and our son. My son was too small for his, but I decided the jumpsuit, which was mostly black with a gold torso, would be the perfect work-appropriate costume. I set it aside.

On the day of Halloween, I donned my jumpsuit and went to work, only to find that I was the only person in the entire office in a costume. And if there is anything nerdier than being the only person in the office wearing a Halloween costume, it is if that costume is a Star Trek uniform.

The day passed with mortifying slowness. At one point I had to go downstairs where the tech department was located. I got a lot of thumbs-up from the guys there. But as I went about my business, I realized, Jumpsuits are awesome.

It was comfortable, yet sleek. I hadn't had to match anything with anything in the morning. Nothing was pinching or itching me. I had full range of motion. I didn't need to wear heels. No wonder it was the uniform of the future!

The One That Got Away

Skater Shoes