Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Area Woman Experiences Temporary Malfunction of Self-Esteem

As I was walking to the school today, it slowly dawned on me that I look really horrible. It was, of course, too late to do anything about it, so I am now at work with the following problems:

1. My shirtdress is wrinkled. This is my fault, because I don’t iron. I never iron, and I sort of brag to other people about never ironing, tossing my head, like ha-ha-I’m-just-a-free-spirit-and-you’re-a-fuddyduddy-ironer. It feels like a charmingly careless thing to do until I actually put on an un-ironed item that needs ironing, such as a shirtdress, and then it is just sloppy and bunchy and askew, and I never seem to know this until I am out and about and staring in dismay at my wrinkled self in a shop window.

2. My shirtdress is short. Last time I wore it to work, I didn’t notice quite how short it was, because it was a warm day, so my legs were bare. Today, though, it’s chilly, so I’m wearing black tights, and the contrast with the white dress really highlights where it hits my leg, which turns out to be pretty far above the knee. Also, right before I went out the door this morning in my usual pointy-toe kitten-heel work shoes, my husband looked at me carefully and then cocked his head. “What?!” I demanded. “Well, those shoes seem funny with that outfit.” I didn’t have time to ask why, so I just went for a pair that looked different, then flew out the door, only to realize, a couple of blocks later, that I am wearing fairly high heels, which make my legs look longer (good), but the skirt look even shorter (bad). Basically, I am wearing a miniskirt with heels, which has not been OK since I was 17 and trying to get into the Limelight with no ID.

3. My slip shows. My slip always shows when I wear this dress. In fact, that’s why I wear the slip – the bottom button on the dress is really high, creating a long center-slit sort of situation in the skirt. So I wear a slip so as not to show my crotch every time I take a step. However, the slip is sort of dingy-peach color, which looks fine against bare legs – barely noticeable – but not so fine against black-tights legs.

4. My tights are pilly. Even though they’re my last pair of black tights left from the winter and thus clearly a little worse for wear, I fooled myself into thinking they were just linty and that a quick swipe with masking tape would do the trick. Turns out they are not so much linty as pilly – black tights covered with a multitude of little white pills. And still, of course, a lot of lint and dog hair, which, at this level of seriousness, are really only partially addressable by masking tape.

So, to review: My dress is bunchy, my slip is showing and looks dirty, my heels are too high, I am showing far too much leg, and all of that leg is covered with dog hair and little white balls of fluff. On top of all of this, I am wearing a red belt, an absurdly jaunty topper to such a dingy little mess. I look like a crazy lady, or perhaps a slightly down-at-the-heels stripper wearing fake “professional clothing” as part of her act as a secretly-slutty office worker. So I am (as usual) hiding sulkily in the Latin classroom, and since Ms. N isn’t here today, I am hiding in the dark with the blinds pulled and the lights off. On days like this, I really hate myself and all of my so-called “fashion,” and I wish fervently that I could just wear invisible no-fashion outfits, like plain T-shirts and wrinkled chinos and faded boxy cardigans, and thus not be subject to such spectacular failures like this one. “Why did I even think any of this was a good idea?” I mutter to myself furiously, not even sure what I am referring to anymore, and not even sure why I am so very angry at myself. The only cure for this misery, I reasoned, would be to buy myself a new tote bag online, which I did. However, the triumph was significantly dimmed by the fact that I was really just copying my friend H’s new tote bag – my faithful readers will notice that this is my second copy of her stuff, damn her - so it wasn’t even my own idea.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Loy invited me to read your blog. I'm enjoying your writing.

You are so funny. Have you read Anne Lamott? She wrote a book about her first year of motherhood, called _Operating Instructions_ which I found blindingly hilarious at times, terrifying at others, and deeply honest. I think you'd like reading it if you haven't.

I just read your most recent months' posts. So I'll read more now.

I think we met once, in person, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, in September 2002, at a goodbye party for a woman who was leaving NYC for a teaching job somewhere upstate. The party was in Brooklyn, in a bar. I was barely pregnant, maybe just a couple months, and I don't know if I was talking yet about being pregnant, but I remember drinking tons of cranberry juice that night and then in the taxi home they thought I was drunk, but what they didn't know was that I was just pregnant. Which sometimes doesn't feel too different. :)

Sarah Fields