Thursday, October 13, 2011

Keeping Clothes Minded

Just say "NO!!"
“Step back,” the bullhorn in my mind demands.

I ignore it and reach for the sweats again.

“Eh!” it warns me.

I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, I think, reaching anyways.

“Eh-eh!” It scolds.

“What!” I ask that inner voice.

“Work day over?”




“I didn’t get an invitation to the pity party.” My inner voice is even more sarcastic than my outer voice.

“FINE!” I huff and put on the jeans instead.  “Awwwwww maaaaaan!” I groan as I suck in to button and zip.

They’re not even my “good” jeans.  They’re the stretchy $15 mom jeans.  That means a piece of toast and fruit instead of stuffing my face with a ridiculous amount of butter soaked pancakes.

I throw on a t-shirt.  A normal one, not a gigantic sleeping one.

“See?  How much more difficult is that than sweats and a t-shirt?” my inner voice says smugly. “Don’t you feel better now?”

“Shut up,” I snap.

But, despite the breakfast let down, I do feel better.  I put on my make-up, brush my hair, and go on with my day feeling like I can answer the door without freaking out the UPS guy.  Working from home has its perks: a flexible schedule, time for my dogs, write-offs.  But, when I’m not meeting with clients, it means there’s no need to “dress,” there’s easy access to the fridge with various snacks, and there’s the prevailing air of “who gives a flying fig?”

Not having to dress is an issue for me.  I gain weight easily and quickly and during a difficult time I found myself close to 200 lbs., and I’m only five foot five.  It would have been different if I’d gained the weight eating cheesecake and raw oysters, but at that time, I couldn’t tell you what I ate for dinner the night before, let alone the meal before.  I was just Hoover-ing anything at any time.  It’s what I do when I’m stressed.

It took about a year, but I  lost much of the “excess” weight eating salads, cutting out desserts (except for Sunday night cruises to Cold Stone Creamery), and walking more with my dogs.  I looked better and health-wise felt better.  Of course, I had to get a new wardrobe and since I was feeling better, I dressed better.  Sure, I was hungry all the time.  But I’m also vain and cheap.  I liked my new clothes and I looked good in them, so if they started to feel tight, I cut back again.

Since moving, I’ve gained back some weight, partially due to stress, but also because I hate salads and feeling hungry.  While I worked at the animal shelter, my wardrobe switched from predominantly skirts and dresses to trousers and jeans.  I wound up buying a larger size, but when they felt tight, I knew I gained weight and I’d adjust my diet.  Now that I work for myself, the temptation is to forgo even the jeans and reach for the sweats. 

The problem I have with sweats, or any elastic or drawstring waisted pants, is that I lose track of how much slack I’m taking up.  I’ve deluded myself into thinking that if I can put it on, it fits.  This is why I have staunchly refused to join the leggings/jeggings revival.  Aside from the fashion rule of thumb that if you wore it the first time around, you should avoid it on the second turn, I know that spandex expands.  During the 80s, I wore leggings paired with Boy George shirt-dresses and giant t-shirts.  When I took off the leggings, I looked like I was wearing invisible leggings with welt seams running along my calves, thighs and around my ankles.  But, if I could still put the leggings on, I did.  I only escaped them because I got distracted by the New Romantic wave and someone threw away my leggings when I wasn’t looking  - probably my roommates.  You know who you are, and if I haven’t already thanked you, THANK YOU!

My other problem with sweats is that I tend not to buy the “cute” sweats with logos or slogans written across the buttocks.  The sweats I buy are $5 on sale.  Even worse, they always look like I have them on backwards.  They’re not blems that have been mis-tagged.  I’ve actually put them on backwards to make sure, and they look the same, like I have a butt on my front.  I had the will power (self-respect?) to purge one set, but somehow, I can’t bring myself to throw away the other. I set the criteria mentioned above and try to stick to it, despite my sartorial whinings.

But what does it matter if no one is there to see it?  Well, for me “who gives a flying fig” is a slippery slope. The step beyond the comfy schlumpy wardrobe is the crazy wardrobe.  That’s when I start arbitrarily wearing and doing things because they serve an immediate need, such as opting for a quilted zebra print hopi coat (like a short kimono) on top of the butt sweats and the sleeper t-shirt that has shifted to day wear along with the fuzzy slippers.  Forget make-up and brushing my hair.  I’ll just wear a headband.  The black stretchy kind, not the decorative plastic ones.  I have a fat head.

And now that my husband is also working from home, we’re both in the same boat.  When we first got married, he wore dress shirts and slacks to work.  But now, he only goes into the office once a week, at most.  On those days, he irons slacks and a button down shirt.  When he doesn’t go in, he’s unshaven and in sweats.  Plus he’s on a 24/7 work schedule, so he tends to steal sleep when he can, blurring the line between sleepwear and home office “work” wear.

When both of us haven’t worked out of the house in a while, we get a bit wack-a-doodie because we don’t even see each other.  We’re hunkered down in our separate home offices.

The danger of solitude and untrimmed bangs.
“Check this out, honey!” my husband calls to me from his office.

I leave my office to look.  Somehow, he’s managed to loop the cord from his sweat pants around his neck so not only does he look like he’s wearing shoe string suspenders, but the waistband is up under his armpits.  And he’s wearing gym socks with slippers.

Holy crap, I think.

“Geeze,” he says, staring at me, “What’s up with your hair?”

“It’s a reverse ponytail.” I tug at the clump of hair spurting from the middle of my forehead and tie the zebra hopi coat shut.  “My hair was getting in the way.”

We both lose the glassiness from our eyes.

“I’m gonna take a shower and go to the grocery store,” I announce.

“Yeah, I’m gonna take a shower, too and then run some errands,” my husband says.

 Sometimes, we have to give a flying fig.

1 comment:

  1. I was grinning and smiling the entire post! I think it might have hit a little too close to home. Very funny and honest.


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