Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it. –Ellen Goodman
I defer to RG daughter in all things fashion, particularly my own fashion selections. She inherently knows how to find clothes for me that strike just the right balance between stylish and not looking “too young.” It is not unusual at all for her to call me from a store in Colorado and say, “Mom, I have found you the BEST jeans. They are expensive, but you need them. They will fit you perfectly.” And they always do.
RG Daughter loves to shop–for herself, for me, for anyone. I despise it. In fact, I would be very happy if RG Daughter did all my clothes shopping for me. But alas, she is there and I am here.
Also alas, I need to look put together at work. So when I have to do it, I go on shopping jags that last for three or four days in a row, twice a year, but that only happen in quick hour-long spurts between walk/runs, eating, and work. Out of dire necessity, I recently had to do a solo marathon shop, mostly to buy clothes that fit my smaller frame, but also because I am in the tropics and my D.C. outfits are a joke both climate- and style-wise.
Grudgingly, I broke down and bought black slacks that fit, and some cute tops to go with them. Okay, I admit it, maybe I spent a little more than I usually do. Fine! I went to Saks, opened a new credit card account to get 10 percent off on my first purchase, and I spent a small fortune on a pair of designer black slacks and three expensive tops.
But they fit! But they look good! Quality lasts, right?
What took me completely by surprise, however, was the reaction of my co-workers when I wore one of the new shirts to work last night. Throughout the course of my shift, every single server, cocktailer, host, bartender–male and female–had something to say to me about it.
“Hey, RG, is that new? It’s pretty. How much was it?”
“Nice shirt RG. Really nice! But what was it, more than $100?”
“That is a great shirt, RG. Where is it from?”
“Come on, RG, for real, how much did it cost?”
“Seriously, RG, you spent a lot on it, right?”
This from a crew I thought could care less what I or anyone else wore. This from a crew that seemed a little too interested in what I paid for a shirt, and a little too quick to imply that for once in three months, I actually looked presentable. Who knew I worked with so many fashionistas, cleverly disguised as servers behind their white oxford shirts and aprons?
When my favorite busser finally chimed in, the last one to offer an opinion, by the way, I looked around for the hidden camera. Seriously, WTF? I said as much to him.
“Oh, no, RG. I only mean you always look nice. But tonight, I really mean it. You look good.”
Well, okay. A Gal can defer and accept a compliment, however it is delivered and for whatever reason.
So, the rest of the night I thought about how sometimes you have to spend a little more to get great results, how maybe I would wear these same slacks again on Saturday night, see how one of the other tops would work with them. Yeah, okay, I could get into this stylin’ thing. RG Daughter would be proud.
Later, as I climbed the steps to my tiny, motel-looking apartment complex, my neighbor was outside sitting on the steps, talking on the phone and smoking a cigarette, like she always is when I get home late at night. Her little Pomeranian made a bee-line for me, as he always does when I get home, because I always try to be nice to the yappy little thing, mostly in an attempt to be polite in front of his owner.
But as he jumped up on my pants leg, and I tried to shush him away to keep from getting his dog hair all over me, he got nervous and upset, and instead of backing off, he peed. All over my expensive designer slacks. Then he sat on my foot and stared up at me, panting.
When you’re hot, you’re hot.
For those wondering what kind of outfit could cause such a stir: