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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nothing To Wear (May 2009)


“I can’t find anything to wear!” I shrieked at my husband. This would not be the first time in history that a woman made this claim. Woman all over America, all over the world, say this daily. If there’s a statistic somewhere, I’d love to see it. It would probably go something like this: Every 1.9 seconds, somewhere in the world a woman can’t find something to wear.

But here’s what makes my proclamation semi-newsworthy: I almost never say this. What makes it more unusual still is that my revelation came before bed, a time when most people don’t care as much about what they wear. Me included. This had nothing to do with style. Here’s how the non-issue of my bedtime wardrobe became something.

I was tired. I wanted to be bed ten minutes ago, and didn’t have the energy or patience to make one more decision that day. Also, I was cold. Standing almost naked at my closet doors, goose bumps dotting my arms, clothing really was an issue. I could not find my PJs or leggings that could provide adequate warmth. Only PJ shorts, which would not do.

Like many women, I despise being cold. I’d rather be dirty, tired, head-achy…almost anything but cold. I’ve been known to sleep in jeans before, if the air was cold enough and I could not bear stripping out of my warm jeans and into some bedtime-designated (but cold) item. On some winter nights I bundle up for bed in PJs, robe, scarf, socks, and yes, knit hat. So you see, warmth at bedtime is a must for me.

At some point after my desperate announcement I must have located my PJs and staggered toward bed. The problem was a one-time issue, and barely worth mentioning. Except for the humor in it (which, naturally, I saw only later, because if you’re a woman prone to being cold, there’s nothing funny about it when you are standing there, shivering.). It struck me afterward that there were many universal themes at work in that moment:

· the woman shivering while her boxer-clad husband made weird eyes at her, saying “I can’t believe you’re cold!”
· the woman claiming she has a closet full of “nothing to wear.”
· the desperation of a tired mom just wanting to get to bed after a day of putting out fires and the cruel irony of not being able to do the only thing left on her list that day: get to bed warm!

On that note I think I’ll say goodnight and leave you with this final thought: If you aren’t warm enough in clothes and bedcovers, but you have someone in the bed with you, latch on to him/her. As I tell the hubby whenever this scenario comes up, he is obligated to share his warmth. It was in our wedding vows, paragraph two, line 12: if I am cold, your warmth can be mine too, but if I’m warm and you’re not, see ya!

Friday, May 22, 2009

All The Pretty Colors (May 2009)

What happened was partly my fault. I guess I was naive in assuming things would not get messy. Perhaps I’m overly optimistic. I’ve been called that, as well as pessimistic, so who knows what the truth is (if there is one truth!). Maybe my level of optimism is circumstantial.

Things started innocently enough. We went upstairs, like always, and got to the serious business of having fun. This is what the Model Railroad Museum is for, after all. The upstairs play room is open only twice a week, and my little boy is always glad when it’s open. The usual toys were out, but there was also something we’d never seen before and my two-year-old bee lined for it. On the craft table were bags of sequins, in various sizes and colors. Since there is no diverting a two-year-old from something she’s already noticed, I opted to let her play with sequins, discussing with her how she must be “very careful, right?” No problem.

I put some sequins in a paper plate and let her carry them to the miniature picnic table. Seems she only wanted to look at them, maybe touch a few. She wasn’t overly interested in paint and there was no glue in sight, so I thought “How crazy could this get? She’ll just admire them.”

Wanting to be Involved Mom, I bypassed the row of vinyl-covered chairs lining the edge of the room and sat with my son on the carpet, helping him to construct a train track for the wooden trains. Well, helping might not be the right word. He makes the most imaginative train track configurations I’ve ever seen, and certainly doesn’t need my help. But I wanted to be involved, so if he didn’t need my help, he did have my company. A few minutes later I look up to see how Sequin Girl was doing.

Let’s just say that the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of sequins that formerly had been on the plate were now on the mini picnic table, stuck to my daughter, and mostly on the carpet. I began sweeping, scooping, picking and shoveling them up, alternating techniques as each one proved only slightly effective. Not the most fun part of my day, but then again, moms often do repetitive tasks. It kind of goes with the job. (It reminded me of a brief interaction I had in an elevator last month, when I joked with a man from Wisconsin about “the glamorous life of a mom,” as I scraped my daughter’s abandoned cheese off the carpeted elevator floor.)

Finally, most of the sequins were up and I asked the lady who works upstairs if she wanted me to vacuum the random stragglers. She said no, which didn’t entirely disappoint me (but I would have done it). We were saved from further episodes of Sequins Gone Wrong by the only phrase that could entice my son away from that room. It came from my daughter, and we took it seriously. “Poo Poo.”

Ahhh, the glamorous life of a mom…