I know that someday you'll find better things.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Zen Thief

What would you do if you were minding your own business, cheerfully sniffing the dryer sheet options at the supermarket, when a total stranger approaches and informs you that your dress is completely see-through?

I’ll tell you what I did: I cried. But I kept it together long enough to put on my most winning smile and say, “Well, I suppose it’s a good thing I’ve been working out.”

On the inside, I was thinking, “Well, it’s a good thing I decided to wear underwear.”

If I was the kind of person who thinks quickly, I might have retorted, “Yeah, and your underpants are showing, homey.” Then I might have blandly suggested that he check out that American Idol ‘Pants on the Ground’ fellow’s advice about saggy britches.

Unfortunately, I am the slowest thinker ever and fairly timid to boot, so this was not an option. To be honest, I didn't even think of it until four hours later.

I moved to the front of the store at casual lightning speed, if there is such a thing. Maybe I should have turned left toward the wine aisle, but I was so rattled that I made a sharp right turn and barreled toward the checkout lanes, praying that my newfound nemesis would not be there in line ahead of me.

Why, why, why had I chosen to push the boundaries of time and space with a late grocery visit on this day? This is actually not a rhetorical question—you may recall that earlier that day, I’d posted this on Facebook:



Still coasting the wave of pride and progress, I’d celebrated this unprecedented lack of anxiety by deliberately going to market a bit later than usual. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Remember, pickup time at the elementary school is 2:45, and it was now 2:36. I could not go home and unpack the contents of the shopping trip and still have time to change. I had to make an important decision, and I chose self-preservation.

To hell with the refrigerated items (which would literally be their fate on this 88 degree day!)

I raced home at the speed limit, honoring all traffic lights, signs, and customs, screeched into the driveway, and flung the car in park.

I even left it running.

I even left the garage-to-kitchen door open.

I might have even left the driver’s side door open, come to think of it.

I zoomed up the stairs, tore through my dresser until I found the first pair of leggings (which turned out to be winter-in-Connecticut long johns, curses!) raced back downstairs, yanked them on in the garage, (backwards, I realized too late) choked down a xanax without even a sip of water, and leaped back in the car.

I arrived on time and mostly in one piece.

Only my ego was shattered.

As I stood sweltering in those thermal long johns in the pickup line, I hid my teary eyes behind my sunglasses and reflected on the experience. Was this how the Emperor felt when he stood before his kingdom in his expensive invisible clothing?

I have never—and I mean never—noticed anyone in see-through clothing. One time while watching the Biggest Loser, one of my kids pointed out that trainer Jillian was wearing a black bra under a white shirt, but that’s different—that’s just a tacky fashion choice.

This, on the other hand, was a very deliberate fashion choice. It was a skirt I’d ordered from Etsy and India. The envelope that it arrived in confirmed its authenticity—it looked like it had been run over by several rickshaws and trampled by a herd of sacred cows.

It would be hand-wash only—the ultimate sacrifice—but I knew it would be worth it.

The skirt was long and black and flowy. It was intricately embroidered with turquoise and jade thread and adorned with hundreds of shiny silver sequins. It was my zen-mama hippie-chic favorite. Wearing it helped me to pretend to be a relaxed, laid-back, totally chill, non-neurotic member of society.

No one had ever commented that it was see-through before. How many times had I worn it to school? Oh God, oh God. All those innocent students. Oh, no. Had I worn it to my grandmother’s funeral last year? Oh, God.

If you’ve seen me in the last two years, you probably know exactly which skirt I am talking about, because I wore it ALL THE TIME. You either a.) didn’t notice it was see-through or b.) had the excellent judgment to know that I would freak out if I knew it was see-through, so you kept this detail to yourself and allowed me to continue romping around in my imaginary world of confident ignorance.

Either way, my gratitude to you is genuine.

It was my favorite article of clothing until that horrible Zen Thief stole my peace and passion.

I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it out of the house again. What’s the point of pretending to be breezy and appearing chilled-out if you have to layer yourself with undergarments?

1 comment:

  1. Oh baby... just find you a nice pair of black leggings and you win. I love you.