Sunday, November 08, 2009

enter: the dress

Well, the Toddles had classic, bacteria gonna getcha conjunctivitis. Whee! and where's the Purell?

He was deeply irked by the news, but mollified by not having to go to the pediatrician (who diagnosed him over the phone) and was willing to consider the possibility of eye drops. He's still willing to consider them, albeit with less enthusiasm as each dose goes by.

But there went Thursday. And Friday.

Blessed be, the Eldest came home from a playdate on Friday with a squashed ball of a dress in a paper bag, courtesy of one of those moms who always look wonderful. Dunno how she does it, but she always looks great, with a flavor of quirky humor, playful style that flares or settles as needed. She'd sent along her dullest dress, and I felt alarmingly unlike myself in it.

Hello, said the dress, politely stretching across my (larger) torso. You don't happen to own a pair of kicky boots, do you? I had to admit that no, I did not. The dress considered this, swishing gently, and decided to forgive me.

It might have reconsidered when I discovered that I had tossed most of my makeup, but if so, I appreciate the tactful silence. Goodness knows I was grumbling loud enough for the two of us.

The wedding behind me, I've been considering the phenomenon of the well-dressed woman. I dunno how it's done, no, not even after years at Loehmann's and the group dressing rooms populated by lots of helpfully opinionated strangers. Getting dressed ought to be a simple process, I know this:
1. consider the message you want to send (put together, casual, educated, harmless),
2. consider your audience
3. given 1 + 2, make choices.

And that's where I crawl back into bed, overwhelmed. For years, I'd happily stay home on Sabbaths, if only I could avoid getting dressed. So the idea of someone who can do that, day after day, well. I wonder if she'll do tutorials for friends? Teach me how to assemble things? As much as I love color, texture, and happily admire fun, funky style - I'm still the mom who looks faintly rumpled, whose bra strap is perennially peeking out from that ancient shirt, and yes, wears the same three sweaters because I understand what they do and how they read in the language of clothing.

Perhaps my mental audiences are too loud. Perhaps they are fashionistas, claws extended. Perhaps not. Either way, the dress wasn't afraid of them, and I was happy to lead where it followed.

But I'll say one thing: pearls go with everything.


Abacaxi Mamao said...

Let me know, please, when you figure out the getting dressed thing! I haven't a clue.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Pearls are the best. Elegant and understated. You can never go wrong with pearls.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you borrowed one. I would have volunteered something, but didn't see this until yesterday.

I share your desire to stay home on Shabbat, having nothing to wear but a pair of jeans and flip-flops. Or a skirt and a t-shirt. Not exactly appropriate. Though they tell me that there is a place that may just take me, with the t-shirts and skirts (I can pass on the jeans for one day).