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Late in the day last Tuesday, L’il Sis and Crazy D were getting ready to go into the world to be social. I had been out for lunch with a friend and, for the first time in weeks, had put on my good clothes — pants instead of a dress since it’s still winter when warmth wins out over fashion. Crazy D made a general pronouncement: “Hey, everybody’s got their pants on! Big day. Break out the bubbly!”

Now before anyone gets any strange ideas that we’re running some sort of weird nudist camp here, allow me to explain that he was referring to our collective habit, when we’re around the house, of wearing our ‘down-market’ attire. Usually this encompasses the polar bear pajamas, ripped jeans, Nirvana t-shirts from the 90s  or bleach-splattered sweats. The kind of thing everyone has but will not admit to if questioned. The kind of attire that brings marriages down. You know, the ‘you never make an effort to look good/sexy for me anymore’  schlubby gear. The disreputable outfit that causes you to be too embarrassed to answer the door — especially if it’s a neighbour or someone you might want to date. The scuzzies of the fashion world.

We virtually live in them around here. So it was indeed a red-letter day when all three of us ‘got dressed’ in our ‘goin’ to town’ or ‘goin’ to meetin’ clothes.

I remember when, less than two years ago, I had to dress up regularly for meetings or social events. I enjoyed it and had the extensive wardrobe to prove it. I’d buy jackets or shoes ‘just because’, knowing that I’d find an occasion(or manufacture one) to wear them soon. Now, those same clothes languish in my closet, getting older and more outdated by the day since I am semi-retired and, with all the people and pets now in residence, it is folly of the first order to wear any good or anything that is ‘dry-clean only’.

When Gill lived here, we had constant skirmishes over proper attire. If we went out for dinner, I would wear what she facetiously called my ‘ball gowns’ and she’d wear her oldest, most faded pants and Birkenstocks. Not that I complained about her appearance since, to do so, would mean I’d be handing over my credit card for her to shop and not look embarrassing in front of my friends. My silence was an exercise in restraint. Opening my mouth cost me money.

I do rather miss the days of ‘dressing up’, but there is much to be said about surrounding yourself with people who feel comfortable being themselves and not trying to impress others with their appearance. Definitely nobody being impressed here…although I must say, with her spiffy new spring collar and brilliant red coat, The Pig remains the most fashionable of our whole lot. Go, Beagle! I am tempted to give her a run for her money by putting on my new bright pink trench coat and taking her (with her red one) for a walk. Nobody would believe our fashion-forward attire…but we might attract a better class of dogs. On the other hand, muddy paw prints can render even the most fashionable outfit a candidate for the compost heap. So back to the schlumpy track pants it is.

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