Friday, August 10, 2012

function before form

Okay, it wasn't this bad - but you
get the idea.
This evening I slipped out of the house around 7:45 to go pick my teenage son up from play rehearsal. Welcome to the fall, and the commencing of the extracurricular activities; and along with it, the annual quadrupling of the budget for gas in the family truckster. Or as hubby's green friend calls it, the Earth Fu*ker. Who ever thought it was a good idea to buy a massive SUV that gets like 12 miles to the gallon?


Anyway, before I left, I dug around in my purse for some change, thinking I deserved a McDonald's ice cream cone for doing so much driving around in this oppressive heat today. Pulled up to the drive-thru and ordered myself a large. Was listening to Lithium on Sirius XM, and a Rage Against the Machine song came on - had to turn it up. As in, it is physically impossible for me not to turn up a Rage song. 

So I rolled up to the drive-thru, window down, music blaring, ready to hand the guy my money. He looked at me with his outstretched hand, and although it was quick, I saw it - a double take, like a "there's something wrong here" look. I gave him the money, thinking, what's his problem?

A glance in the rearview mirror, and it was pretty clear. I'm 43, no makeup, graying hair unceremoniously wound up in a banana clip, glasses on, wearing a dress only a woman over 40 would wear. Rocking Rage out my car window like a teenager. With a vanilla ice cream cone. 

It's official. I'm really not all that cool any more.

Let's talk about that dress I was wearing. I went to visit my mom today (shoutout mom, xo), and as she's prone to do, she'd bought a couple of things that she decided didn't fit right, so she gave them to me. (Thanks to my mom's aversion to dressing rooms, I have a decent wardrobe.) This dress is a flowy light cotton, no waist, just bunches of gathers and cool fabric. Sleeveless. With a funky pattern on it that looks a little like the African smock type shirts my dad used to wear. 

What did I think when I saw it? Thought immediately of my dad, at a time when things were good, and got a little sentimental. And then, man - that dress would be so comfy! And cool! (As in temperature cool, let's be clear here.) I can't wait to go home and put it on!

(For the record - my mom has style-a-plenty. But she's also sensible, and bought the dress for the same reason I love it.)

And I did. Go home and put it on immediately, that is. After the long hot drive back from mom's, the dress was like I had on cheesecloth, with barely anything touching my skin. Aaaaah. Heaven. I went downstairs.

Olivia loved it because it was see-through and smelled like Grandma's house. But when I showed Larry and told him I wanted to sew like 100 more of them and wear nothing else all summer, he wasn't quick to respond that this was my best idea ever. Understand - it is agonizing for Larry to tell me that I look anything but gorgeous. He simply cannot not pay me a compliment. Which is suspect, but I love him for it.

But when I asked him how he liked the dress, he skipped a beat (clue number 1) and then said "Oh, it looks really comfortable!" (clues number 2, 3, and 4).

Oh, no. Oh, no no no no. I don't love this dress because it's trendy, cute, and hugs my womanly curves. I love it because it's comfortable and functional.

Hence the fence atop which I currently sit. Am I turning into that middle aged lady who slips on a muumuu and slippers every day? (Which is totally appealing to me, btw.) How do I reconcile that with the 25-year-old hipster that still lives in my head? And how do I merge the two without traumatizing the poor kid at the McDonald's drive-thru?

1 comment:

Sue P said...

Hey,Sweetie - I don't comment often, but I follow your blog religiously -- and love it. I personally think you and Larry are doing an incredible job of parenting - especially with 3 kiddos fairly close in age. (Hell, why do you think there are 8 years between my two girls?) I miss you all and love you even more than that! Aunt Soup.