January 14, 2011


When it comes to fashion, I am, in no uncertain terms, my own worst enemy.

Practicality trumps design every time.  Take a walk through my closet and you'll see what I mean.  If like food, clothing had an expiration date, the Department of Health would have shut my closet down eons ago.  A walk through my closet is like a walk through the history books of bad taste.  Try as I might, I have just never been able to put two and two together.  I'm like an idiot savant, always going back for more beige straight legs and v-neck knit tops.

So last weekend I decided to take a stand.  Garbage bag in one hand and visions of Milanese catwalks to guide me, I hit the master bedroom closet with a vengeance.  Goodbye elastic waist bands.  Sayonara prêt-à-porter t-shirts in eight different colors.  I would donate my fashion faux pas to the homeless of Des Moines.  Surely the guy waving the cardboard sign on the corner of 86th and Hickman would love my gray parachute pants with the baby poop stains down the right front leg.  My prized and highly coveted red Spanish rebeca from '94 study abroad was still in one piece save for the missing button and worn right elbow.  Why not pass it along to the lady on 8th and Grand who wears that tattered windbreaker from '85?  Isn't a ten year update considered an upgrade no matter what the decade?

Closet emptied, utilities paid, and credit card balance back to zero, I was now ready to take on the monutmental challenge of updating my look.  There would be only one rule by which to abide:  I would not purchase a thing, not even underwear, from any store that made shopping carts available to the general public. 

Buh-bye Target. 
auf Wiedersehen Walmart. 
Costco?  Adios, amigo.  May we never meet again.

I was going to shop like a REAL woman; in a store that sold clothing, not tires or lawn furniture.   Now, in light of the fact that I have not won any recent lottery, this was a project in-the-works so to speak.  I would set aside a small portion from each paycheck and 'invest' it in a new wardrobe piece until I had restocked the closet with items made post Y2k.  Garbage bags overflowing, I would be lucky to get this accomplished within the next 3 years but hell, I was more than willing to give it a shot.  And so it went.  I grabbed the keys to my ride - the sexy, white minivan parked out front because the garage was now a post Christmas toy lot - and then high tailed it out to the mall.

The ride over was two steps up from pleasant and bordering on euphoric.  A silent ride with no squabbling kids in the car, no Thomas the Train DVD blaring in the background...yeah, you know the ride - not well, but you know it.  Me, Myself and I set free by the closet purge and on our way to chasing down the invisible errand.  I was about to discover a whole new side of myself and in the spirit of the makeover, I swung in to Caribou for {gasp} a house coffee.  Cheers to Me!  January 2011 would be my comeback year - THE YEAR I TURNED MINX.

Well, not quite.

Parked at the mall, I threw my head back, shaking my invisible Farah Fawcett mane after that last swig of  medium roast.  Grabbing my purse--well, okay 'diaper bag' - the one bulging with wallet, 3 sets of keys, day planner, empty baby bottle, 'just in case' diapers in 2 different sizes, ziplock baggie of wet wipes and about 55 broken crayons nestled at the bottom I set out for the mall.  I'll admit, there was attitude in my walk across the parking lot.  Not quite full saunter but a definite click in the step.  Look out, Giselle I'm workin' this runway.   I was well on my way to channeling my 37 year old hottie.  While Pam Anderson still had her boobs and Botox, I had a fresh paycheck and the homeless man in post partum duds from 5 years ago as incentive.  He was NOT going to outshine me.  Pam?  Yeah, probably.  But not the guy sporting my throwaway threads. 

I'm buyin' some hipster skinny legs.  Ones with an ultra short zipper.  Oh yeah....
Gettin' a new shirt too.  With buttons down the front.  Didja' hear me?  I said BUTTONS.  Oh yeahh...
I may even get some new boots.  With a pointy, bonespur makin' heel.  Oh yeahhhhh... 

That's how I strutted into Jordan Creek Mall: completely and totally full of myself.
They were all there.  Open and ready for my business.  And there I was Pam Anderson suddenly turned Hellen Keller.  A fish out of water, I was definitely out of my element.  Where were the signs marked Automotive, Pharmacy or Electronics to light my path?  Suddenly so alone I had been swallowed whole by the mall's atrium; intimidation and uncertainty washing over me like waves of nausea before diarrhea strikes.  Where in the hell was Annie Sullivan to help me navigate this misadventure?  Oy vey.

To be honest, I don't even know which store I stumbled into first - probably J. Crew given its proximity to the mall entrance.  Old habits die hard and I made a beeline for the rounders on the back wall, grabbed three pairs of skinnies off the sales rack and darted into an empty changing room.  Off with the old and on with the new but wait a minute, Whoa Tiger!  Why is the button sitting so far below my c-section scar?  Is that normal?   That scar is at least a mile to the south of my belly button, maybe even more.  Uhm Houston, we have a problem.  I gave a good tug but after about 15 seconds they slid past my little boy hips right back under the scar, the zipper ending a little too close for comfort if you know what I mean.  I then made the mistake of trying to put my shoe back on thinking somehow that shoes would right this obvious wrong.  Tilting awkwardly to my right to slip a finger in behind my heal, I shot straight up again as the waistline of the pants licked my butt crack on its way down the last half mile. 

What the hell?! 
So ass crack is the style nowadays?  Great.

Just how did Mr. J. Crew figure that I was going to be able to heft Henry on one hip, Lola on the other and wrangle Charlie by a hand with my ass hanging out in the breeze?  Would Child Protection Services be called out on me?  Last time I checked the PTA had no dresscode but postpartum rumpshaker was probably more than pushing it.

Pair number two was no better.  And three even worse.  Pissed, I kicked my leg furiously back and forth as if trying to fling steaming dog shit off the bottom of a new shoe.  Then I went to hunt down a sales clerk.

"Uhm, hi there.  Look, do you have anything with a slightly higher rise?  I think that's what you call it.  I'm just looking for something that doesn't hit me so...uhm...so...you know, so....low.  Ya' know what I mean?"

The kid just stared at me.

I tried again, "I guess I need something that's not so lowrider."

Blank stare.

Was I speaking Russian?  Did I have a unicorn horn sprouting from my brow?  Yo Gabba Gabba!  Wanna acknowledge me?

"Well, if you're looking for Women's Jeans you might wanna try the department stores."

Excuse me?
I know you're not sending me out for camel toe and 'Mom jeans'. 
Are you?

"Yeah, Dillards will probably have something more your style."

Okay.  So Pam Anderson, I'm obviously not.  But I'm also no Carol Brady either.  I had spent the better part of the last six months shaving the bulk of my muffin top off and I was not gonna leave that mall without a decent pair of pants and a label that proved that I paid too much, dammit! 

Was it my fault that my hips had no curve whatsoever to hold up the pants crafted by a Taiwanese orphan chained to his sewing machine and beaten for using too much fabric? 
I don't think so.

Was it my fault that the past 6 months worth of sit ups had done nothing for the fallen soufflé that was now my midsection?
I don't think so.

J.Crew, bite me.  I'll take the fuckin' pants.
And so it was.  $42.38. 
The price, evidently, of my pride.


  1. *giggle* You just need a nice pair of thong underwear to go with that butt crack. It's the style, my friend.

  2. Did you get the belly shirt too? lol! This post made me laugh and relate. Been there, butt cracked that! lol!

  3. HA that is the worst. I hate awful sales clerks. Living in Russia now, I don't even bother. Rudeness is a job requirement in stores here.

    Have you tried GAP for jeans? They redesigned all of their jeans and the fabric about a year ago and I am in LOVE with them now. swoon swoon swoon. I love the "sexy boot" and the jean leggings (only tucked into boots thought). They ahve them in all different rises.

  4. Thank you Robin. I will head over to GAP this weekend. For me, it's all about rise. I don't know about you but I'm just not comfortable walking around town with my labia hanging out.