Yesterday was a first for me. Against my better judgement and cloaked in my contraceptive nightware (sweatpants and a thermal long sleeved t-shirt), I called the kids into the master bedroom closet.
"I need your help, guys. I'm not sure what to wear to work tomorrow. Whaddya think?"
Lola looked up at me bewildered as if to say, "Clothes, dumbass. Clothes," while Charlie ventured a bit more trepadatiously, "You mean we can pick it out?"
"Sure. Why not?"
Lola eyed my shoe rack, eyes scrolling from summer to winter and back again as Charlie made a beeline for the pants hanging at eye level. "Here. These." Nice. My black fatties. They hung too loose and I'd be tugging them up all day but they were far better than the alternative hanging two inches to the right. Definitely dodged a bullet there. Phew. "And THAT one!" A finger shot up to a silver sparkly top with a plunging criss cross neckline.
"Ooooooo, " purred Lola, "I like shiny."
Conservative on the bottom and a little rock n roll on the top. It's not like I had a choice at this point. Besides, staying true to the rules of my Before 40 Bucket List, I would not try to sway the kids one way or another. This was their choice. I'd have to redeem myself at work another day. "I like it Charlie. Good choice. But what about my feet?"
Charlie reached for my black pumps with the gray speck of buckle on the toe and I felt a wave of relief wash over me. Apparently he had remembered these shoes as part of my standard "look" when wearing anything black. That and I'm sure he was sick of the game and just wanted to get back to the pile of race cars strewn all over the living room floor. I would go to work the next day having completed my first bucket list item and no one would be the wiser.
Well, Lola was all over that shit. "No! I want these."
So much for discretion. She had selected a pair of brown strappy sandals with a wedge heel. A mistake I had made three years ago and had forgotten to purge. I briefly contemplated how to play this card as Charlie examined them.
The pumps hit the closet floor with a hollow thud. It was decided. The brown sandals would be going to work with me in the morning.
"You're gonna need some socks with those, Mama."
"Ya think so, Charlie?" Oh boy. Now I was starting to sweat.
"Oh yeah. There's snow outside. Your toes might get cold with these holes." He wove his fingers through the straps of the open toe to emphasize his point.
"Ohhhhh, yeah. I hadn't thought about that, good point." Shit.
He blew past me through the closet doorway and headed for the socks packed snuggly the bedroom's armoir. Before I knew it a pair of gray ankle socks were thrust into my ribcage. Thanking him, I managed two additional thank yous; one for the fact that he had pulled a pair with no holes and two that he had somehow, perhaps by Divine Intervention, missed the drawer full of white running socks.
And as fast as it had started, it was over. My outfit for the the next day of work was laid out and ready to go. The kids took off, content at having accomplished said chore so efficiently and I stood there taking inventory:
- 1 pair of black pants
- 1 silver, long sleeved shimmery top with a plunging neckline
- 1 pair of gray ankle socks
- 1 pair of strappy brown sandals on a wedge heel
A smile crept past my lips. And I remembered Paris, a city I have visited just four times in my lifetime and loved each time more than the previous. The Parisian women with their silky scarves blowing behind them and their designer shoes clicking with delicate precision against the sidewalks crowded with foreign tourists in dirty tennis shoes.
My foot. My shoe. My sock.
My Mission Complete.
Tomorrow I would be one of them - Parisian.
Not in fashion but definitely, most definitely, in attitude.