Friday, December 16, 2005

Piss and Vinegar

It's snowing, it's already been a bad clothes morning, I'm cold and I'm in a pissy mood.

Thought I'd get that out of the way first.

The snow is beautiful to look at; I'm just dreading driving in it later this morning when I go to meet a friend for lunch and do a delivery. I hate driving in the snow; not that I'm incapable of driving when there is white stuff in the air, but it seems as though EVERYONE ELSE on the road is. Snow in the air does not automatically give you license to go 20 mph under the speed limit, especially if said limit is 25 mph. Seriously.

I'm inhaling a caffeinated beverage in hopes of changing the pissiness of my mood. So far, it's not working. And I know I will have a headache later as a result. Sigh heigh ho for a headache (or toothache, or whatever Beatrice says in Much Ado... it's escaped me now. I'm sure Legion will let me know).

So the bad clothes morning part. Women, you will understand this. Men, you will probably think I've lost my mind completely. Most men's clothes are in the vein of garanimals--those with the matching tags Sears carried when I was growing up. You match the tags or the animals on the front and "boom" you have an outfit. Perhaps they don't have matching tags now--although that would probably give my husband a boost-he is forever asking me if this shirt can be worn with these pants, and whether he should wear brown or black shoes and belt with said outfit. He only recently became paranoid about these things when his boss, who happens to be a single gay man, pointed out that he was wearing brown shoes and a black belt, or the reverse, or something else that "What Not to Wear" or "Queer Eye" would have a fit about. I was unaware of this rule, but then again, I wore overalls up until the age of 10 (and then again in college--not something I'm proud of, but there you go) and wore nothing but white socks (regardless of shoe color) until I moved to France for a year, where everyone hemmed and ironed their jearns and wore flirty little scarves around their necks in hopes of warding off "la grippe" and other maladies that strickened at every turn.


Normal shower this morning, and I got out to get dressed. Reached into the drawer for a bra. Pulled out one of my most recent purchases--I had to buy all new bras after pregnancy number two because everything was stretched out and weird. My body, not the bras. I put the bra on and feel a tell-tale poking in my side. Yes, sure enough, the underwire--well, underplastic, to be truthful, as wire seems to have been banished to the dress collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, along with whalebone... not that I'm complaining--had gotten free of its casing and was jabbing me in the side. When this happens, to those who do not wear underplastic bras, the bra is beyond repair. I've tried to repair and it just doesn't work.

I've had the bra maybe a month. I bought it at a department store during a bra sale after a bra fitting, no less. Let me tell you how many things are wrong with the above sentence. One, I very rarely ever shop at a department store. They're just too expensive and too far from my house. When I need things, I head to Target or Kohls. Now that you know my shopping habits, feel proud. Or buy me gift certificates to said stores.

Two, I never shop bra sales because they are usually a rip off. Who died and decided that it was okay to charge women at least $30 for a decent bra? How is this fair? Men can buy undershirts in packs of three of less than $10, but women have to pay through the nose for an undergarment that won't outlast said tshirts, won't survive a decent washer, and will eventually cause them pain. My guess is that this idiocy was dreamed up by the same folks who decided that tampons should cost upwards of $5 a box and that women should be the lucky sex who bear children.


You would think that I would like bra sales. Not so. No, they usually involve having to gather a bunch of paperwork like tags and skn numbers and mail a check for postage to some address in Idaho where the underplastic factory is--all to get your second bra "free." Honey, if I gotta pay for postage, it ain't free.

Third, getting fitted for a bra involves letting another women wrap a tape measure around my chest twice, and then allowing this woman to be in the fitting room with me while I try on bras. That's almost as bad as letting someone in the room with you when you try on bathing suits, but not quite. Not a comfortable place to be in. And it's always, always cold--kind of like in the ob/gyn's office. You're cold, you're vulnerable and there's nowhere to hide.

I should have twigged that something was amiss when the woman who was doing the fitting went out and brought back a handful of bras that were all way too big for me. Her excuse was that my running bra was a "minimizer" and that she had no way of knowing my true size. I'm sorry--didn't you just measure me? She also told me all the things that were wrong with my bra. Well, duh, it doesn't do much to shape me, but at that moment, it was the only non-maternity/nursing bra I owned that fit.

She went out again and brought back the same bras in smaller sizes. After much pulling and poking and adjusting, I found one that fit decently. Not great, but she said it would adjust to me and stretch. "Besides, that's the last one we have," she said.

I'm sorry--aren't there like a million bras out there, I thought to myself. And then I realized... she didn't actually work at the department store. She was a rep from Bali's who was doing the fittings and the bra event. So if I didn't fit into one of her bras, there was no way she was going to bring me one from another line. Note to self: bra events rarely have the best interest of the customer at heart.

I decided to buy two bras--one in nude and one in black--as it was buy one, get one half price and there was no paperwork to complete to get the discount. How nice, I thought. I don't have to pay for a stamp or for shipping to get a discounted bra.

Then the problems began. One week later, after I had worn and washed my black bra one time, the stitching on the strap fell apart. I returned the bra to the store, where the clerk gave me my money back--but really only half of my money back, since I bought the bra for half price. And we know that $15 does not get you a bra in a department store. So I was left with one bra.

This morning, I put on that bra and got poked with the freakin' underplastic.


Because I've already made you read too much, and because my son is in his swing and will probably start demanding my attention at any moment, I will try to be brief about the other things that made this morning a bad clothes morning.

I went to find a pair of jeans in the closet, and the one pair I have that fits me well was two flights down on a drying rack. Nice. I am in the that obnoxious "between sizes" phase of post-pregnancy where nothing really fits well. I bought two pair of jeans (Kohls and Old Navy--a place I used to shop before gravity took control of my lower half. I can no longer fit into any of their jeans or pants, be they normal waist, just below waist, low waist or ultra low waist.) a couple of weeks ago and they are too big now (hooray South Beach!). The pair at Old Navy are "boyfriend jeans," which I guess is their way of saying boy-cut or boxy or low rise with wide legs or whatever. Perhaps they are only intended for those females young enough to only have boyfriends, not spouses. At any rate, they fall down and give me the worst case of plumber's butt I've ever seen. Seriously. In a competition between me and actual plumbers, I would win every time. My husband can vouch for this, because he comments on the butt thing every time I wear the jeans, which shouldn't be often but ends up being so because my one other pair that fits is always in the wash or on the drying rack. Oh, and I have two pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that I'm still working on getting into. I can put them on and they zip, but they are older and thus have no stretch, and so are not comfortable for more than an hour or so. I think stretch is the clothier's invention to cope with America's expanding midsection. We don't want to buy bigger sizes, so they're putting stretch in our clothes to make us feel better about ourselves and perpetuate the lie that we actually are the same size we were five years ago. That wouldn't fly in France. There would be no stretch in French jeans. It's too American.

So I put on the boyfriend jeans to get downstairs to see if the others were dry. It is now two hours later and I have yet to make it down to the basement to see if they are. I got sidetracked by work, the phone, feeding the baby and watching "The Apprentice" on DVR (while I was feeding the baby. I know, I'm a sorry person). So my jeans are still halfway down my butt and I have to yank them up everytime I bend over. Sucks to be me.

Jeans settled for the time being, I reached for a shirt to put on with them. Jeans, you'd think, a shirt would be easy. Not in my closet! I pulled on a white short sleeved vneck and realized that I had nothing to go over it that would fit under my coat. Nice. All of my sweaters are either too bulky to wear with a coat (genius in buying them, I know) or really thin knits that show unsightly post-pregnancy bulges. I can't win today. I truly can't.

I bagged the short sleeve idea and went for a long sleeved tshirt instead. I have exactly three long sleeved tshirts that fit well at the moment (none of which are Old Navy because despite the labels of "tiny fit," "perfect fit" and "easy fit," I find that none of the shirts there are perfect or easy for me, only tiny)--black, white and light blue. I opted for light blue. Put it on and was happy, chose socks to match (that aren't white, if you're keeping score. or even still reading), and went downstairs to start work.

I went to the bathroom and caught a glimpse in the mirror, only to find a stain about the size of a pencil eraser smack dab in the middle of the shirt. I think I've worn this one twice since buying it and it already has a stain right smack dab in the middle of the shirt. How is this possible? Oh yes, children and spit up and the uncoordination that pregnancy leaves you with while the hormones are taking their time leaving your body.

And I don't have anything to put over the shirt (see above for sweater discussion).

So here I am, in my boyfriend jeans that keep sliding down, in a stained tshirt and a bra I managed to salvage from God knows where.

As I said, it's been a bad clothes day. Some people have bad hair days. I've given up on good or bad hair days. There are just days where hair is concerned. My issue is bad clothes days.

Strangely enough, I feel better now, having spewed it all out. My caffeinated beverage has done the trick.

Now downstairs to see about those jeans....


trAcy said...

ever wish you could dress like a middle-eastern woman? all drape, no fuss.

muu muus, however, well, you know.

i hate all underwear except full-length silk slips; bra happiness for me has come in the form of the patagonia capilene dealy. it is not all-flattening as a jogging one would be, but you have to be comfortable with being nipply, i guess.

Legion said...

I'm still amazed at myself for actually getting through that whole blog and not once thinking to myself, "Girlfriend, I KNOW what you mean."

It was great writing though. Your voice shone through quite nicely.

Not to sound too male but, um, all this talk about bras and breasts...I'm ...excuse me.