I got dressed today. (Yes, this is blog-worthy). Around noon, after being awake for four-plus hours, I took a shower and put on something that wasn’t pajamas. Really nice black pants, cool white shirt, earrings, mascara. I put banana cream under my eyes (does it work? Does it matter? I don’t know). Pink lipstick. I probably look nicer than I’ve looked in many months.
No reason. Well, my neighbor is coming over so our dogs can romp together. Otherwise, I have no plans. McIrish is working, Dearest Son is back at college, the Princess has a shift at the hospital. It’s just Luther and Huckleberry and me.
But I felt the urge to wear something other than a battered pair of PJs.
As an author, I work alone most of the year, but when I leave for something professional, I dress for the occasion. Conferences, meetings, book tour…back in the olden days (2019, for example), I had times when I had to look the part.
Not anymore. I mean, sure, I’ve put on a shirt for Zoom meetings, but otherwise, it’s been PJs with the pair of yoga pants I bought ten years ago (I cannot bring myself to shop at LuLu Lemon or its ilk). Maybe some ripped jeans. (Not the cool kind of ripped jeans…the worn kind.
A few years ago, while writing Good Luck with That, which deals with self-acceptance and size, I decided never to buy anything that wasn’t super comfortable. I donated anything that required me to wear Spanx or control top anything, or just decided to wear them in my un-smoothed out, maternal, middle aged glory. Everything I’ve bought since then has been comfy and must pass the Hulk test—that is, when I hunch my shoulders together, the shirt cannot rip.
At best, I call this style “cool girl classic.” I have a crisp white shirt, but it’s asymmetrical. I have black leggings, but they have a little mesh at the ankles. I have a pair of pink jeans.
One of my life lessons, taught to me by reading an interview of Susan Lucci from All My Children, was to buy things that you liked when you saw them. Say you like that red sweater in the window. Buy it, because if you wait, it’ll be gone, and you’ll go to three different stores looking for a red sweater and never find it. I embraced that theory. Would Erica Kane lie to me? I think not.
I love window shopping, sidewalk strolling, meandering around Target just to see what they might have. But the pandemic has taken that away, and if I do have to go out in public, there is no wandering. There is only efficiency.
This irks me. It’s been a year, COVID. Give us a damn break.
So today, I dressed up in cool girl classic clothes. I blew dry my hair with intention. The banana cream. And you know what? I do feel a little more cheery.
There’s no one here to see me, and when I see my neighbor and her dog, I’ll be wearing a giant pink parka, but underneath, I’ll know that I made the effort. And that’s worth something.
Hang in there, readers. The end is near, and in this circumstance, that’s a good thing.