Shopping online today I came across this beautiful ruffled, embroidered blouse and thought, “Oh that’s gorgeous” and for a moment considered buying it until I remembered that I can’t wear things like that. No matter how much I want to look ethereal and feminine in ruffles and lacey things I have never been able to pull it off. Perhaps you’re among those born with an innate sense of fashion and a body that looks good in girly clothes. I was not blessed with either.
I envy my friend Diana. No matter what the occasion she has the perfect outfit which she assembles with impeccable flair and mastery down the last accessory. I, on the other hand, leave the house every day looking more like a homeless person. It’s not that I don’t try. Although I have never been what one would call “dainty” I thought for awhile my four years spent in art school might give me the edge I was looking for. There were so many of my classmates that had that eclectic, edgy style. I had hoped if I hung around them long enough some of their ‘Je ne sais quoi’ might rub off on me, but quite to my dismay nothing even close to ‘hip’ ever developed. I was left still wanting to be the one that others envied when it came to style. I always thought that with astute observation, practice and the passing of time that I could pass for, at the very least, a snappy dresser.
I still have visions in my head of me dressed in my bohemian style flowing skirt and a blouse with peasant sleeves…wisps of baby’s breath in my braided and tousled hair. In my mind I am an angelic, ethereal figure with layers of wispy fabric swirling round. I float to the mirror expecting to see a pixie-like sprite and instead it’s a cross between Pippi Longstocking and Whizzo the Clown. You would think that after 4o years of this sort of disappointment I would quit trying, but it hasn’t stopped me so far. I still imagine myself running through the fields of flowers and romping through the woods in my sandals.
I always wanted to be one of those tiny girls who is long and willowy and can sport a super short hair cut like Meg Ryan or Demi Moore in Ghost. I wanted long legs like a gazelle. Alas, my legs are more akin to a Shetland pony’s and when I cut my hair too short…well you can just call me ‘Pat.’
I tried the peasant look in the 70’s. I see pictures now and cringe at the big puffy sleeves and apron of lace down the front. During the 80’s I was sure I had it down with the shoulder pads, suspenders on my pants and ankle boots. I even tried the funky hat thing, but once again, when I looked in the mirror expecting to see Annie Hall I saw Pat instead.
So I guess I’ll pass on the ruffles because I know that once my purchase finally arrived via UPS and I tried it on, the image staring back at me from the mirror would be more reminiscent of Janeane Garofalo than of Audrey Hepburn. I guess that’s not so bad. I like Janeane. She has a style all her own, doesn’t care much what anybody thinks of her and I can’t image her in ruffles.
To preface this story I will say this, try to think of my Facebook posts less as a timeline full of fart stories and more as a triumph of the human spirit. With that said, I have another story.
Yesterday morning at school I was sitting at my computer studying the day’s lesson plans when I began to experience a familiar rumbling of the digestive organs. I felt the pressure building up and knew I was going to have to let it out. I was in my room alone and the door was closed so I figured “what the heck,” and ‘let Polly out of jail’. I noticed the warm feeling right away and then…something moist…another few seconds passed and then… “Oh crap, I think I just pooped in my pants!
Gentle readers, I cannot convey in words the feeling experienced in that moment when you realize you have gambled and lost. I would love to have seen the puzzled look on my face turn to horror when it dawned on me what had just happened.
As the warm substance started to spread I could feel it soaking through my underpants. I bolted up like a rocket out of my chair saying a heartfelt prayer on the way that I had been fast enough to keep it from soaking through my skirt. I rushed for the door and out into the hallway holding my skirt up in the air intent on making my way to the Girl’s bathroom across the hall. Much to my dismay instead, I was met by a perky group of fifth grade girls lined up to take a bathroom break and choruses of “Hi, Miss Murphy. Do we have Art today Miss Murphy? Can I have a hug Miss Murphy.” Avoiding physical contact, I gave an awkward smile, turned sharply on my heels and sashayed back down the hall towards the teacher’s lounge still holding my skirt at arm’s length.
I locked myself in the bathroom and took off my, now offensive, most favorite pair of underwear. I could not bear to throw them away so I wrapped them up in tons of paper towels and set about the task of washing myself off. After I was cleaned and dried, hoping for the best, I sheepishly took a look at the back of my skirt in the mirror. Alas, I had been too slow and there it was…a spot on the back of my skirt so I took off my sweater, tied it around my waist and made my way back to my room clutching my soiled underpants in my hand camouflaged in a pile of brown paper towels. I zipped inside and locked the door.
Believe it or not, and fortunately for me, I keep a clean pair of underpants in my desk drawer just for occasions such as these. Don’t even ask. I went to the back of my room where no one could see me and took off my skirt, soaped it up and rinsed out the offending spot. I put my wet skirt back on and turned it around backwards so I could sit on a chair while I dried it with the Art room hair dryer. Of course you know once it was dry I completely forgot that I had it on backwards and went around like that for the rest of the day….oh, and it was picture day too. The one time I actually remember about picture day and this happens. I’m sure I looked lovely posing for my photo all disheveled and bewildered. Another week down, another week closer to adult undergarments.