picking up pins in a macy’s dressing room

Last summer I got fed up with my bedroom closet (which is usually filled with more books than clothes) and donated half of what was in it, including most of my dressier clothes, to Goodwill. You know the so-called experts who tell you to throw out anything you haven’t used in two years? Keep it simple, they say? Well, don’t listen to them. There’s nothing wrong with being a packrat, with having papers in your desk drawer folded 5 times over tucked into years-old receipts along with a crispy clean gum wrapper. The sweater that hasn’t fit you since college? You’ll need it someday. Your desk drawer and closet aren’t taking up that much room in your life.  At any rate, we have a wedding to go to on Saturday night and for the first time in awhile I had nothing that met the Seal of Approval. After lunch today, Oliver Fern and I went to Macy’s, a chain department store.

Things were going relatively smoothly after a half hour of perusing the racks in search of a shirt that wouldn’t make me look like a 7-person tent, but when we walked into the dressing room and discovered a hundred garment needles on the floor….the ante was most definitely raised! After the initially somewhat stressful thorough de-needleification of the carpet, I’m happy to say a half hour of trying-on resulted in the purchase of a fancy shirt and trousers that don’t completely betray my sensibilities. Oliver was an absolute doll, but I got a little nervous toward the end that we were taking too long and undercover store security was suspecting me of smuggling something out in his diaper. Because who spends a half hour in the dressing room with a ten month old on the loose? I knew someone was probably listening to us because Oliver was being so rowdy, so I tried to not sound suspicious. But the more casual I tried to sound, the more suspicious I felt I sounded. As usual, the big time-waster was trousers. If they fit me in the waist they usually required a crowbar to get my thighs through (and the Jaws of Life to get them back off). If I found a pair of pants that were roomy enough in the legs, I either looked like MC Hammer or a person in the before-after picture from a NutriDissolve-Away Diet advertisement who is proud of how baggy their old jeans are.

Oliver Fern and I listened to a lot of Hank Snow this morning while crawling about the house in a hyperactive fashion, which may explain my swelled, fluid-encased knees. So much for being a knee model once the boys were a little more grown up. The sisal rug in our dining room is so rough and hard, that even Oliver has adopted a sort of bear crawl when he’s passing through and happens to not have any pants on.

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