I wore three pairs of pants today. Not all at once, although I had a friend who did that. He wore double pants to work every day for weeks and put an extra record album in his briefcase. It was his drip, drip, drip approach to leaving his wife. It ended up not working that well. She figured it out on the last day and stood with her arms waving in front of his car. It was a big dramatic scene. I don’t know exactly what happened next. He didn’t run her over, I know that much. And he did end up being single.
But about my pants. I started out the day going to a meeting with a nun. She is an unusually glamorous nun, revered in our town for creating a remarkable program combining adult and child day care in a stunning building, the description of which requires another blog post altogether. I wanted to meet with her because I’m doing a presentation for a replication conference she is hosting (not because I’m in the market for adult day care, oh stop).
I put on khaki pants and a brown striped long-sleeved t-shirt, tan socks and brown loafers. Thinking it looked a little harsh, I put on a green khaki jacket my daughter had given me for my birthday, one of her periodic bids at dressing me younger. I drove to the meeting, parked, and walked to the front door of Sister’s fabulous building. There in the mirror, I saw myself.
I look like a man!
Now Sister, like I said, is glamorous. She’s older now but still has cascading blond hair and definite, if delicate, make-up. She wears pastels and floral scarves and earrings that dangle. There are thin sparkly bracelets on each of her wrists. The only thing not beautifully feminine about her are her white sneakers. I figure she might have arthritis. They look therapeutic. Sister’s manner is quiet and precise; she smiles a lot, especially when talking about her expansion plans.
I sat like a cement block in her office, a cement block in a striped shirt that made me feel like Popeye. I crossed my legs and caught a glimpse at my socks. Why am I wearing tan socks? Who wears socks? Who wears loafers? Where did I get this get-up?
On the way out, I stopped in Sister’s famous jewelry store, a tiny room with her carefully crafted necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I passed on the fluffy choker and the pendants with feathers but settled on two sets of earrings and a tiny slip of a bracelet. They wouldn’t go with today’s man-wear, I knew that, but there was always tomorrow. Tomorrow I could be lovely and delicate just like Sister.
Later I changed into jeans and boots, my reflex wear. I’ll be a hundred and curled into a tiny ball in a rocking chair and still be thinking I look hot in my jeans and boots. Life is best lived inside one’s head. And then later, I changed into black pants, thinking that I shouldn’t wear jeans to the symphony where everyone, including all the orchestra members and 90% of the ancient audience wears black. A woman with white hair and extraordinarily beautiful black pumps walked by me, her perfume so rare and lovely, it smelled like female money. I have to stop comparing myself.
So, yeah, three pairs of pants.