Friday, May 12, 2017

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt

Wingman use to call me many things. Obstinate. Overcritical. Certainly bitchy. I even recall on our wedding day that he called me "beautiful". But that was a one-time happening, and I don't recall him ever crooning Eric Clapton"s "You Look Wonderful Tonight" after that. So it comes as no surprise that he never called me "sexy".

And I get it.  When I went to school in NYC, a couple of my friends were stopped by Eileen Ford and asked to come to her agency to model.  They were cute, and one was even, in an exotic way, sexy even back then.  But not me. I was and always will be, fine with how I look.

There were some things over the years that got me when I stopped dying my hair and grew it out to donate for a wig.  As part of a lecture that I did on The Avon Walk For Breast Cancer, I had my beautician come in and cut my waist-long hair short. The following Sunday at church, I was a Eucharistic Minister, which at a Catholic Mass is a regular person who gives out communion. Knowing that my new looks would draw attention from the regular attendees, I positioned myself at the furthest, quietest part of the church.  As I distributed communion and said "Body of Christ" many of the people responded with, instead of the perfunctory "Amen", comments like "Love your hair!" and "Wow, you look great"!

Ummm...I never confessed that. Bless me Father...

Which leads me to work now. Back when I was working full time at Wrinkle City and running to my part time fashion gig, I use to have to make quick changes in the stockroom.  My full time job required 3 piece corporate suits, panty hose and pumps.  The fashion job was much more casual, with one of the only no-nos besides tongue piercings being panty hose (because they are corny). Becoming a full time manager at the fashion company means that I only have a couple of 3 piece suits left (like black ones for funerals) and tossed the panty hose.

I think I dress fashionably and appropriately for my age. I don't own tight sweaters and low-rise jeans and my shoes and boots are all flats, thanks to bunions from wearing high heels for 40 plus years to all my other jobs. Obviously, not all of my co-workers feel the same way as I do.

A couple of Sundays ago, I went to church and went directly from there to work. When my associate manager came in, she looked me up and down, sniffed (she's a sniffer at things she doesn't like) and said "You didn't really wear THAT to church, did you?" It was the dress pictured with the same black tights (not corny panty hose), same black boots, and a black blazer (from my funeral suits) instead of the jean jacket.

I asked her what was wrong with the outfit.  She sniffed...AGAIN...and said "Don't you think you're a little too old to wear that?" "A little old?" I questioned.  She replied "Well that's too sexy for someone YOUR AGE to wear to church."

I started having flashbacks to some of the old ladies at Wrinkle City with their overdone makeup and crazy clothes.  Was I becoming one of them?  I asked a relative in HR what she thought, and she told me that my response should have been to tell her to mind her own business. I asked the pastor in church if he thought I dressed inappropriately, and he laughed and said my associate shouldn't come to a later Mass where her head would explode if she saw what one of the women wears each week.  And I asked my boss, who laughed and said the same woman told her that her shirts are too tight.

So I let it slide, and last week went shoe shopping with the BFF.  It's been a while since I bought anything new, and I'm like a 10 year old boy with shoes-they get scuffed and worn like I used them for a bike brake. We found a great sale and I bought, ahem, more than I needed including a trendy, strappy little pair of suede wedges that look really cute with jeans.  In fact, the first day I wore mine, both my boss and another associate wore similar ones with higher heels.

One of my tasks that day was to send some heavy boxes of clothes back to our central warehouse. As I was pushing one of the boxes, it hit the transition between the wood and tile floor and stopped me dead in my tracks. My foot rolled in my new strappy sandal, and it started to hurt, so I changed into sneakers.

When I left the store two hours later, I could hardly walk. By the time I got home, I couldn't put weight on it. Now, I'm not a baby, and can tolerate pain very well. My second son was an all natural delivery and weighed 10 lb. 12 oz. I debated taking two Advil and waiting until morning until the dog decided for me when he stepped on my foot. Since son #3 was working, #1 was no where to be found and #2 lives too far away, I drove myself to the hospital.

And this is what I have to show for wearing strappy sandals for the first time in years. A badly sprained foot with an equally badly bruised ego.  At least it's not broken, and for the next couple of days, while I can't wear cute shoes (at least on my left foot), I have this neat pair of steel gray crutches to accompany my wardrobe.

Maybe the sniffer is right...I'm too old to wear strappy little sandals, that, in the back of my mind, I saw as being sexy.

Or maybe, Wingman was right when he use to just call me a klutz.


  1. Entertaining as usual, Barb! Also, this sailor thinks you're eternally cute and never too old.


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