Nothing to wear but clothes
To keep one from going nude.
-- Benjamin Franklin King
I give up.
I’ve spent lots of time lately dashing about town, checking out different clothing stores, trying to find a good blouse I can wear to an upcoming graduation. (In this part of the country, everyone needs at least one outfit for cookouts, a second for funerals, a third for weddings, and a fourth for those events that are a couple of notches above the first, yet a peg below the last).
For years, I’ve been comfortable in my clothes; everything fit well, everything moved when I moved; everything moved with me.
But something has happened.
Now, clothes cling to me like food wrap. Everything is tight through the shoulders, the chest, the midriff, the hip; everything binds and outlines.
Everything now has, I have learned, what we call “a more feminine fit.”
I thought I’d found it: A classic white pure cotton number that was beautiful to look at and could easily be dressed up and/or down for those “in between” events.
A sales associate led me to the dressing room.
At first glance in the mirror, it looked wonderful.
But when I raised my arms and lowered them again, the front of the blouse stayed up, riding high between my breasts and my chin like the front of a westward-bound Conestoga wagon.
I came out of the cubicle and turned to the sales associate, who looked to be about twelve years old.
“Yikes,” I said, raising my arms again. “This is too small!”
“No, it’s not,” she contradicted, reaching out and pulling the blouse down for me. “See?”
I raised my arms again, lowered them: Again, the blouse billowed high up over my breasts.
“Too small,” I repeated.
“It’s fine.” She reached forward, pulled it down for me again.
“Why does it stick like that?” I asked.
“Well,” she chirped, “it’s a more feminine fit. You want to show off your cute curves.”
I looked at her, astonished. “Mywhat?” I asked.
“Your cute curves,” she repeated, a little less brightly this time.
I tried one last time – arms up, arms down – and looked at myself in the mirror.
Three of us in a line, I thought, would look like a wagon train.
And I turned back to her.
“I’m sixty-six years old,” I snarled, “and I’m not interested in showing off my curves – cute or otherwise.”
She wisely backed out of the dressing room and disappeared.