By Sue Murphy
Experts say you should dress for the life you want to live. If that is so, I should be wearing a Tinkerbell T-shirt and Mickey ears.
Sadly, I know it’s not in my best interest right now to pull up stakes and become a resident of the Magic Kingdom (notice me being a grownup), so I am faced with the runner-up alternative: dressing for the life that I have.
When my eyes flutter open each morning, I consider the adventures that lie before me. Monday is clean-the-bathrooms day, so I sensibly don a T-shirt already dotted with bleach stains. Tuesday, I tackle the floors wearing jeans with appreciably worn knees. Wednesday is clean sheets day (no particular outfit indicated) and Thursday brings dusting, when I opt to wear something of a lighter shade. Saturday, I tackle the laundry and wear whatever is not already in the hamper. Sunday, I think, “surprise me,” just to throw a bit of whimsy into the proceedings.
This system works great until I head out to do errands. In days past, these outings might happily include lunch with my posse at a sit-down restaurant (remember those?), and I would leave the house in a regular grownup outfit, maybe even a scarf, something that said, “I am a functioning human being.” Now, however, the majority of my errands are of the drive thru or curbside pickup variety, so the question becomes, “How much of my outfit will be visible?” If I drive thru Starbucks on bathroom day, is it really worth changing into a regular-person shirt? On floors day, the worn jeans won’t show, anyway, as long as I stay in the car. On any given day, if I wear shoes that don’t catch on the brake pedal and run a brush through my hair (I’ve forgotten that more than once.), I’m all set.
Since I wear a mask for all human encounters, I made it a point to assemble a cute collection, if I do say so myself – paisleys and plaids and one with a Star Wars theme that has been quite popular with the drive-thru crowd. The great thing about masks is that they remove the necessity to wear lipstick. Mascara, however, is paramount since your eyes are the only indicator of your mood. They have to smile, demonstrate appropriate concern and narrow ever-so-slightly to show major disappointment, as in the case of Starbuck’s canceled gingerbread loaf.
My goal when I leave the house is to be presentable, at least from the driver’s side window up. I’ve resisted the temptation to venture forth in pajama pants because I know that the day I do, I will get into a fender bender and wind up standing on the side of the road in full public view. Experience has taught me that if there’s a 5% chance of disaster coming to pass, I’m your gal.
I do still own regular clothes. They’re just sitting in the closet like museum pieces, like Nancy Reagan’s inaugural gowns. I realize I could wear anything I want to at any time at all, but I can see the vaccine light at the end of the tunnel and I want my black slacks and sweaters to be ready to spring into action when it is pronounced safe to go out to lunch once again.
Regular clothes. They’re my “when this is all over” stash. I’m sure I’ll have some adjustment to make then, too. Or maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be at Disney World in my Tinkerbell T-shirt and Mickey ears.