My favourite outfits have always turned out to be the ones which did not make an impression hugging a hanger. They looked plain, boring, even bordering on ugly sometimes. They’re the kind most people would walk on by, but I’ve always found these turn out to be the best ones.
You’re trying that on?! Jess is scowling.
Yep. I am.
Now let’s get this straight right off the top.
I HATE shopping.
So I only go twice a year. Christmas. And once with my daughter, Jessica, cause I feel all guilty that somehow she’s deprived because she has a mother who detests shopping. As if that isn’t bad enough, I have several rules attached to this bi-annual torture session. NO MALLS. Just cute little random stores…my personal local fav is La Fontaine. AND she cannot try on every outfit in the store. She’s like a chocolate addict who hasn’t had a hit in a while, and all of a sudden she’s Charlie in the Chocolate factory.
But you know what’s crazy?! As soon as I’m in a store surrounded by beautiful clothes and strappy shoes and shiny rings and things, I TURN INTO A SHOPAHOLIC. A lusting, drooling maniac who is convinced she can’t live without that sequinned beach gown and fur ear muffs and six inch studded stilettos and … you get the point. I pretty much lust after all the weirdest things in the store which I will never wear and probably only Miley Cyrus would. But in the heat of the moment, I imagine an instagram photo of me on a Mexican beach standing on my head, said sequinned beach gown flowing about me, inspiring yogis everywhere to stand on their heads in sequinned beach gowns. Cause that’s what yogis need. And another thing, once I’m on the Mexican beach, all that matters to me is which one of the books I will read. I could care less about the gown or the suit or the any other thing besides the book. Thee book. that is all. I have several sequinned beach gowns with tags still attached. But there is not one book in my life which has been neglected.
So, in a misguided attempt to discourage myself from buying anything, and to pass the time while Jess tried on everything in the store, I started trying on all the stuff that looked like nothing. The plain brown rice stuff or the french fries without vinegar stuff.
And countless times I’ve heard a saleslady say, No one’s ever tried this, but wow; it’s gorgeous.
Draped on a body, these plain Janes can take on a life of their own. Personality shining through, the fabric falls gently around the body, hugging and flirting in all the right places, their colours vibrating. I become the sun. Wearing the moon.
Well, it turns out it’s the same way with guys. But you’ll never know unless you try them on.
I had this girlfriend who had a list for the type of guy she wanted to date. It was detailed, and included hair colour, height, and annual earnings.
Also no beards. no motorcycles. and no tattoos. Okayyyy I admit, those three combined may sound a little scary, but she meant separately also. In other words, he could be perfect in every way, but if he had a beard, it was a no-go.
Plus, he had to own a cottage. I mean what kind of a decent guy doesn’t own a cottage?!
Without realizing it, I also had my own mental checklist for Thee perfect man. Fun was at the top of the list, and I wanted smart. Now. How do you measure fun? and smart? especially with first impression guidelines? I figured fun meant outgoing, and smart meant educated. Then I met Marshall. In a running group I joined. He was cute and could be even cuter with the right haircut and minus the old-man jeans. He looked ten years younger than his age… I was 47 at the time and thought he was no more than 40 … turns out he was 3 years, 4 months, and 8 days older than me!!! And, trust me, I never let him forget that.
But he never said a word. Now, here’s the thing. When I’m in a group, I never shut up. And if someone is quiet, it becomes my life goal to help them open up. I thought I had a real ice-breaker because at the time I had a cat named Marshall. I figured if I shared this, he would tell me about his name and why he came to be named Marshall (after his uncle who died of cancer which I found out 3 years later), and I would tell him that Matt had named Marshall the Cat after Eminem whose real name was also Marshall ….
Hey! I’m terrible with names (truth) but I’ll remember yours because I have a cat named Marshall!
His response?! Silence. And half a crooked smile.
W.T.F? Repeated attempts to help Marshall open up ended in very short responses and silence. Yikes, I started to think, he’s just a bloody a-hole.
Once, I remember asking How do you run for three hours without music? He smiled, and responded I like to hear the sounds of the earth. Now that’s an answer that can make a dreamer like me get all breathy but MOTHERF***ER. I should have guessed it. I went home and told Matt He’s gay. Matt was surprised that a quiet guy had opened up so much He told you that? I hesitated Well, not exactly, but sort of. Matt wanted details. I shrugged He doesn’t like music when he runs because he likes the sounds of the earth. After Matt stopped laughing, he told me he also liked the same sounds when he was running. Plus he liked girls.
Several years later when M was single again, he asked me to have coffee. I almost said no. He was too quiet for me. We were like night and day. But something drew me like that unassuming dress which always calls my name. So I said yes. Soon, I learned that he had never gone to university. But he talked a lot, and he was intelligent, and he made me laugh.
He said a word that I googled when I got in the car.
This was the beginning of my own moral weakening. And the first of many words he would teach me. I was hooked.
Funny. M has all the qualities which are said to be the worst ones men should use on a dating profile.
Spiritual … come on! he likes the sounds of the earth when running. I like the sounds of Rage Against the Machine.
Respectful … opens my car door every time and, except for this vice, I’d be a feminist.
Good listener… unbelievable.
I’m glad I tried him on. Draped on my body, he takes on a life of his own. His personality shines through. Colours vibrate. We flow in all the right places.
And I am the sun.
Under the spell of the great moon.
Night and Day.
PS. He doesn’t own a cottage. or a motorcycle. He has a very close-cut beard. And by May 30th, he will be tattooed.
PSS. His tattoo will not say Kim. or Moon.
Happy Anniversary, Mr President ❤