Day Writing: Fashion trends
I was surprised while Christmas shopping this year to discover a fashion big trend of work boots, leggings, plaid tops over a graphic t-shirt, and casual winter hats. Pondering how such a combination came to be lead to the following fictitious explanation.
A ranch wife, we’ll call her Emily, had been helping her husband one morning. She came inside, stripped off her dirty jeans in a mostly useless attempt to prevent additional dirt from spreading throughout her home, and padded to the kitchen in her long johns to start the dishes. She was nearly done and eyeing the stack of bills and sleeping baby who had been up twice in the night, when her husband burst in. The feeding tractor broke down. The small town nearby didn’t have the right part, but the larger town two hours away had it in stock with, you guessed it, Emily’s name written on it.
Time was of the essence her husband unnecessarily explained, as the pair hurriedly checked the diaper bag and loaded a car seat, toys, snacks, coffee and her purse into the only pickup with a working heater. Within a half hour she and a fussy baby were on their way while the toddler gave a thumbs up at being left home with dad.
An hour into the trip the baby settled down to sleep, and Emily began running over her grocery list in her mind, praying she didn’t forget anything in light of the actual list being left hanging on the fridge. After convincing herself she had all the major items memorized in order of their location in the store, she relaxed and determined to enjoy her unexpected change in plans for the day.
It was about 15 miles out of town that her phone rang. She reached for her back pocket to grab it, only to realize it wasn’t there, and she had no back pocket. Emily looked down in horror at her long john clad legs and newer pair of work boots. The phone’s continued ringing eventually pierced her brain, and she answered, told her husband that yes, she would swing by the feed store to get the implants, but to call ahead so they were ready for her, then hung up.
What to do. She wasn’t the sort of gal to run around in pants that left nothing to the imagination, especially after two kids. She looked around frantically for a solution as she hit the suburbs. The only option was her husband’s flannel shirt/jacket that he wore during that odd season between fall and winter. She wrestled it away from a clingy pile of twine on the passenger floorboard and got it yanked on over the electric company t-shirt she won at the annual meeting last year, silently thanking God it had been recently washed.
At her first stop, the post office, she got the front of the plaid shirt/jacket tucked in a little, and left the back long because it at least left something to the imagine from mid-thigh up. Opening a package from her college roommate revealed a cute, name brand winter hat as a late birthday present. Figuring it was an improvement over her current hair-do, she shoved it on and silently praised her friend for her ability to still help out in a pickle with something practical and cute.
As the last of her pre-mom/wife composure and fashion sense faded into oblivion, she opted not to drive past all her stops to the far side of town for a new pair of pants, and instead turned into the first business on her list. At least, she thought, if she had to come to town in her underwear, she hadn’t chosen July.
Emily blew through the grocery store in her unlikely get-up, thankful the cooler weather also meant she didn’t have to leave this stop until last, and for the fact that she had worn her new, black long johns that day. It could have been much worse.
She argued with the parts guy, who gave her an odder look than normal – the man already thought she was half crazy and would probably never be convinced otherwise after seeing her that day. After showing him the broken part she had insisted her husband send along – this wasn’t her first parts run – Emily left with the right piece plus filters because they were on sale. She may have redeemed herself slightly in his eyes at being able to rattle off the filter numbers for two tractors and three pickups. Four more “quick” stops, two diaper changes and baby feedings, one conversation with herself at the hardware store that garnered a few more looks and she was grateful to be headed back to the peace and quiet of home at seven miles per hour over the speed limit. There had been a few raised eyebrows, but she had survived, and even remembered before dropping out of cell service that she forgot to stop at the feed store, called, and had the implants shipped.
All in all a successful day, if humbling. Imagine her surprise when, on her next trip to town, she saw several women dressed as she had been. Seemingly on purpose. When she mentioned it to her husband, he simply asked, “You went to town in your long johns?!”