There were a few – not many, but a few – times in my life when I checked the mirror to see just how good I looked.
In my sixty-one years, there have been a handful of instances where everything that I have to offer synchronized with the style of the moment…and I looked really good!
Kindergarten, no. Oxford-style saddle shoes emphasized my tiny ankles, skinny legs and knobby knees. White ankle socks continually migrated down into the shoes. Hand-me-down dresses were just a bit long for my small frame and I can remember having to frequently pull my underpants from where they’d wedged.
Most of my childhood followed that pattern.
There was a time, though, around 1969, when Twiggy was modelling mini-skirts and my skinny frame seemed to suit the styles.
There were days in the seventies where – in my worn jeans and tennis shoes – I felt very “of the moment.”
There was a brief period in the late eighties when slouchy socks, big sweaters and big hair made me look almost fashionable.
Most of my life, though, that quick look in the mirror was just to make sure I was “presentable.”
“Is my hair just awful?”
“Does this outfit make me look short?”
“Will the jacket hide my belly-fat, or make me look dwarf-like?”
These are the types of questions I would ask myself before heading out the door.
This morning, getting ready to walk the dogs, I put clothes right over the long underwear I had slept in: a paint spattered, long-sleeved black T-shirt, gray sweat pants purchased from the Re-Sale Shop and scissored to the correct length and a navy blue sweatshirt, inside-out. I added wooly socks in an off-white shade and faded red athletic shoes. Over that, the magenta parka that has seen better days. The front is stained and the zipper doesn’t grip, but it’s still warm. I pulled up the hood. Added gloves: one red, one blue.
I stole a glance in the mirror before I left the house.
This is November, after all.
Though – with their red plaid or blaze orange combined with “camo” and Carhartt‘s – they are not known for their fashion sense, there are hunters in these woods.
There is a possibility that I could encounter someone, while out on my walk.
I wasn’t pausing to appreciate my good appearance.
I wasn’t making sure I was presentable.
What I said out loud as I stopped to check the mirror was, “Okay, let’s see how bad I look…”