Presentable?

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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…”

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8 responses »

    • That’s very true, Gretchen, the bright colors are best this time of year. I have hunters in the woods all around so now, during rifle season, our walk is limited to a very muddy track. We walk it back and forth, one-quarter mile each way, until I’m covered with burrs and I feel we have our exercise in. I can’t wait for mild winter days when we have the woods to ourselves again! Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  1. This so made me chuckle. The hunters here are out and about three days a week or, often, whenever it suits them, so I wear red and make lots of noise as I walk. And keep my fingers crossed. The pink parka reminds me of a light green London Fog coat I owned for years – bought it end of season sale – and the zipper broke, but the snaps still worked. It was a great coat to wear to put corn out for the pheasants in the back field the last few winters. I will miss that coat, but not the cold winters.

    • I am not familiar with weather in other parts of the world, so didn’t know what to expect for you in France. Milder than where you were in Canada, I guess. I was chuckling at myself, too, and how my standards have disappeared over the years. Thanks for reading, Joss, and for your comments!

    • I’ll prefer it when we have a nice snow cover, rather than all the cold rain that has left icy puddles on our paths. Still, just to be out in the weather on any kind of day is a good thing. I dress to be presentable every day that I work…on my day off, I don’t like to even think about it. Thanks for reading, Kathy, and for your comments!

  2. You make me laugh! I don’t worry–much–about being presentable either. Usually take off the sweat pants before going to town, though, and you gotta love that hunter orange this time of year, presentable or not!

    • In “Stones from the River” the protagonist talked about never walking around in cardigans like the mothers did. Later in life, she took great comfort in being wrapped in a sweater. Comfort, on my day off, trumps everything! Thanks for reading, Kathy, and for your comments!

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