One Pair of Underpants at a Time
By: Ann Brown
My sister recently declared that she is going to take more pride in how she dresses. Which is a capital idea so I am going to do it, too. But with one caveat: unlike Karen, I am not going to change how I dress; I am simply going to take more pride in the schmatte crap I wear.
It’s all about attitude. Because it’s probably not all about my belief that if I wear earrings that are big and shiny enough, no one will notice that I am at the grocery store in my bathrobe.
Karen and I are the progeny of a clotheshorse mother with impeccable style. Mom is more put together when she is home in bed with the stomach flu than I am on any given workday. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Karen and I are the Woodstock generation, a generation that tore a hole in the middle of an Indian cotton bedspread and called it a wedding dress, a generation sandwiched between 1950’s shirtwaist dresses and 1980’s shoulder pads. We had more important things to do – integrating lunch counters, ending the war in Viet Nam, owning our orgasms – than learn how to pull together a casual weekend look.
Yes, well, Karen and I didn’t actually do those things – even to this day I only rent my orgasms because, you know, the maintenance on them is huge and they just sit around in my G-spot collecting dust -but we could have. Still, Mom’s style and commitment to looking good did not rub off on me. Wait, no, I take that back. I honestly believe I do look good when I am within the confines of my house. I gotta admit, sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “damn, girl, you are rockin’ those elastic waist stirrup Jeggings. And the way your roseacea doubles as blush? Brill.”
And then I leave my house. And I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window or something, and what I thought was a Yeti riding the ass of a homunculus turns out to be me in my rain poncho. And I must take pause.
I have made occasional stabs at improving my presentation. I walk into, say, the MAC store and ask some Kardashianista to show me, say, a purple pencil eyeliner. And she looks at me like I had just asked her to give me a pap smear, for fuck’s sake, and I slink outta there with my toady tail dragging behind me.
Still, it is better to light one candle than curse the darkness, so I will take one baby step towards improving my presentation. Tonight, I am going to clean out my closet and throw away all underpants I bought before the Gerald Ford Administration.
Or, you know what? Maybe I’ll just take more pride in the way Karen dresses.