Anyway. I only see her now and then because she lives in Ireland, but whenever we're home we try to visit, because in addition to her great legs she has a lovely house with a big bright kitchen extension and lots of toys for the kids to delve into, and three boys as well. And she has a really good sense of design, style, a good eye, whatever you like to call it. And she's a friend, so it goes without saying that she's a lovely person and an excellent conversationalist.
So we go to see her, and the next day, subliminially like, I wake up and think to myself, "I really must go shopping. I need to buy some skinny jeans. Or some leggings and long trendy tops. That's what I should be wearing. Why am I still wearing these bootleg flarey things? It's the second decade of the twenty-first century, for heaven's sake!" And it barely registers that I'm thinking this because I just saw my friend with the excellent legs and the eye for style sporting something like that and making it look like a million dollars.
Because my legs, while Fine, are not quite up there at Great. I have a shapely ankle, no doubt - Mr Darcy might even have been pleased with it - and my bosom can heave with the best of them, but my legs - well, if you were drawing them, you'd have to say that they go out at the top. I know most people's do; to be honest, if your calves were fatter than your thighs you'd probably have more of a problem than I'm talking about here. But mine go out just enough to make the wearing of the bootleggy flarey jeans of which I am so fond the other 362 days of the year, or so, make perfect sense.
So then I go shopping, and prowl around Debenhams and Next a few times (because they're tantalizingly, wallet-tinglingly close to where we're usually staying), and by the third exploratory trip for a scant twenty minutes stolen from Mabel's naptime I'm throwing caution to the winds and declaring that I have to buy something, anything at all, to make a change from the Gap jeans and Old Navy t-shirts that make up most of my wardrobe here in the US, where a non-churchgoing stay-at-home mom just doesn't ever need to dress up for anything more than a four-year-old's birthday party, and even then you don't want to look like you put too much thought into it for fear people will call CPS and tell them you were neglecting your children while you put on dangly earrings and shiny eyeshadow. The low-effort look is key, I mean.
Gosh, was that all one sentence? Sorry about that. Hope you fitted a breath in somewhere. You'd think someone would call in an editor or something, wouldn't you?
So I finally buy something uncharacteristically patterned or shaped, or for full price and not from a clearance rack, because it's my Irish money and bears no relation to the amount I would normally balk at paying over here in America, where I like to spend no more than 10 bucks on a t-shirt, whether it's for me or the three-year-old. And then I get back to America and I try it on and look at myself critically in the mirror and wonder whether I can pull this off nonchalantly as just what I'm wearing today, isn't it cute? thanks! or if it looks like I'm doing something Weird and Trendy and, I dunno, trying to pull a divorced daddy at the playground or something.
It's all in the attitude, I know. I wore my orange patterned tunic top over my capri jeans today and a couple of people said it was nice and most people completely ignored it, which is just about the level of input I was hoping for. But I'd better not get uppity and start putting on jewellery as well. Don't call CPS just yet.