Don’t Like My Outfit


Last night one of the lenses popped out of my eyeglasses.

No big deal; the screw had just come loose. It was still there – it just needed to be tightened.

The problem was, as everyone around the world knows, when this happens, you hand your glasses to Jonathan and he’ll go to whatever drawer he’s allocated to eyeglass repair and pull out the little eyeglass kit and he’ll fix your glasses. That’s what he does; that is his self-appointed purpose in life.

Except… dead husband.

I couldn’t find the little kit. So I put the glasses in a case and made a mental note to leave a little early for my session with Barbara today at 11 so I could stop by the eye glasses place and get them to repair it. (And what if they couldn’t? How would I choose a new pair of eyeglasses without Jonathan there to critically examine fifty or sixty frames on my face before pronouncing “That’s the one?”)

This morning I got up thinking that I needed to just carve enough time this morning to make a shopping list – I want to make a cake for my sister’s birthday on Thanksgiving (trying something new and just a little bold this time), and Chip had a recipe for mujaddara lentils with spiced yogurt that I think I can put together. If I make my shopping list, I can go to the eyeglasses store and then be at Body Dynamics at 11 for Barbara, and Chad’s stretch class at noon, and then the grocery store, and still be back when Rusty gets home from college this afternoon … and make the cake tomorrow for Thanksgiving on Thursday, and make the lentils – when? I’ll figure it out.

Barbara has me doing the barest rudimentary form of interval training and I HATE it, but despite the fact that I slept for about three hours last night (just couldn’t stay asleep), I know that when my mood is black, exercise really WILL help me feel better, so I was forcing myself to gather up work-out clothes when the phone rang.

My mother, using her “bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed” voice. “I’ll take you to lunch at Tempo and then we’ll go to the wholesale florist to buy gorgeous blooms to make a lovely centerpiece for Thanksgiving!”

“I really can’t – I’m working out at 11 and 12.”

“Well, this won’t take long. Come on.”

“I can’t even get to Tempo until 1:30, and I’ll be in work-out clothes.”

“Oh, they won’t mind!” (It’s not the Tempo staff I worry about, given that my mother has the  most critical eye on the planet.)

“No, I don’t think it will work today.”

(Suddenly near tears.) “Oh. Well. I just need to get OUT.”

And that did it. I said I’d go. I’m a sucker for the near-tears of a crazy old lady. One day she will be gathered to her great reward and I’ll miss even her craziness. And I know what she was saying is “I’m a widow TOO, and I’m too old to keep up with everything and I’m lonely and often confused and I need your help.”

So I cast around for something I could put over my work-out clothes so she wouldn’t look at me at lunch as if I’d just recited Lenny Bruce monologs from the pulpit of St. Paul’s Church. I knew I had one more new pair of long pants to work out in – there they were. But – ech. They’re like grey plastic sweatpants; so hideous. And the long-sleeved workout shirts are all in the laundry (why didn’t I do the wash this weekend? Why am I such a slacker?) and the sleeveless outfit looked like grim death with the grey pants. And I couldn’t find anything to pull over the whole ugly mess so as to appear even slightly acceptable at lunch and at the wholesale florist, wherever that is.

I didn’t like my outfit. So I canceled Barbara and Chad both.

When your husband dies, people say “Be kind to yourself. Don’t try to do too much.”  People also say “Exercise releases endorphins; it regulates mood and will help you feel better.” People really need to get together and agree on one unified school of advice, because I’m not in a good space, logically, and I’m tempted to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head, where – if last night is the pattern – I will stare uselessly at nothing and wish vainly for sleep.

Oh, it’s a pity party today at the Amazing Adventures of A Fat Lady in Fitness Land. Wot laffs!


What a drama queen.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Like My Outfit

  1. Oh man, what a sucky day. And how is a gal supposed to make any decisions with lists that long?
    I say — cook some lentils and run up and down the stairs a couple of times.
    Or maybe up and down the stairs and THEN the lentils. Cardio and kindness.
    And you don’t need your glasses for either one.
    Or maybe just go back to bed with a good novel. Do you have a good novel?
    If not, write one.
    Cuz you need something else on your list….


  2. It isn’t fair when our precarious house of cards comes tumbling down at once. Why can’t just one card slip a bit, so we could nudge it back into place. Or how about cosmic superglue to hold it all together. I’m with Sarah, but how about a trashy romance or murder mystery. Bed sounds like a good place to be until the planets realign and you are able to get those endorphins surging. And I do hope you cancelled on your mother. NO ONE needs a critical eye in this situation!


  3. And, of course, it IS November. And, yuh, EVERYthing came tumbling down in & on you all t’once. What’s a woman to do? A little blues playin’ in the background? Or maybe a bit of AC/DC? Or some fine Stevie Ray Vaughn? P’haps a movie while making lentils cake (ewww)? “Nightmare before Christmas” has great music! And then there’s sleepless nights books … I’m working my way through Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series … with a bit of “Why Buddism is true” thrown in … OH! The Best: “The sound of a wild snail eating”, Elizabeth Tova Bailey is probably the best I’ve read in a very long time (and it’s short, lol). And, yes, exercise induced endophins … stair-work IS good-work. Big ol’ hug.


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