After breakfast in the kitchen (where I tidied up the sink with a sheet of Kirkland Signature pick-a-size paper towel from Costco), and on my way to the bed- and bathrooms, I stop to love on my cat, who is lounging atop a printer cabinet, purchased at Walmart for about $30 and self-assembled. To make her sleeping area soft, I’ve given her a bath towel and one of my son’s old crib blankets, with a Disney Babies motif, purchased at Toys "R" Us in 1989. At 25 years of age, it qualifies (I think) as a genuine antique. When the cat wakes up from her nap, maybe I’ll steal her blankie and get it appraised on Antiques Road Show.
Okay, now it’s decision time. What to wear? I work in a corporate office, where the attire is Office Casual, and if there’s a more ambiguous phrase in the English language, I have yet to hear it. To me, “casual” means “sloppy.” My last job involved an 80-mile daily commute to a workplace that was dirty and noisy, and I was really glad to return to the home office, which is just a couple of miles from the house. I was able to get away with wearing company-logo microfiber shirts supplied by UniFirst; I wore pants that were seven or eight years old, frayed at the cuffs, faded from multiple washings. They looked much better when I first bought them at Kohl’s, bearing the Gloria Vanderbilt and Lee insignia. I typically wore striped ankle socks purchased at Big Lots, 4 pair for a dollar, and a pair of Champion athletic shoes, purchased at Payless. I also wore Fruit of the Loom and Hanes Her Way underwear, both synthetic and cotton varieties, purchased 10 to a pack at Walmart. My bra, a Playtex 18-hour, is so old, I don’t even remember where it came from. [Wait -- yes I do. I ordered it from One Hanes Place in 2007.] I’m referring to the one that fits, more or less. The other one was given to me as a gift from a co-worker whose mother died. Mom was the sort of person who would buy hundreds of dollars worth of clothes and never even take them off the hangers. This bra (a size too big) was one of those items. I’ll keep wearing it until I feel extravagant enough to buy a replacement in my size.
But in an office environment, I only get to wear denim on Fridays. And I don’t have a suitable pair of blue jeans for the office. All I have are Lee Relaxed Fit Boot Cut in black, purchased at Goodwill, where I have a loyalty card. I wear them once in awhile. My favorite jeans have paint splatters from a stint with Habitat For Humanity in 2005. They’re Lee Riders and so high-waisted, they qualify as Mom Jeans.
The footwear has improved, however. I can choose from Faded Glory tweed flats from Walmart, gray Jellypop loafers or RocketDog pink dressy flats from Shoe Carnival, Skechers boots from Zulily, or UnSensored faux patent loafers in my favorite color, fire-engine red, from Beyond the Rack. In a pinch, I can also wear my three-year-old tan Dexter boat shoes from Payless. I no longer worry about having a high instep (see my earlier post).
I choose an older pair of pale khakis, again Lee (even I see a pattern here), and a Croft & Barrow pullover from Kohl’s. I pull out a random pair of the aforementioned underwear, but instead of striped footy sox I nowadays opt for knee-hi’s. Today it’s a pair of Hanes Little Color, purchased on the Hanes website, with a modest return from Ebates. They look like they might have a run, so when my other pair gives up the ghost, I may have to BUY SOME MORE. Maybe they’ll stop calling me a barnacle!
[more soon] Analyze This, The Shower - part 4