Wardrobe Malfunction: Do What I Say, Not What I Do

Jul 27 2012

One of the greatest blessings of unmanageable chaos is the acceptance that I can’t do everything.

Or, more accurately, if I don’t always accept that I can’t do everything, at least I believe that if I do do everything most of it will be crap.

I’ve come to believe lately that my life is an experiment in holding things loosely and dropping balls. And then tripping over the balls I drop and stubbing my toe. And then cursing in front of the kids and apologizing for the cursing. And then trying to be retroactively gracious about being a Ball Dropper. So, you know, motherhood.

I suppose I just didn’t expect “dropping balls” to mean “going to work less than dressed.” Which is a funny expectation, really, because I’ve found myself getting in the car more than once on a workday with only my tights on and no skirt – true story – so there’s clearly a precedent. But I’ve always caught myself in time, and, blinders intact, I didn’t see this coming.

I told you I quit my job because I’m going to write. I didn’t know that I quit my job just in time because they were gonna haft to fire me for walkin’ around nekked.

My wrap dress is green and white knit, and it cost me an amazing $7 at the Old Navy outlet at the beach. It looks just like this,

except it bulges a tad more at the middle and it’s lumpier at the top and it requires a lacy tank top underneath because hello, ladies! 

Now, I admit I should’ve known that I’m not the right person for a real wrap dress. You would’ve known. You would’ve told me. You would’ve stopped me on that shopping expedition and said, “Beth. I know it’s only $7, and $7 is a steal. But this is no faux wrap dress, Beth. This is a real wrap dress with a real tie holding the entire contraption closed. And you are Janet Jackson at the Superbowl. There is no way that thing’s gonna stay tied. And when it comes untied – and it will, Beth; it will – don’t go yelling, EEK! Wardrobe Malfunction! like you didn’t know what was gonna happen. Have you even met you?”

I know, I know.

I know.

And I just want to say,

Thank God for breezes.

THANK GOD FOR BREEZES and for undeserved mercy.

Thank God.

Because, without those wintertime breezes – those rapid pulses of freezing air – that whipped again and again through my tights in the garage as I went to jump into my car, late for work and late for school drop-off and late for coffee, I may not have remembered in time that tights are not enough clothes and that I must also put a skirt over the top of them.

And without the breeze Monday morning – that warm gust of summer air that smelled like cut grass and gasoline – that blew my wrap dress WIDE open as I walked across the parking lot to my office for my very last Monday of work, I would almost certainly have walked into the office wearing an unwrap dress on just my shoulders and sporting my mid-thigh, flesh-colored, off-brand Spanx, my mostly-flesh-colored-except-for-the-Kool-Aid-stain-where-my-son-used-my-breast-as-a-napkin bra, and an inch and a half of actual, stretch-marked flesh playing peek-a-boo between my two undergarments.

“Go out with a bang,” they say.

I say, never trust a saying that hides behind “they.”

I say, don’t go out with a bang. That is TERRIBLE advice.

I say, keep your clothes on, Beth.

In conclusion, do what I say. Not what I do. For this is the root of all wisdom.