Tag Archives: clothes

1760. Penny-farthing excursions

I saved up money for a considerable time to purchase a penny-farthing. My wife wanted a new set of pots for the kitchen, but first things first. Nearly every male of age in this town is out and about on their penny-farthing every Sunday afternoon. My wife wanted to try riding it and I said, “Goodness me no, darling. Not in that dress!” Before one could blink the hem of her skirt would get tangled in the spokes of the wheel. And what a disaster! How very unlady-like! Of course, it would be my entire fault letting a woman onto what is clearly designed for the male anatomy. It’s a bit like riding a horse. But on a horse women ride side-saddle, and one could hardly expect a woman to ride side-saddle on a penny-farthing. How would one peddle?

The first time I went out (of course I’d been practising my balance in the backyard behind the house) I went with three friends on a Sunday jaunt. Such freedom! Such speed! The second time I went out was the last. I was with a larger group. We bicycled I suppose ten miles into the country and back. It was a wonderful experience.

As I said, that was the last time I went out on the penny-farthing. I wouldn’t be seen dead on it these days. You see, my wife and her so-called emancipated friends made fun of my tight pants.

1628. Tatty blues

Gazing out the window at his clothes on the line Bruce realised just how tatty his clothes had become. Not only that, but everything was blue. What was needed was a visit to town and some new clothes. Fliers advertising the coming season’s garments had just come in the mail. This was the answer to a prayer:

New range of colours in our Spring Collection! Join in the innovative springtide riot! Throw all caution to the wind with our symphony of hues!

Feeling a desire to “branch out” this was an invitation to recklessness. Bruce got in his old truck and headed for town.

There they were! Row upon row of the new season’s clothes! All black or a lovely shade of grey. The swimming gear was black with white dots. There was one white shirt in different sizes, and (ah! one colour amidst the dismal rows) three pullovers in dark, dark green.

The next time Bruce hung his washing on the line it was identical to the previous load of laundry: all blue and quite, quite tatty.

1606. Why be morbid?

The plan was to dress eccentrically. That’s what the invitation said. It read, well in advance of the event, that on the last day of the coming month, Shane’s funeral would be held after he had been put down humanely by Elaine and the rest of the family. Dress eccentrically.

Well! What a conundrum it caused! What a hubbub! Shane, who hadn’t been at all ill but was generally tired of life, was to be put down. There was nothing unusual in that. Elaine had done it twice before to previous husbands. In fact the joke went around that being married to Elaine was the main cause why her (now third) husband had requested a humane demise. But that was not what the hubbub was about. That was not the conundrum.

The bother that sent all into a tizzy was what to wear. What comprises eccentric? Is it colour? Is it design? Is it a combination of both? Shona and her two inseparable “friends” were in a quandary. In the end, on the morning of the funeral, they dressed conservatively in cut, but with fabric that Nigel had found on the cheap at the second hand store. It was partly floral, and excessively loud. If they turned up to the funeral with a brightly coloured cocktail and a handful of sticky spaghetti it would possibly steal the show.

And steal the show they did! Elaine said afterwards that it was well worth putting Shane down just to wring out of her three best friends such a display of bizarre vibrancy. She particular liked the spaghetti touch and Jock promised that when it happened again he would bring some meatballs!

What a worthy lesson for us all! How much nicer is it to have a happy funeral, rather than mooch around like it’s the end of the world? All agreed. It was such fun! They couldn’t wait to do it again!

Now who’s next?

1524: Funeral arrangements

The cold, hard reality was that Amelia had nothing to wear. Now was hardly the appropriate time to go shopping for clothes. It was her own fault. She had been given a good six months to think ahead, during her husband’s final illness, and now that George had passed on she still had nothing fitting to wear to his funeral.

It’s not exactly true that she had been remiss in looking ahead. She had purchased a beautiful outfit. Black. The matching hat had black lace to hide her reddened mourning eyes. The dress looked fabulous once the jade and diamond brooch had been brought out of its bank vault to see the light of day; a green and dazzling piece of jewellery that was unspeakably beautiful against the black fabric.

Unfortunately Amelia had worn that ensemble to Fiona’s husband’s funeral three weeks earlier. Amelia wouldn’t be seen dead in the same outfit twice. It was most inconsiderate of Fiona’s husband to drop off just a few weeks prior to her George.

There was only one thing for it; in the closet, Amelia had a stunning floral frock. It verged on the outrageous; it was brash, garish, loud. She had bought it to upstage everyone at her daughter’s wedding but the wedding had most fortunately been cancelled. A despicable man; and not at all good-looking.

Yes! The floral dress was the answer. Amelia hastily penned a note for the newspaper’s funeral announcement: For his funeral George requested that we wear something bright.

1430. Frumpy Gabriella

There were two words in the English language that Gabriella despised: “frock” and “frump”. “Frock” because, even though it wasn’t, it sounded like something her great grandmother would wear. “Frump” because it sounded as if the woman concerned was dumpy, like a sack of wheat.

To be honest, Gabriella wasn’t God’s gift to the planet when it came to looks. She was slightly portly even though she was only sixteen. And she never dressed particularly fashionably because she didn’t have that much money in her weekly allowance.

She used to be teased at school. “You’re a frump in a frock” the other kids would shout. “A frump in a frock.”

Gabriella went to quite a fashionable shop to look for something nice that she might be able to afford, like a scarf or something. She did! She found a beret that she thought made her look quite smart. After purchase she filled out a form that asked why you would buy such an item of clothing. Gabriella wrote, “Because kids call me a frump in a frock”. And it won! It won! Gabriella didn’t even know it was a competition! She won ten thousand dollars’ worth of fashionable items!

1351. It pays

Robin was at the end of his tether. He was fairly well educated, highly competent, and unemployed. He had applied for dozens of jobs, got two or three interviews, and still no job. He wondered if it was because his clothes were a bit tatty. They weren’t torn or anything, but they just looked old and shoddy.

At last, he got another job interview! He washed his sole remaining respectable shirt, carefully decreased his trousers, and cleaned his shoes. But, oh woe! His shirt, for some reason, came out of the wash with blotchy blue stains on it.

Robin figured it was to be all or nothing. He had seventeen dollars left. He would go to the Men’s Wear store and buy a shirt for seventeen dollars or less.

Herman, the owner of the Men’s Wear store, was most disarming. Robin explained to him that he needed to buy a shirt for an job interview, but could spend only up to seventeen dollars.

“It’s your lucky day!” exclaimed Herman gleefully. “We shall get you shoes, socks, shirt, belt, tie, and trousers, and all for seventeen dollars! And,” he added, “we shall get you a fashionable haircut as well.”

When it came to pay, Herman wouldn’t take a penny. “It’s now on the house,” he said.

Robin went to the interview feeling like the King of Siam. It was an interview for a minimum wage job. Why he needed to be interviewed by the business owner himself for the job was any one’s guess. Robin thought the interview went quite well.

“You’ve missed out on the job,” said the business owner at the end of the interview. “I’m sorry.”

Robin was disappointed.

“But there’s another job I’d like you to take,” said the business owner. “It pays a tidier sum – like $160,000 a year. Would you be interested?”

Robin was over the moon. He accepted. He left for home on a high.

However, it always pays to look both ways when crossing the road.

1247. You are almost

There’s no need to fret and get upset. All I said was “You’re almost skinny enough to be a model”. I meant it as a compliment. It’s true – you are almost skinny enough to be a model. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no need to get upset about it.

Try to remember the positive – like the time you were fat and repulsive and you decided to do something about it. And you did. You lost a lot of unnecessary weight and you should be proud of what you’ve achieved and not upset about it. Of course, going on a diet like you did, can’t do anything about looks. That’s not my responsibility. Nor yours, to be frank. You can’t improve the face God gave you without a great deal of expense. Yet, you are almost pretty enough to be a model.

But being overweight is something you can do something about, and you did. Although all your old clothes no longer fit, and you look like a rag doll, that’s no reason to spend most of your time in tears, blubbering away like some God-forsaken lamb dressed as mutton. If you could perhaps adapt your clothes a bit I would say that you would almost be dressed well enough to be a model.

So, to sum up: you are almost skinny enough to be a model, you are almost pretty enough to be a model, and you would almost be dressed well enough to be a model to advertise the can of beans on our supermarket brochure. But you don’t quite tip the scales.

Next!

Poem 56: There was no starlight in her eyes

There was no starlight in her eyes
when I asked her for a dance,
but she was the only wallflower left, and
beggars can’t be choosers.

There was no starlight in her eyes.
She cavorted to the beat like a waddling duck;
her arms flayed like a windmill. Yeah,
beggars can’t be choosers.

There was no starlight in her eyes.
Her clothes didn’t match her hair;
they looked like hand-me-downs. See,
beggars can’t be choosers.

There was no starlight in her eyes.
I guess that goes with being blind.

 

 

1007. Laundering

6washing

I’m having a terrible time trying to get the washing dry. I hung it out this morning – just my husband’s shirt and trousers and things – but it’s been raining all day.

The neighbour stuck her head out her window and asked why I was hanging the washing on the line when it was raining? What does your husband think of you standing in the rain hanging out the laundry? Nosey Parker.

So, the clothes won’t dry, but that’s alright. I was thinking I’d take my husband’s things and put them in the Salvation Army’s used clothing bin. I’ll do that once they’re dry.

I suppose the bullet hole in the back of the shirt won’t matter. As long as it’s clean.

970. Buying shirts

951shirts

And you thought buying clothes for an eleven year old girl was hard! Just try buying shirts for an eleven year old boy! Kimberley took her son shopping for a couple of shirts.

It was one of those department stores that have a bit of everything, and a reasonable range of boys’ clothing. Nathan wanted to try everything on. Does it match? Is it the right size? Will I grow out of it too soon? The pattern wasn’t right, it was too girly.

Kimberley was at the end of her tether. “It doesn’t matter, dear. They all look nice. Just make a choice.”

But Nathan had to try on one more shirt.

That was when the terrorist bomb went off.