Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh, That Matronly Eye

Today, the Matron was sitting in a community meeting, innocently minding her own business . . . well, not really. She was at a neighborhood meeting, after all, which means she was attending to the entire NEIGHBORHOOD'S business and somehow got a gold star for her control freak ways.

But that's another blog post.

At said meeting, a particular disturbing sight caught her delicate eye. Across the room sat a man -- sort of pudgy, late forties she guessed, dressed in a casual button down short-sleeve shirt and khaki shorts. Nothing too alarming, right? But this casual button down short-sleeve shirt was unbuttoned halfway down its owner's chest. The shirt fell open, to the breast bone. The owner of the offending attire was wearing a crisp white t-shirt underneath the unbuttoned, button-down short-sleeve shirt which was almost worse than a bare hairy chest. Worse because the gaping neckline (well, nipple line) screamed "trying to be HOT even though I'm nearly 50" and the white t-shirt underneath said "I am SO not hot and I'm nearly 50."

The mid-calf white athletic socks and green Crocs completed that sentence.

This garb unduly bothered the Matron. Instead of neighborhood concerns--whose trash was piling up, what to do for National Night Out, why a stop sign wasn't approved, etc. -- she fretted about her exposure to such a frightful outfit. Damage, being done! What if the image is permanently imprinted in her brain?!

Poor Matron!

Because then she remembered that earlier that day, she ran into a friend -- a woman in her fifties -- who spent actual money (the kind that goes into a bank and can pay the mortgage) to have tiny teeny little braids woven into the side of her otherwise long straight hair--just like her teenage daughter. That's right: matching mother/daughter braids, with feathers in them.

This sent the poor fraught Matronly psyche hurtling back through time when her friends wore smocks -- one cannot rightfully call these creations dresses -- that matched their small daughters'. Grown women in apple green dresses with full skirts and pink etching on sleeves and scooped necks: just like their four -year olds!

Worse, somehow it was acceptable to be seen like this in public.

What about the man and woman she saw recently, walking side by side down an otherwise unobtrusive city street. The man wore a t-shirt with a big thumb pointing toward his female companion: "She's the Boss."

Hers? "Dealing in Dollars and Sex."

This nearly did the Matron in. Until she remembered the toddler with the mohawk. It was pink and stood about a foot off the little boy's head. The Matron's own far more perfect children didn't even have sufficient follicles to launch such head-gear at two, let alone the gumption to pull off pink.

At least the toddler wasn't wearing Crocs. If memory served, he had a runny nose, though, probably a result of the terrible tension caused by wearing one's hair straight up in spikes before you're old enough to say the word spike.

The images were bright, painful and unrelenting. Yours truly could simply not focus on whether or not the elm tree on the corner of 3rd street and Bates had succumbed to or conquered Dutch Elm Disease because she was awash in a psychological nightmare of polyester, large lace collars on grown women and butt cracks fighting jeans for air space. Things took a turn for the worse: the entire decade of the eighties descended. Growing Pains! Full House!

Gasping, she searched the room for relief. Not a Vogue in sight. The only magazine visible was a weathered copy of Redbook.

Of course, she survived to tell the tale. Otherwise she wouldn't be safely sitting here -- in the spare, well-balanced and carefully coordinated comfort of her office -- typing this late night blog post.

Wearing skinny jeans, a tank top without words or a four-year old matching side-kick and a smug little smile -- that disappeared when her husband walked in and said "why is your shirt on inside out?"

Of course, that was what she wore to the meeting.


Anonymous said...
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Kirsten said...

very funny! sounds like what would happen to me.

I'm all for a funny slogan or comment, but sometimes I think people forget that it's best to laugh and move on, not emblazon it their clothing.

Yesterday I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said, "all men are stupid, and I'm married to their king." How can that help anything?

abi's mom said...

The only reason that I knew I didn't write this is that you wrote it more eloquently than I ever could. One of my fave posts ever!

-R- said...

I love the surprise ending!

A woman once came for a job interview to my old office. She was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Calving peeing on something. She did not get the job.

Brandy said...


Oh, my. I was prepared to defend my 17-month old's crocs (easy to put on! can run them through the dishwasher! he actually WANTS to put them on!) but, thank you for owning up to your faux pas, from the woman who had her skirt lining tucked into her underwear yesterday, puffing up her already enormous butt to amazing proportions.

I've never been a fan of obnoxious t-shirts with words - though my oldest and his father have matching ones with bears in ties that say "some days I feel pretty average". However,I think that falls into clever, not obnoxious.

JCK said...

That man would have fit in perfectly the other day, when I was at the DMV.

I did not wear crocs or my shirt inside out, while there.

Neighborhoods can have the scariest creatures.

Anonymous said...

There is NO accounting for some people's taste, I guess, but I'm with you on certain things being WRONG.