I started my new job. I can’t tell you what it is, because it's too top-secret, and I might have to erase your memory banks if you should find out. However, suffice it to say: I have to wear business attire to an actual office.
I have been a mommy for close to eight years now. My current wardrobe options consist of shorts, t-shirts from Target, unfashionable swimsuits, sweats (also known as “pajamas” or “suitable enough for the grocery store”), jeans, baseball caps (to control unwieldy/ dirty hair), and taffeta ball gowns. Don’t ask me why I have taffeta ball gowns (or tiaras for that matter). They are left over from when I pretended I had somewhere important to go, like maybe to a wedding or a fancy party where they serve champagne in actual crystal flutes, or out to dinner at an elegant restaurant that did not have “Mc” in the title and paper placemats on the tables.
I guess what I am trying to say here is: I don’t have the right clothes for my new job. Not even close. I had the Interview Suit and the Follow-Up Interview Suit, and, well … that was about it. (For a brief moment-- very brief, okay maybe not that brief-- I contemplated wearing my United Airlines uniform as a nice suit option for one of the days. Sadly, I could no longer zip the skirt, and I realized that cute scarf I had held onto all these years since quitting was adorned with tiny airplanes-- all this time I thought they were triangles.) I went straight out to Nordstrom to correct this little wardrobe deficiency, only to be reminded that Nordstrom clothes cost more than my first five paychecks combined.
After wearing the Interview Suit and the Follow-Up Interview Suit on my first two days of work, I hit the department stores once again. I was lucky enough to find a big sale, and was able to buy a few nice pairs of pants that I can rotate in with the separate pieces from the initial Interview Suit.
Here’s what I did not factor into the clothing equation: walking the kids to the bus-stop in the morning. It is a short walk, but we are usually in a hurry, and the grass is wet and slippery, and I do not want to wrinkle my pristine new Office Fashions nor risk somehow slipping and getting mud on said outfit. Today I opted to wear normal MOV attire to the bus (read: shorts and a t-shirt) and then change after I got home before going to work.
The clock scowled at me. “MOV, not a smart move! Yes, you do have a very short commute, shorter than most people, but you are adding 15 minutes to your day! You might be late to your new top-secret job now!”
I don’t really like it when the clock has to offer its opinion, especially when it is right.
Today, my new boss had only scheduled me for a half day, to sort of “ease” me into the routine and get me acclimated to everything. Which means: I was able to pick up Short from the school bus after his half day of school. I had just enough time to change out of my Office Fashions before greeting the bus.
For a split-second, I thought that maybe I should have worn the Office Fashions on top of my regular clothes, then taken off the extra layers in a phone booth, like Clark Kent/ Superman, before I resumed my role as clever and beguiling Supermom.
Office Fashions/ mom clothes/ Office Fashions/ mom clothes. My brain was spinning over what I should wear to the bus-stop. And didn't I want to impress all the bus-stop parents with my new Office Fashions so they would all know I had a top-secret new job? Should I just stay in the Office Fashions, even though that brown splotch on the front of my blouse may or may not have been a coffee stain (and not part of a "flower pattern" as previously thought)?
It was tempting, but in the end, I ultimately did change into the only thing that was still clean and ironed in my closet: the taffeta ball gown.