Initially, I suspected that it was the next-door neighbor lady’s catalog. We sometimes get her cruise brochures for world cruises that my parallel self (Wealthy MOV) can easily afford. The first time that happened, I didn’t notice that the name on the mailing envelope did not match the one on my driver’s license. I mean, really, the mail was put in my mailbox—why would I stop to inspect if it is addressed to me? Isn’t that what the mailman is paid to do? It wasn’t until I had spent three hours going over every itinerary, highlighting favorites, folding down pages, and ripping out pictures of Spain that I stopped to look at the label on the back: oh, Dolores Johnston. Oops. I guess Dolores would not be getting back this particular issue.
Anyway, I looked at the name on the J.Crew catalog: President MOV. Okay, so they spelled my name right. I wonder what I was President of now. I noticed that American Express had included a special exclusive offer to me, A Valued Cardholder, in A Limited Time Offer in Partnership with Fashion Forward J.Crew. I was excited to read exactly what the special exclusive offer entailed (turns out it was a coupon for 20% off if I ordered by tomorrow and paid with my American Express card).
The cover of the J.Crew catalog was graced by a lovely model couple standing on a rocky hillside: he, looking macho and sexy in a I’m-going-to-work-outside-all-day kind of way, and she, looking waifish and Hollywood glam in her oversized sunglasses, button down blouse, Kelly green long skirt, and bright coral lipstick in a I’m-going-to-pose-all-day-and-then-vomit kind of way.
|"We always look away from each other, because we're in love."|
“She looks really old,” said Tall, studying her unlined face. “I’m gonna say 20.”
The Husband was out of earshot, so when I repeated the question for him a few minutes later, he was completely uninfluenced by Tall. “Wow, she looks super-young, I’ll guess 14.”
Short was to be the tie-breaker in our quest for J.Crew girl’s correct age. He had heard the other answers, so I feared his response would be skewed. “Mommy, Tall is right. She does look old. About like you. I’m going to have to say …” (long dramatic pause), “80.”
|"I'm really really old."|
Instead, let’s talk about the clothes. I had the wonderful idea that maybe I could find something to wear to my impending job interview. There is a J.Crew store right here in Crazy Town, so if something in the catalog really sang to me, I could zip over to the store, try it on, and (in theory) buy it. I flip to page 005 (I am not making it up, that is how the catalog has chosen to number their pages—as if they go up to 999. They don’t. They go up to 076.). I see a super-cute pink sequined top.
|"I'm on my way to that job interview now ..."|
The pink cami costs $420. I spit out my Girl Scout cookies. $420? Are they crazy? For a top? That you most likely cannot wear more than five times because your friends will start saying things like, “Oh, God, there is MOV in that pink sequined top again, does she not own anything else?” (*Note: I would not actually own anything else if I had spent $420 on the camisole. There would be no money left.) But it gets better: The 80-year-old teen model wears the three-digit price tag top with … (wait for it) shorts. Not a silk skirt. Not linen pants. Just shorts. Cotton shorts.
Enough time wasted on that page. I flip to page 016 and 017. I see some outfits that maybe J.Crew is recommending for work: blouses paired with pencil skirts.
|"I'm applying for a job as a Yoga Instructor, that's why I'm bending this weird way."|
|"This is what I wear to go to Trader Joe's to buy pretzels."|
J.Crew has a message, and that message is: we are not Target. So I take my Target budget and get in the car and drive to Target and buy a new white interview blouse. For $17.