Katarina never used to be the type of person that changes her outfit five times a day, but somehow that is who she has morphed into now.
We meet for coffee: she looks runway ready in Outfit #1, a silk dress with an avant-garde print of leaves and dots, accessorized with a chunky wood necklace. I happen to run into her at the grocery store later the same day (buying cleaning supplies): she has apparently changed into fashionable Outfit #2, a flawless ivory blouse with a beaded collar paired with a ruby red linen skirt with a cut-out design at the hem. I swing by her house later to drop off some brownies I made for her family, and she is wearing (you guessed it) Outfit #3, a purple cashmere tank top, long green skirt with random sequins sewn on, and five-inch heels. She tells me she would love to invite me in, but she and her husband are getting ready to go out for dinner. I tell her to have fun and that I love her skirt. She replies, “Oh, heaven help us! I am not wearing this!”What happened to Katarina?
I mention this dramatic transformation to The Husband. He shrugs. “What do you expect, MOV? Her husband is a neurosurgeon and she is a mom. She has the time, he has the money, why not buy some new clothes in Paris?”Katarina’s fashion obsession has rubbed off on her twin high-school-aged daughters. They are teenaged versions of her: gorgeous, gregarious, and wearing beautiful French clothes at all times. The whole family looks as though they have stepped off the pages of an ultra-stylish magazine, or at the very least, an elite French catalog called, “Glamourez-Vous.” Katarina does not own jeans nor will she even discuss it with me.
I begin to develop a complex. I cannot merely show up at Katarina’s house in a faded t-shirt and khaki shorts. I start ironing my sundresses and looking for my pearl bracelet. Katarina has pushed my wardrobe to a new level: Thought About. My wardrobe used to live in that careless and ambivalent place called Afterthought, but no longer!Katarina calls me last week and asks when we can get together. My schedule is full, and the only time I have is when I am supposed to be school-supply shopping for Tall and Short.
“Katarina, do you want to go to Target with me on Tuesday night? We could grab a Starbucks after?”I go to pick her up. I am wearing a Katarina-worthy outfit: a fuchsia taffeta ball gown and a glittery rhinestone tiara. There is Katarina at the door: she’s wearing jeans with a hole in the knee. She takes one look at me and smiles: “MOV, thank God, you are finally dressed appropriately!”