Tuesday, December 17, 2013

978. The Set-Up

“Mommy, will you always remember me?”

“Of course!”

“Yes!” I enthuse.
“Next week?” he persists.

I nod. 
“Knock-knock,” he grins.

“Who’s there?” I dutifully respond.
Aghast, he shrieks, “You don’t remember me!”

Trifecta challenge:  make us laugh in just 33 words

Friday, December 13, 2013

977. Wintry Mix

We live in a part of the country that gets hit by big storms this time of year.  I expect that.  Not embrace, so much, just expect and tolerate. 

What I did not expect, and have some difficulty tolerating (or even understanding) is this new thing the meteorologists like to call, “wintry mix.”  The cute blond weather girl bobs her head up and down, cheerfully explaining that we must have our ice scrapers at the ready because she anticipates a “wintry mix” on Saturday.  She smiles as if someone has just told her she won a new car.  Smile, smile, enthusiastic nod, wintry mix.    
I’m not even sure I am spelling it correctly.  Is it “wintry” or “wintery” or “wintree”?  It’s hard to spell something when you don’t know what the heck it is.   

I do what I always do when I want information but am too lazy to type it into Google:  I ask The Husband.
“What’s this ‘wintry mix’ all about?” 

“What do you mean?”  He stops reading his book and gives me a look as if I had asked why oranges are orange. 
“Well, what is it?” 

“MOV, you know.  Snow, ice, freezing rain.  Wintry mix.”  He shrugs.  His shrug says Oranges are orange, don’t ask me again. 
“Then why don’t they say ‘snow, ice, freezing rain’?” I inquire thoughtfully.  “That would make more sense.” 

“Well, they don’t know which one it’s going to be.  See, at certain altitudes, if the cold air is intercepted by precipitation, then it could be hail, depending on the temperature.  But if warm air is trapped under the clouds, it might only be rain.  Snow happens when the temperature stays below 32 degrees, but it is hard to predict because if they are even off one or two degrees, it could change.”
I was scrunching up my face, trying to listen, but honestly he had lost me at “altitudes.”  Sure, I was a flight attendant for 10 years, but the only altitude I had to remember was 35,000 feet.

Once again, I was being punished because I was from California.  No one in California in their right mind would say, “summery mix,” as in:  a mix of sunshine, ocean breeze, and chirpy bird noises.  Summery mix is implied by the mere fact that the zip code starts with a 9 and a 2.  (A 9 followed by an 8 is Seattle.  I wonder if they have “rainy mix” there.)
I look out the window, confused.  It is pure, fluffy snow.  I want to call it “snow,” but I know better.  Wintry mix, to me, sounds like it should be some elaborate cocktail involving vodka, Sambuca, and liquid nitrogen. 

I walk in the kitchen and am vaguely disappointed that we never purchased any liquid nitrogen, like they always have in the pantry on my favorite TV show, Top Chef.  Straight vodka would have to suffice. 
Wintry mix, indeed.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

976. That Plucky Writer

I have written three books.  Really, they have written themselves, I just sort of vomited up all the words. 

I take the books off the shelf now and marvel at them, thinking, I did this!  This thing in my hands did not exist before me! 
I imagine it’s exactly like the person who built the Duomo felt.  Well, people.  It was probably a lot of people.  And they most likely died during that time, since it took 140 years to complete.

So, to clarify, I don’t feel dead. 

What I meant, was, it’s a big accomplishment.  Not to brag, though.  I don't have a t-shirt with “I’m an Author!” printed on the front.  (Although, to my darling husband if you are reading this:  potential Christmas present?) 

It’s not like I’m rich and famous or anything.  I don’t have a cleaning lady, and Oprah still won’t return my calls.  But, FYI, I would take rich over famous any day of the week.  Think about it:  if you are famous, you are hounded relentlessly.  If you are rich but no one knows who you are, you can just go about your business, buying jets or 2nd houses in Belize (or 25th houses in Belize) and no one cares. 
Writing does not make you rich.  I found that out.  What it does make you is neurotic.  I carry a little notebook around and pluck it out of my pocket to jot down quick notes.  Actually, since I bought my new iPhone, I dictate to SIRI.  SIRI sometimes misspells things or misinterprets things, and I am left to decipher later:  What the hell does “Thistle turns green” mean??  Why was that important? 

SIRI is helpful with directions, though.  I use her as my GPS.  She never says in a snotty tone, “Recalibrating,” when I miss my turn.  She calmly gives me a new route. 
And then I say, “Read me my last note, SIRI,” and she says, “You are bitch and famous, or you will be moon.”    

trifecta writing challenge/ 333 words/ required word is "pluck"

**Shameless self-promotion:  You can buy the books I wrote here, and here, and here, and they make great Christmas or Hanukkah presents!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

975. I Wonder Where My Wonder Went

I’m not dead.  I am, however, buried alive in boxes. 

Packing is a mindless task—a robot could do it.  Put stuff in, pad well, tape closed.  Repeat.  While my hands wrestle the cardboard, my brain hijacks a plane to childhood. 

My childhood full of wonder.  I wonder what it will be like to grow up?  I wonder what it will be like to drive a car?  I wonder what it would be like to go to Paris?  I wonder what it would be like to stay up late?  I wonder what it would be like to get married/ have kids/ buy a house/ fill in the blanks ___________? 
There is no more wonder, because all those things have happened. 

I am Bill Murray in Groudhog Day:  get up, make breakfast, kids to school, do laundry, run errands, pick the kids up, drive them to sports, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed.  Same as yesterday.  Same as tomorrow, and tomorrow’s tomorrow. 
There is no room for wonder while filling up the empty gas tank or buying paper towels at Target. 

And yet …
My life’s brimming with possibilities:  we’re moving into an apartment because we’re renovating.  We are making this tiny house into our dream home.  The possibilities are about room designs, furniture, tile choices. 

Yet, still no wonder.  I had those decisions mapped out the day we bought the house.  Wonder disappears when it is replaced by MUST.  I must have an island, I must have a walk-in-closet, I must have floor-to-ceiling windows.  Wonder sneaks in and MUST chases it away.  MUST detests this naïf companion.

 I rush around to fill these boxes, fill them with china, clothes, photo albums.  My children absorb this frenzied energy.   

We take a break.  We have a new origami book:  Short studies it, wants to attempt a paper frog.  He folds the green square carefully.  He whispers,   

“Mommy, origami is not a fast thing.  Origami is a calm and peaceful thing.”


My wonder has returned.  

trifecta writing challenge/ required word: "companion"/ exactly 333 words

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

974. Here's What Happened to Me Today

I hired a personal trainer.  Before you think I’m some wealthy heiress, know this:  I suffered from a debilitating back injury over the summer.  After ER trips, X-rays, drugs, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, massage, and a renewed desire for a drink called a “zombie” (a nauseating-sounding blend of rum, brandy, pineapple juice, and orange juice—don’t judge), I figured I had earned a few sessions of personal training. 

Personal training would not only cure my back pain, I rationalized, it would inevitably turn me into Claudia Schiffer.  Or Heidi Klum.  Or Gwyneth.    

Anyway, things went great with my trainer until he announced that he expected me to be working out on some of our “off” days.  (Note to self: I always thought “off” meant “off”?)   Since I can only afford the trainer twice/week, that meant he expected me to work out at least three of the remaining days. 
Deflated, I asked him if it would be okay if I swam on one of those days. 

“Sure! I think that would be a great idea!” he enthused. 
The next morning at 5am sharp, I was in the pool swimming laps.  I had new goggles, a new swimcap, and a new attitude.  I was a female Michael Phelps. 

When I got out of the pool, I decided to chat with the lifeguard for a few minutes.  Since he would be the one saving my life if my future self happened to hit her head against the cement pool wall, I thought it would be good to at least know his name. 
It was a difficult Russian name and I immediately forgot it.  I changed the subject and asked him if he liked swimming.  (Gimme a break, it was early.  I couldn’t think of anything else to chat about.) 

He promptly replied, “I can’t swim.” 
Yikes!  The lifeguard can’t swim?! 

Realizing his error in language, he corrected himself:  “I am not allowed to swim while on duty.” 
At least I got my heart rate up.   

trifecta writing challenge/ exactly 333 words/ key word is "zombie"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

973. How It Feels to Beat a 9-Year-Old at Checkers

It feels great.  I’ll be honest:  if feels really great.  Especially when that particular 9-year-old happens to be my junior Einstein son, Tall. 

Everything this child touches turns to gold.  He is smart, funny, athletic, and has tons of friends.  He is also one of these people that instinctively understands how to play a game he has been introduced to mere moments before. 

I made the mistake of allowing him to sign up for his school chess club several weeks ago.  Ever since that time, all I hear is, “Mom, let’s play a quick game of chess!” 
And it is a quick game, since I find myself in check mate in a matter of 10 minutes, sometimes less. 

But he was not going to win at checkers.  No.  Checkers was mine. 
I taught him the basics and of course he beat me.  Twice.  But then something kicked in, some sort of primal need for redemption, and that was it.  He was half my size and one quarter of my age.  I could take him. 

My guys got across the board in record time.  “King me!” I cried out, with an inappropriate amount of glee. 
Next thing you know, I had Tall’s two remaining pieces backed into a corner.  I tried not to laugh a wicked little laugh, but I couldn’t help it.  I had not won a game against this child since that time he had the flu when he was three and he was just not up for Monopoly that day. 

Tall saw that he had no way out.  He abruptly stood up and intentionally upended the board, with all the pieces splattering across the table and the floor.   
I guess he gets his good sportsmanship from me. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

971. Me and All My Badges

As a mom of a 4th grade son and a 2nd grade son, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that I found myself at my very first Boy Scout meeting last night. 

As we all know, Boy Scouts instill wonderful values in your child, values like hard work, respect, discipline, and good citizenship.  Clearly, I would be happy to have any Boy Scout around to open a door, help me walk across the street, or provide necessary first aid if I was ever bitten by a bear.  Boy Scouts perform a crucial role in society. 
However, last night I got the impression that everyone else had started scouting at an earlier age (say, in the womb), and that I was once again late to the party.  There were 5 and 6-year-olds covered in merit badges, decorated to the point that you could no longer see the khaki uniform shirt underneath.  Nevermind that.  Put that all aside for a moment, and let’s concentrate on this new fun concept I was introduced to:  Badges. 

Everything your child does has the potential to earn him a badge.  Your boy plays Little League?  He simultaneously earned the Baseball Badge.  He accompanied you kicking and screaming to a few museums last summer?  Those represent Cultural Badges.  How about the time the two of you fed the neighbor’s cat for a week?  That would be the Community Service Badge.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Everything gets a badge. 
I feel compelled to design a few badges of my own.  How about all those times I asked Tall to make his bed and he ignored me?  Non-Compliant Badge.  And Short whining incessantly about doing his homework the last two weeks?  That would be the Vocal Complaining Badge.  Both of my kids forever leaving their dirty clothes in a giant pile and not remembering to take them to the laundry room?  The Forgetful Badge. 

I, of course, have inadvertently earned a few badges of my own.  There is the Dish Washer Extraordinaire Badge.  The Errand Queen Badge.  The Chauffer of My Own Children to All Their Activities Badge. 
What about the fact that I have memorized the exact aisle location of everything I need to buy at Target?  That would be the Target Memorizer Badge.  It is a bigger badge and more prestigious than the others, and in the shape of a red and white bull's eye.  It takes years of practice and training to earn that one. 

The Husband has earned a few badges as well.  Most notably, the highly coveted Good Listener Badge.  This badge (sadly) has been revoked a few times over the years.  He also has his Knows Everything About Football Badge (the stitching on the badge is an image of a football on a TV screen).  Obviously, this badge is what caused the Good Listener badge be revoked most recently.  He also has his Forgot to Feed the Cat Badge (symbolized by a scrawny cat meowing) and his I Promise I’ll Take Your Car to the Shop Badge (along with a broken car). 
See?  We can all earn our badges. 

There is a new badge I am currently training for:  Shoe Buyer.  The symbol is a sexy stiletto.  Oops, I need to get to Nordstrom now to practice.  Gotta run.     

Thursday, August 22, 2013

970. That Time My Wig Fell Off

My hair had never been what you would call “luxurious.”  Pantene shampoo marketers had never phoned and begged me to be in one of their commercials.  Even my beloved gayer-than-Liberace hairdresser of 20 years had frequently oh-so-subtlely hinted, “Hon, let’s consider going ultra-short!” 

But then I'd gaze in the mirror at my lackluster blond hair, and I'd see Alice in Wonderland.  Yes, a stringier, more split-endier version of my childhood idol, but Alice nonetheless. 

“I like it long,” I would say to Robert-the-hair-guru, and he would give me a weak Mona Lisa smile and reluctantly set down the scissors. 
So it should come as somewhat of a surprise that women (yes, that is plural) literally stopped me on the street one day to compliment me on my gorgeous hair.    

I did not have the heart to tell them it was a special hair clip made of (I hoped) horse hair but possibly (I tried not to think about it too much) even human hair.  Human hair that some altruistic soul had chopped off to donate to cancer victims who had lost their hair to chemotherapy and radiation, not exactly meant for narcissistic stringy-haired individuals like me who just wanted to look like Heidi Klum or Claudia Schiffer for once in her life. 
I had been shopping at Nordstrom with my mom (a rarity, since I favored Target and she preferred to not shop at all since “I will always see something I want to buy and then have to buy it”) when we innocently wandered into the hair accessories department.    

Sparkly barrettes and satin headbands had beckoned to us, like an all-you-can-eat buffet of Godiva chocolate at a Weight Watchers' meeting, when I saw it:  a fluffy blond hair clip that pretty much doubles the volume of your hair.  Not only that, but it was the EXACT color of my own hair, a golden blond with a touch of mousiness for reality’s sake.  (Now you can see these hair thingies at kiosks in malls everywhere, but this was 15 years ago, so they were a complete novelty at the time.) 
I tried it on, pulling the front sections of my own hair back into this blond wonder.  My new (fake) hair cascaded in a way that can only be described as “super model.”  I instantly looked 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, and 10 IQ points dumber.  I had to have it. 

My mom, who had been posing with brunette poufy pony-tail holders and I-Dream-of-Jeannie fake braids, glanced at me, grabbed her chest, and let out a loud gasp.  When she regained her composure, she began to ramble:     
“Oh, MOV, that wig is stunning!  You have to buy it.  Wow!  You look amazing.  How much is it?  You know what, I’ll buy it for you.  We used to call them ‘falls’ back in my day, but these new ones are such better quality.  Oh, MOV, look in the mirror.” 

She was right, there was no way we were walking out of Nordstrom without it.  My mom pulled out her Mastercard and chatted cheerfully with the salesgirl. 
“You must sell a lot of these, right?  What a great product.  I might have to come back and buy one for myself, too.” 

The salesgirl nodded encouragingly, and then turned to me and asked, “Do you want to wear it home right now?” 
Here is where I panicked.  Wear it?  Wear a wig?  I began to have second thoughts just as my mom was signing the credit card slip.  

“No, uh, it is for special occasions.  Can I just have a bag, please?” 
“And lots of tissue paper,” interjected my mom with a wink.  “And maybe a nice shiny box with your pretty Nordstrom logo.”  My mom liked the entire experience of high-end department stores, which is why she was wise to stay at home with her credit cards tucked safely away and try to get some gardening done instead.    

As we walked out of the silver mecca that is Nordstrom, I gave my mom a big hug.  The fake hair had been expensive, a real splurge.  It is not something I would normally have bought for myself. 
“When are you going to wear it?” she asked, still giddy from buying a frivolous present for her daughter. 

“Maybe out to dinner with The Husband?” I volunteered.  “That would be fun.” 
The opportunity arose faster than I thought.  A mere week later, The Husband told me his work was hosting a Christmas luncheon at a local restaurant and spouses were invited.  I put on my cutest black dress with a short red jacket and a colorful silk scarf tied around my neck like I was French, or an American pretending to be French.  Then, as the finishing touch, I put on the new blond hair clip, fastening it securely high on the top of my head for maximum impact. 

When I walked out of the bathroom from getting ready, The Husband actually swooned.  There was no other word for it. 
“MOV, you look so beautiful!  Did you just get your hair done today?  Did you buy those hair roller things that plug in?  WOW!  How did you get your hair to do that?  You should wear your hair like that every day.”

I basked in the glory of the undeserved attention, and momentarily considered telling him it was a just a fluffy hair clip.  A fake.  But then I reconsidered, because I did not want him to tease me about it, even in jest, nor accidentally slip and tell one of his co-workers.  Instead, I played it cool. 
“You like my hair?” I whispered, channeling Marilyn Monroe.  “Well, I tried a new conditioner.” 

“Whatever conditioner it was, we are buying stock in it.  Okay, let’s get going.”  He had a grin plastered to his face as if he had just found a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk. 
When we got to the restaurant and valet-parked the car, three random women standing on the curb waiting for their cars said, “Your hair is soooooooooooo pretty!”  They looked at me with pure admiration and perhaps a slight touch of envy. 

We walked into the private room and most of The Husband’s co-workers were already there.  They greeted me enthusiastically and smiled warmly at me and my hair. 
I ordered a club sandwich and a glass of Pinot Grigio (everyone else was ordering wine or liquor, and since it was the holiday season, I thought, Why not?).  I was suddenly very self-conscious and concerned that I might have a stray piece of bacon in my teeth.  Honestly, I shouldn’t have worried about that at all.  I should have been thinking about my hair.  Throughout lunch, The Husband, sitting right next to me and with his hand on my back, had been absent-mindedly petting my long flowing locks, like I was some exotic creature from the petting zoo.  Maybe a rare pink sheep. 

Now, The Husband is not one to pet my hair.  He never did that before, and I can safely say he has never done it since.  But in that one particular moment, he could not stop stroking my magnificent Brigitte Bardot hair. 
I started obsessing about the bacon potentially lodged in my teeth.  Lettuce could be stuck in there as well, and this combination (in my Pinot Grigio-addled brain) convinced me that The Husband could end up getting fired for being married to someone like me.  Someone who was … messy and a bad eater. 

I excused  myself to the ladies’ room and was shocked to see that not only had my new hair clip not stayed on the top of my head like it was supposed to, but the clippy portion was somehow defective and had loosened to the point that it was half-way down my back.  I was like some mutant “Growing Hair Barbie” experiment gone grossly awry.
I tried to unclip it and re-clip it, but then a few of the plastic teeth of the clips broke off in my fingers as I clumsily attempted to adjust it.  The bathroom was the kind that only one person can fit in and lock the door, so someone (The Husband’s co-worker?  his boss?  the owner of the restaurant?) started knocking. 

“Just a minute!” I screeched.    
I felt big tears well up in my eyes, but I knew a smeary mascara look would only make things worse.  As a last resort, I hastily untied my scarf from around my neck and somehow managed to loop it back around the hair piece to hold everything in place.  I looked very different than when I had gone into the ladies’ room originally. 

When I returned to the table, I leaned down and whispered to The Husband, “The crab cakes made me sick.  We have to leave right now.” 
Stunned, he volleyed back, “You had a club sandwich.” 

“We.  Have.  To.  Leave.”  I smiled through gritted teeth. 

The Husband turned to his co-workers and announced apologetically, “Sorry, guys, you know MOV is a flight attendant and she just got paged for a flight.  We have to go.  So sorry.” 
Several people stood up at the table to shake hands with me, and then The Husband’s boss leaned in for a hug.

I cringed inside.  Please don’t hug me, dear God, you’re going to pull my hair, no, no hugs! 

I decided to kiss him instead.  A kiss would throw him off guard and maybe make him forget all about the hug. 
I leaned in for a peck on his cheek, and he pulled away so as not to be kissed by me, but we inadvertently found ourselves kissing on the lips. 

The kiss was approximately half a second, maybe less, but we were both mortified.  His wife, still seated, took another swig of her wine, then glared at me and my silk scarf tied around my head.   
The Husband and I walked out to the car in icy silence.  He finally sneered, “What the hell was THAT all about?” right as the valet was bringing our car around.  He handed the valet a $5 bill, then got in the driver’s seat, leaving me to get in on my side by myself.    

Just when I thought things could not possibly get any worse, the valet helped me into my seat and shut the door.  On my hair. 
We started to drive away and the valet frantically chased after us, with my hair piece in his hand.  The Husband stopped the car, and rolled down the passenger window. 

“Miss, miss, you dropped this!” the valet said apologetically as he held out the fake hair. 
“No, that’s not mine,” I said without even looking at him, and then we drove away, me stringy-haired as ever.    


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

969. What My Days Look Like

She maneuvered a sharp metal object mere millimeters from my eyes.  I tried desperately not to flinch while silently begging Please don’t stab me.  I would have begged out loud, but she had both her hands in my mouth. 

Now she was rambling on about her son playing lacrosse.  “He’s really good,” she said, “he might qualify for a scholarship.” 
She scraped the edge of my tooth and I tried to move my tongue out of the way.   
“Do your sons play sports?” she inquired. 

Why do they always do this?  How am I supposed to answer with the little round mirror jammed inside my cheek and that silver gougey-thing bobbing about?   
“Uhhr-hrr,” I grunted. 

“They do?  That’s great.  Which sport?” 
I closed my eyes tight and pretended that I was a narcoleptic.  It’s not that I didn’t want to say “regional soccer,” it’s just that I would most likely swallow the suction tube if I attempted to answer.  Also, she kept spinning that steel pick around like she was in a dental baton twirling competition. 

Just then, Dr. Beyond Gorgeous walked in the room.  He is so dreamy.  Think George Clooney’s unknown and much better-looking younger brother.  Mmmmmmmmm. 
“How are you, MOV?” 

He grinned wide, like an ad for toothpaste.  His teeth glistened like the light of 32 flawless diamonds on a snowy peak at high noon.  I was temporarily blinded.  He waited for Kathy to finish, and then he started examining my mouth. 
“Okay, then, try to lay off the sugar.  I notice a few areas that could develop into cavities if we’re not careful.” 

I liked how he said “We,” like we were a team.  Team Anti-Decay.  Kathy winked at me, as if to say, And you will make my job a lot easier too if I don’t have to scrape so much. 
I made a quick stop on the way home.  As I purchased my treat, I thought, Well, at least Kathy gets to keep her job this way. 


trifecta writing challenge:  333 words, key word is "light"; I wrote this piece a few days ago and have made minor modifications to fit the challenge

Friday, May 31, 2013

968. War of the Elbows

I was scrunched in my middle seat, saying futile prayers to The Gods of Travel that nobody would sit in the aisle seat.   

The Window Person gets the window, they get all the power, right?  Shade up, shade down.  View, no view.  Blinding sunlight ruining the movie, or complete darkness combined with a burnt-out reading light when you have a brand-new book.  The Window People are a menace. 
And those damn Aisle People.  They jump up and go to the bathroom anytime.  Right after take-off, right before meal service, during the movie, whenever.  They have more power than the Window People.  They practically own the plane. 

This power goes to their heads.  They suddenly think they have rights to both armrests.  Theirs and mine.  Isn’t it enough that they have one armrest on the outside and that they can get up whenever they want?  And if the plane crashes, they are getting out to safety 15 seconds before me?  By laws of adverse possession, they claim the middle armrest.      
The Middle Loser (me) is clearly not a planner.  By the time the Middle Loser got around to buying a ticket, all the good seats were taken.  The Middle Loser deserves to sit folded over like a broken umbrella for five hours. 

I stage a coup.  When Aisle Person gets up to stretch, I pounce.  I adhere my elbow to the armrest like a very strong magnet.   
Now I notice Aisle Person is holding two full glasses of white wine.  He must be an alcoholic.  Drinking while flying, stretching his legs, hogging up armrests.  How did this freak get through security?  He has absolutely no consideration for—

“Excuse me, miss?  I brought you some wine.” 
He hands me a glass. 

“For … me?”
He nods.  “Middle seats suck.  You deserve a free glass of wine.” 

I smile and thank him.  I accidentally lift my elbow for a second when I take a sip.    
Just long enough for him to regain access of the armrest. 


trifecta writing challenge/ I shortened and edited a piece I wrote a few days ago/ exactly 333 words/ required word is "freak"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

964. Open Letter to a Loyal Shirt

Dear Loyal Shirt,

I remember when we first met, at the mall of all places.  You beckoned me over from a metal rack where you were hanging out with your colorful comrades. 

I noticed you right away—your basic black hue, your stunning embroidered neckline, and your flattering boxy cut. 

You were different somehow, longer.  You offered more coverage than is typical, obscuring not just the tumucular region, but even offering a respite from the viewing of the hips.     
I knew I had to have you, and when I found out you were on sale (!), well, that was just the proverbial cherry on the whipped cream of my shopping expedition sundae. 

I got you home and for years you behaved even better than expected.  You had no qualms about accompanying me to work, school functions, even doctors’ appointments.  You could be counted on for holidays, vacations, sporting events, or trips to the grocery store.  You unilaterally embraced every climate; every raindrop or snowflake or ray of blazing sunshine was your pal.  You were flexible and could be paired with virtually anything in my closet:  denim jeans, floral print skirts, cotton khakis, plaid shorts, striped capris, even a formal interview suit.  You made numerous appearances in several family photos.   
You were my silent workhorse, my prized clothing chameleon. 


There’s always an “until,” isn’t there? 
You know what I am talking about.  Don't pretend you don't.  The Husband made the grave miscalculation to …

No.  It’s too painful.  I can’t talk about it yet. 
… he made the grave miscalculation to put you in … the washer … and then … the dryer. ON HIGH HEAT. 

Has he never had a wardrobe component like you, Loyal Shirt?  I always dry cleaned you.  In fact, I know for a fact, factually speaking, that The Husband had accompanied you to the dry cleaner (for drop off AND pick up) on several occasions.  I have witnesses!  Gray Skirt and Navy Linen Dress had seen you there.  Red Cashmere Sweater Made In England told me you two stopped and had lunch.  Even Black Work Jacket had cozied up to you in the very same plastic bag. 
So what is one tumble in the dryer between friends, hmm?  After all we have been through together?  Why would you insist on shrinking up like that?  Why?  I always did treat you well, before this one isolated incident, I swear.  And you know it was not my fault anyway!  So why punish me?  Isn’t that like blaming the victim? 

Tell The Husband you are mad, don’t take it out on me when I am getting ready to have a conference with my sons’ principal and need to match you up with Boat Print Skirt.  You know that White Rayon Sweater shows every bit of deodorant or cat fur, how dare you even mention such a substitution. 
What I am saying is:  It’s over.  It is.  I, for one, wish it could be different, we all do.  The kids do (who wants to see their mom with deodorant or cat fur at school conference day?).  I know that deep in my heart of hearts, even The Husband wishes things turned out differently. 

Why?  Because I took his credit card and I am headed to the mall. 
It won’t be easy to replace you, but I’ll try. 

Your Loving Friend,