Tore up from the floor up 16

I knew better when I did it.  I knew I shouldn’t have walked out of the house wearing those pants, that shirt, those flip-flops, with my hair unkempt.  I thought I could get away with it.  I mean, I’m not famous and don’t have to worry about paparazzi stalking me.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, I was busted.

If you want to run into people you haven’t seen in a long time – make a quick run to, say, the post office at 8:00 on a Saturday morning to mail a package.  No one will be there, you think, which is weird because your ego can’t possibly believe that you’re the only person who mails packages early on a Saturday.  (Hel-lo…the post office is open then to serve customers…all of them…not just yours truly.)

Why did I think I could dash in to the Stop and Shop and grab the ingredients for a cake I’d promised to bake and get out without running into an old boyfriend and a gossipy old acquaintance?  I know she can’t wait to tell folks how raggedy I looked.  And he’s probably wondering what happened and relieved that we didn’t work out.  (He and I broke up while I was still in my putting-my-best-fashion-foot-forward stage.)

I should have cut those sweatpants up to make cleaning cloths a long time ago – they were so stretched out of shape.  And the shirt, why do I persist in wearing that particular shirt? I got a stain on it the first time I wore it but loved it so, I’ve been in deep denial that the stain isn’t as large and visible as it is. 

Tacky-tacky.  Of course, I’d run into a program officer from a foundation with whom I’m trying to get a contract when I dash up the hill in my around-the-house clothes to pick up my husband from the train station. 

In each of these instances, I looked “tore up from the floor up.”  Sometimes I can pull it all together so well that I look good to myself.  Not these times, however.

My mother reared me better. “Don’t leave the house without looking presentable,” she always admonished.  She told us to get up, take a shower, and put on your face for the day so that you’ll be ready for unexpected company or a spontaneous adventure or regular old chore.  My mother plans her casual looks with the same attention that she gives her dress up clothes.  (She has style and a deep fashion sensibility – two traits she didn’t pass on to me.)

But did I listen to my mother?  No-ooo!  And that’s why I was caught taking the garbage out in my robe with my fa-la-ja-la-pas bouncing freely by a former student who just happened to be driving down my street and, of course, noticed me and jumped out of her car to hug me and catch up.  At 7:00 in the friggin’ morning!  Oh, joy!

I’m gon’ learn or I’ll have to not give a hoot.  (Who am I kidding?  I’m gon’ learn to leave the house more presentable ‘cause I’ve run into and scared too many people making my mad dash(es).)

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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