Laying Down on the Job

Laying Down on the Job
The Santa Monica Easy

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Should Not Be Allowed Outside!

Last Saturday, I walked around Santa Monica -- about 4 miles worth along the streets of Santa Monica. That's impressive if you know Santa Monica is all of 8 square miles in size (4 miles by 2 miles). It was a stupendously gorgeous day. Blue sky with fluffy laugh-inducing,"Simpsons" inspired clouds in the west hovered above the Santa Monica Pier and along the sea shore. To the east, pyrocumulous clouds rose ominously, formed by murderous wildfires. I was yanked back into reality. I was dressed in black stretchy walk-don't-run capri-length tights, yellow L. A. Legger's cap and yellow L. A. Leggers running shirt. Basically, I looked like a veritable gargantuan bi-pedal bumble bee -- except for the fact that I'd pulled the shirt over my head so that it was backwards. The entire bumble bee population was shamed. I wish I could find a good excuse for the occasional dressing faux-pas but there's a big blue L. A. Leggers logo on the side of the shirt that's supposed to face in the same direction as my face. I realized I was 2 miles into my 4 mile walk so I hadn't bothered to even look down at my shirt until half way through the walk -- or I looked down and it didn't occur to me that the logo was missing.  When I realized something was wrong, I stopped -- right in the middle of the sidewalk -- to figure out who stole the logo off my shirt. A second later I realized the logo hadn't been stolen, it had moved to my left shoulder blade.

I realized I had to make a choice. Either find a restroom in which I could make the appropriate clothing adjustments or just walk home as if I was oblivious to my backwards-facing shirt. I calculated that if I'd put the shirt on inside out AND backwards (which I've done before) I would take the time and make the effort to find a bathroom -- if I could find one closer than my own bungalow. I casually looked down at the shoulder seams, which would inform me of the level of stupid-dressing I'd done. "Ahhh" I thought, "I only pulled it on backwards. I'm only half-stupid." That, then, led me to conclude I could leave the shirt as it was and comfortably walk the last 2 miles in my "Scarlet-letter" backwards-facing attire.  At an earlier time in my life I'd have been mortified by my clothing carelessness, but it's happened so many times now, it's more funny than humiliating. My mother would have been mortified.
I took a different route home and about a block into my return, I saw a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk between the post office and a bakery, wearing a pair of dingy briefs on his head, party-hat style, jauntily tilted to the left. I wondered if he was the "Ghost of Future Saturday Walk-Abouts" come to show me the evils of careless dressing? "No", I thought, "If this is a vision of my future, he'd be wearing pantyhose on his head, `cause I may not wear clothes the right way out but I don't wear dingy underwear. That I recall.
Putting things into proportion, I forgave myself for the episode of clown-dressing. I comforted myself (others may call it "justifying") even congratulated myself for only making a mistake with one piece of clothing. Counting all my clothing items, I had successfully adorned myself with 8 separate items. That's, a B+ . or 87.5%, right? Yes, I can do better, but if I were perfect, I would have so much less to laugh at in the world - `cause the stuff I do makes me laugh a lot. I could have done much worse -- and I have in the past.  

One could argue that a woman with a solid 60 years of living experience behind her should be able to guarantee herself and the world that she'll step outside dressed like someone older than a two-year old. Apparently not. Facing the last two-mile walk home, I made the conscious choice to cherish the occasional two-year old who shows up to dress me too quickly and with total abandon, as only two-year olds can, and just proudly strut my backwards-facing shirt home. I looked like a dork but who cares? Only the folks behind me would know my secret and I couldn't see them. I giggled all the way home. 

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