If you listen to country music, you may know a song called Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off, about a woman who manages to lose pieces of her wardrobe (her shoes, an earring, her jacket, a contact lens) whenever she goes out with her friends and drinks tequila. I, alas, have no such excuse. It just so happens that my clothes fall off, too (most recently, at a not very opportune time and place).
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you may remember a post from several years ago (Slip Service) in which I described my slip falling off as I crossed a busy New York street. I thought I’d handled the situation quite well; in fact, I think Carrie Bradshaw or Audrey Hepburn would have been proud of the dignity, grace, and “c’est la vie” attitude with which I proceeded. Also, I was in my 20s and looking quite chic in my little black dress at the time.
Not so this past weekend. So not so.
We were spending the weekend away at a house rental and, as is our routine, were at the supermarket, stocking up on breakfast essentials (okay and snack essentials) when it happened. And not just any supermarket. This was a très upscale store where money is no object (although we objected); we were there because it was the nearest market to our rental. Also in store — picture-perfect, Lululemon-ed lovelies; Maserati-driving men mired in a mid-life moment; trust-fund babies for whom a black Amex card was the norm.
In the midst of all this wealthy fabulousness, we gathered our provisions. I had on my very favorite pair of shorts — boyfriend-style, black faded to soft grey, loose, and comfy (the better to enjoy snack essentials, aka chocolate chip cookies). As we perused the aisles, I reached up, up, up on my tiptoes to grab a bag of pita chips while holding a container of milk in the other hand. But (uh-oh) reaching up caused me to stretch, causing some of my curves to flatten (I’ve always said that I don’t need to lose weight, I just need to grow a couple of inches), causing my shorts to have just a little bit less to hang on to, causing a Lucy moment worthy of its own episode.
I started walking cautiously toward B. who was only half an aisle away and trying to decide between two kinds of tortilla chips.
“Honey!” I called out nervously.
“Mmmm?” he responded absently.
“HONEY!” This time I shouted, alarm in my voice.
“Wha-” he started to say, then turned and saw me, as I tried to save my shorts by crouching down. Too late.
That’s when my knight in shining armor took action. Dropping what he was holding, he dashed to my rescue in seconds, shielding me from view as much as possible while pulling up my shorts.
Fortunately, only a couple of people saw. One was a teenage stock boy whom B. insisted would now think of me as Mrs. Robinson (only if he’s seen The Graduate on Turner Classic Movies). The other was a very proper, violet-haired, elderly lady with rhinestone-trimmed eyeglasses whom I swear let out a giggle before composing herself.
As for me, I managed to hold my head high (and my shorts up) long enough to get through checkout and into the car.
Thanks to the advice of every mom everywhere, I had on clean underwear. Fail safe. And thanks to the advice of fashionistas everywhere, I now have a belt.
ⓒ 2018 Claudia Grossman