Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Birthday Series #10 - October can be too warm for sweaters and too cool for tee shirts

Yikes! The caption of this image I stole online is, "Portrait of a senior woman sitting in front of a birthday cake smiling."

She is wearing a sweater – 2 sweaters – so she fits this post. However, to my chagrin...she looks ancient! Which I am not. Anyway...

Usually my birthday weather is at least cool in the morning – cool dew and sun that kind of makes my sinuses flinch, swell, reverberate – something uncomfortable – when I leave the house in the a.m. And I usually leave the house at usual commute time – only a few 10/19’s have been vacation days.

On one really misplanned birthday vacation day I scheduled an appointment for a dental cleaning (at my friendly efficient dentist’s office, usually a win-win experience) but for whatever reason, that turned out to be one of my most uncomfortable cleanings ever and the one that has made me ever since demand gas for anything I experience while in the dental patient chair. (Sometimes I tolerate pre-gas x-rays, but just barely.) I remember what I was wearing because I dressed cute thinking I would have my usual chit-chat with the office staff, several of who also have October birthdays, and get their birthday greetings – of course they would note my day – and skip out, carefree and painfree, to my birthday afternoon in my navy tee shirt, jeans and navy & white polka dot Keds (I loved those shoes – may they RIP, worn to a respectful Goodwill burial).

So the reason for sharing this dental story is that it is an example of warm-weather dressing in Dallas' October. Somehow the wearing of my slightly oversized navy Target tee shirt under a dental bib, looking down at my polka-dotted shoes, on feet flexed in response to dental-scraper discomfort is still in the front of my mental file drawer. And we are talking 90s here – late 90s, but 90s. No – I don’t get past memories quickly.

On a birthday a year or two after that, I canceled birthday lunch with my aunt on short notice because Craig had surprised me by taking the day off from work and inviting me to lunch. This is my Dallas aunt who doesn’t forget my birthday – love her for that! – but Craig was my husband – my fairly new husband. Now yes, something might be a little suspicious in that hubby takes off the whole day from work, to take wife who does not take off from work (it was my first year in a new job) to lunch, but it was marriage year #3 and I didn’t think I should refuse him. Aunt gave lip service agreement to my making my husband a priority, but she also made a follow-up call to tell me I had hurt her feelings by canceling. I always appreciate honesty (yes really) but the situation was confusing for a newly married, motherless daughter who appreciates the mothering aspects of her local aunt.

But anyway – let’s return to wardrobe. A few weeks before that canceled aunt lunch I had bought 2 all-cotton striped men’s sweaters at The Gap. On reflection I realize they were in all ways unflattering to me – shape, color, length. But they were new purchases, they were sweaters, and it was cool that morning – so I wore one. Yes I was warm when I went out at lunch – with my husband, not my aunt. Can’t quite remember if I wore the brown-based sweater or the black-based sweater (both, again, ugly – but soft cotton and comfortable). I know I wore black pants. Because I don’t think I had brown pants then (in my personal experience, black pants have been perennials while brown ones have been occasional) – why in the world I remember this distinction, I do not know – so it must have been the black & multi stripe sweater.

Also, I can’t remember where we ate – but I had lunch with my husband! And apologized again to my aunt.

Not bad priorities, really. Probably? (Yes, I struggle with these questions.)

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