Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, has been trying very hard to run away from his own butt lately. He suddenly leaps up, looks at his rear end, and then races around the house, screeching to a halt in random locations, and sitting down hard. Then he tries to bite whatever is bothering him back there, and generally topples over because dogs shaped like fat sausages just can’t do that kind of contortion. This picture shows Wonderbutt following one of his desperate attempts to elude his bottom, at the end of which he barged into Dimples’ bedroom where Cap’n Firepants was relaxed on the floor reading to her with a blanket over his legs. Wonderbutt charged underneath the blanket, then whirled around and glared at everyone from underneath – apparently blaming us for his disobedient derriere.
But enough about him. Let’s talk about me.
The other day, I was getting ready for work, and decided to wear a dress that I hadn’t worn in awhile. I vaguely recalled that it had a zipper on the side, but my fumbling didn’t find one, so I decided to pull the dress over my head. Of course it got stuck. That happens to me a lot. But this time I could not wiggle my way out of it in either direction. The more I tried, the more stuck I became. What’s worse is that I realized during my struggles that there was a zipper on the dress – and it was very decidedly zipped. Which made me feel a bit less fat but a lot more blind.
The sight of myself in the closet mirror made me panic further. Cap’n Firepants was in the shower. There was no way I was going to let him see me like that. There are just some things you can never unsee. And I certainly couldn’t let my daughter see it either. I only had one option.
I tiptoed to the bathroom and got the nail scissors out. This was no easy feat considering that my arms were strait-jacketed to my sides. Even more challenging was cutting the dress. But a shot of adrenalin made this an easy task when I heard the shower water turn off.
Unlike Wonderbutt, I can’t blame my butt for my wild dance around the room; the dress never even made it to that region of my body. Nope. Just my own stupidity and lack of planning.
From now on, I’m going to take a cue from my dog. If I’m going to insert my uncooperative body into a piece of fabric, I’m going to make sure there is an easy way out.
Either that, or I need to perfect that glare that lets everyone know that the fact I look ridiculous is entirely and completely your fault, not mine.
So, I got a new job this year. Actually, it’s the same job – just at a different place. I was teaching at my previous school for 13 years, and then got the opportunity to transfer to one closer to my home. When I was swimming in a sea of boxes in the middle of August, and locked out of my room by a cockroach, it occurred to me that volunteering to change schools was not the most intelligent decision I had ever made. In my previous school, cockroaches were usually polite enough to die before I encountered them, and I’m pretty sure that I had a lot fewer teaching materials stored in all of the cubbies and walk-in closet than the plethora that suddenly seemed to poised to swallow me and my new, zero-storage room.
But it was too late to go back. And I adjusted, and made a few medication changes, and prominently displayed an ant farm in the middle of the classroom so the cockroach could make an informed decision about whether or not he wanted to risk another sudden appearance in front of a woman who was not above sticking insects in a transparent prison with fake plastic buildings.
It has taken me until now to realize the true advantage of my new position, and to kick myself for waiting 13 years to make this discovery.
“I love that dress!”
“Wow, you look so fashionable today!”
“You always look so chic!”
“You look beautiful!”
Okay, the last compliment was from a kindergartener who was probably trying to angle a sticker out of me. But, still. Suddenly, praise for my wardrobe is greeting me on a daily basis.
And I haven’t bought anything new.
I just plucked out my same ole winter rags that I’ve worn for the last several seasons, and people are acting like I just walked off the runway. Modeling runway, I mean, of course. Because if I just walked off a plane runway, I’d probably be tackled by Homeland Security and accused of terroristic acts. And full body searched. Which would not be pleasant. And probably would not make me feel very good about myself or my clothes.
So, anyway, I now realize that, instead of spending money on clothing each season so I won’t blend into the wall because people are so used to me wearing the same 5 outfits, I just need to change jobs every year. I need to employ my faculties finding a new faculty to employ me, instead of agonizing over new, risky fashion choices. Consider it my little contribution to the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Movement.
And, maybe, if I can keep this ingenious plan going for the next 5 or 6 years, I’ll save up enough money to buy this sweet little pair of Jimmy Choos.
What? You weren’t expecting me to donate the cash to charity or something, did you?