My usual attire doesn’t always make the cut

I am quite comfortable, thank you very much, in thinking that Christmas is the only date I have with social formality.
The rest of the year I live quite comfortably at my “mom jeans and sweatshirt” retreat.
My little fantasy bubble was popped April 22, however, when I realized the annual Ducks Unlimited banquet, to which I had been invited, was to be held the next evening and I still had not looked in my closet to see if there was something appropriate to wear.
“Clearly I do not get out enough,” I said to myself that fateful day when the only formal clothing hanging in there was the pantsuit with poinsettias on it from Dec. 25.
And in addition, clearly I don’t get out enough on a social event level to know that such things require slightly more planning and decision-making time than what I give to my breakfast food.
With just 20 hours to spare, it was time to go shopping for myself, which is another strange activity I continue to have little experience with.
Unless it involves buying dog food or dish soap, don’t expect to see me again for days. It takes me a lifetime to decide on any fabric that is going to connect with this “apple-bottom” and “headed south” figure of mine.
I also shuddered at the thought I might be faced with the reality of a thigh-master pantyhose and Spanx battle before it snowed again.
Daughter #3, sensing an urgency of epic proportions, volunteered to come along on what was becoming an impending panic attack on local dress shops.
And when the five dresses I chose to try on that afternoon made me look like a Dalmatian with a gunny sack stuffed under my knickers, I threw in the towel and tried on the one little black number I was sure was a lost cause, which Daughter #3 had chosen for me off the rack.
I rolled my eyes. Never in a million years would I have picked that one.
But as soon as I put it on, poof! I stood corrected and pleasantly surprised with the transformation from frump to fabulous.
I tripped on home with a skip in my step. And once there and prancing around in my new look, I took one glance in the mirror—and oh, good heavens.
My hair had more evil grey matter than the leftover tomato paste that had been in my fridge since February.
At 18 hours and counting, I jumped on the Internet to get advice on hair colour, matched myself up to a “Medium Brown #20,” and blew back to town for the goods.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, the instructions on the box of hair dye should read: “Not to be used by a social oddball the day before attending a public function.”
It wasn’t until I had applied the brown concoction to my head did I read in the pamphlet that recommended not washing my hair for at least three days after colouring.
“What if smell like ammonia at the banquet?” was the only frantic thought in my head—until 10 minutes later, just before I was to wash the sauce out, did I see the brown streak of dye across my forehead, eyebrow, and on both ear tips.
Short of scrubbing off three layers of skin with an SOS pad, I now can attest that a small dab of the well-known stain removal product, “Goo Be Gone,” saved the day in facial recovery for this gal.
I also own one pair of “dress up” high heel shoes that I’m sure have been around since I graduated from college in 1980. I take them out once a year to wear at Christmas, then seal them back up in a large freezer bag and stuff them away for the next 365 days.
Clearly I don’t get out enough.
But when I do, I shine up pretty well, if I do say so myself.
And I might try fancying up a little more often in the future—even if only for the benefit of my canine capers, who barked and nearly cornered me as a stranger the evening of the banquet when they didn’t recognize me dressed in something other than old jeans and a plaid bush jacket.

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