About two days out of every month I honestly want to twist my head off and hurl it at anyone who chews too loud, walks too slow, drives a PT Cruiser, or parts their hair too far to the side. I’m not proud of it, and I assure you I am working on it. But my hormones get together and waterboard me every month until I cave to the crazy bitterness. It’s not pretty.
So, if I want to keep my job, my family, my friends and avoid possible jail time, I have to at least dress the part of a sane person. And that means pushing past my pre-menstrual desire to drape myself in a frock of black currant, forgo shampoo, add a few extra passes of Black Magic to my lower lids, and a slow contemplating smear of pallid concealer across my lips.
My best bet is to go with a look that’s the exact opposite of how I feel. But pulling off “sweet and sophisticated” during the days when “my other car’s a broom” proves to be a huge challenge. First off, my body is far from a wonderland (not that it is the other 26 days of the month, but who’s counting?).
Secondly, my face is usually doing its best impression of Gary Busey (only less attractive and more bloated). And to top it all off, I am in a full-blown fight with everything in my closet. “Oh, so the pretty pencil skirt doesn’t feel like zipping all the way up this morning. Well, how about few deep squats to loosen ‘er up? Huh? Yeah. How’s that workin’ for ya? Who’s got the pooch and bubble butt now?” (Clothes totally get sarcasm.)
You see, no amount of deep breathing exercises, prayer and meditation, daily Zen practices (or nightly Zin practices) can mask temporary psychotic aggression like a crisp pair of wide-legged trousers, a white chiffon blouse, boldly printed scarf headband and a sensible, but fun and flirty, pair of wedges. It’s my default ensemble for mornings I wake up wanting to reach in the flat screen and clap a hand over Ann Curry’s mouth when she’s trying to be all journalist-like.
There’s also my go-to jersey wrap-dress with a pretty cami underneath and some great boots below. I reserve this outfit for the days when I’m a threat to spitefully cut someone off in traffic just for having Nancy Grace hair.
I like to tie either of these “help-me” ensembles together with a simple and understated piece of jewelry. My favorite feel-good bauble is a dainty diamond cross in white gold. Because the cashier who carded me for wine and then said, “Put that thing away, I was teasing you!” is now wearing her nametag as a nose ring. And well, if she can’t forgive me, hopefully God will.