Surely I’m not the only girl who does this before leaving the house. Surely I’m not the only girl who tears through her closet like an animal trying to find something decent and cute and flattering to wear to parties, interviews, or dinners with friends. Surely we all do this.
I blame the fact that I work from home. I blame the fact that I spend a good chunk of my day conducting phone interviewing and writing stories in a T-shirt and underwear. I blame the fact that I now despise shopping in any store that sells trendy summer scarves. I love summer scarves. I’ve always loved summer scarves. Why did they have to become trendy?
I blame the fact that my sister PK gives me her hand-me-downs. That the pug sheds on everything I own. I blame sweatpants. If sweatpants are so unacceptable, they should be uncomfortable and smell like sewage. If something is soft, loose and moderately clean, I’m wearing it. But why must these rules change in public? Why!?
Tonight I spent 30 minutes trying to find something to wear to a company party. My wardrobe is so G.D. old you’d tell me to shut up if I told you when and where I purchased my stuff. For example, I wear a pair of Old Navy jeans from 9th grade on a regular basis. They’re Joe’s favorite jeans. As you might recall, last year I purchased a pair of $150 7 For All Mankind ass jeans from Stein Mart. But of course it’s the saggy bottoms from 9th grade that Joe loves best. (Note: Yes, I shop at Stein Mart. It makes me feel old and retired in all the best ways.)
The black shirt I ended up wearing tonight was PK’s when she was in high school. I used to steal it and wear it to work at Waldenbooks when I was in college. It has a tiny pocket on the shoulder, so tiny my friends nicknamed it “the condom pocket.”
The white pants I wore came from Block Island, Rhode Island. My best friend Ro and I pedaled across the state in 2004. When we got to the coast we decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a ferry, where we landed on a tiny island with big biking potential and too many bars. After three hours on the island we were so drunk and tired we missed the 8 o’clock ferry back to the mainland. The third reason why we missed the ferry was because I came across a killer sale at an uppity boutique, where yes, I bought the white pants.
So tonight I wore the Rhode Island pants and PK’s condom shirt. After 30 minutes of ripping off one ill-fitting garment after the next, (including a new tweed dress from Ann Taylor) I decided to go with an old and well worn outfit. I always do this.
Anyway. I digress. My sloppy fashion sense wasn’t supposed to be the focus of this post. Instead I signed on here to tell you that a couple of weeks ago, while my sister PK was watching The Bachelorette, a gecko shot across her living room floor. Freaked by the sight of this reptilian invader, she decided to trap it under a ceramic Japanese cereal bowl. She said it was her only option, that she was too engrossed in The Bachelorette and therefore incapable of relocating the beast. I know this because I unknowingly called her during a commercial break.
“UGH. GOD. FREAKIN’ GECKO. DAMMIT.” She cried.
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“I’M TRYING TO WATCH THE BACHELORETTE AND THIS FREAKIN’ GECKO RUNS ACROSS THE FLOOR. RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY TV. UGH.”
“Um. I’ve seen lots of geckos in my house. They usually find their way out.”
“I CAN’T TALK RIGHT NOW, HEID. I GOTTA GET THIS THING OUTTA HERE.”
So I hung up the phone and went to sleep. The next day, in between interviews in Sarasota, I swung by her apartment to mooch food and steal WiFi. Although she was at work, I have a key and have used her apartment many times as a satellite office between Sarasota appointments. This time however, when I walked through the door I noticed a ceramic Japanese cereal bowl turned upside down in the middle of her living room floor.
“What the fu–?” I said out loud, forgetting our conversation from the previous night.
As I approached the bowl I noticed a sliver of a tail sort of wedged half-under the lid, half-out. Totally disgusted by the fact that my sister would trap a gecko and let it suffer to its death, I decided to leave her apartment and work from a coffee shop instead. When I called her to address the situation, she replied that she planned to leave the gecko under the bowl until Friday.
“By Friday,” she said calmly, “he’ll be dead and I can just throw him out.”
That evening, I called my father I told him that his youngest daughter had taken to torturing lizards.
“What the christ?” Was his reply.
“She’s trapped a gecko under a bowl and refuses to let it out until Friday.”
“This is bullshit,” my father growled. “Total bullshit. I’m calling her up now. I can’t believe this … a gecko … under a bowl … in the living room … what a turkey …”
I couldn’t help but smirk as my father trailed off in disgust. I felt like a kid again. I hadn’t just gossiped about my sister. I had tattled on her. I had narked and it amused me. And then a whole month went by before the subject came up.
“Hey, about the gecko,” I said to PK last weekend over watermelon and iced coffee. “Did you kill it?”
“No,” she grumbled. “Because someone told Dad about it.”
“Yeah. He called me and said, ‘let the gecko go.'”
“That was it?”
“Yup. Just ‘let the gecko go.’ No hello or anything.”
“And so you let it go?”
“I had to. Dad was pissed.”
“And it was still alive?”
“Yup. I flung it out the door and it wiggled away.”