So my gal pals are throwing one of those clothing parties where you bring all your wardrobe faux-pas from the back of your closet, then display them so everyone else can snicker covet something you own. You earn credit for what they select and use it to trade/barter for their items, at which point you basically go home with more stuff to sell in your next garage sale. Now, doesn’t that sound like loads of fun to you?? Or maybe I’ll see what my Oral Surgeon is up to.
Instead I enlisted my local “couture expert” (my 16-year-old daughter) for help so I wouldn’t accidentally give away any high fashion items – – highly improbable since I don’t own any. As I caressed my stack of Swatch watches, we both surveyed my closet contents until she broke the long, sad silence, “Well, how many points can you get for your hangers? At least they’re the nice, satin padded kind.”
“Now wait just a Gloria Vanderbilt minute, Missy. What are you saying? That I have bad taste? That there’s nothing here anyone would possibly want?”
“Not necessarily. I hear they’re doing a Flashdance revival show downtown,” she replied.
“GOTTA GET FOOTLOOSE!”
“Oh fine,” I said. “What about all those gorgeous shoes over there?”
“Those Espadrilles?” she wrinkled her nose. “Don’t you have any Stella McCartney’s or Yves Saint Laurent’s?” She took a deep breath, “And no Gucci? Armani? Louboutin? Balenciaga? Zanotti? Or how about just some Fiorentini?”
“Yes I agree – pasta sounds great! Let’s go out for fettuccini or linguini.”
“Mom,” she said exasperatingly, “Not even one Jason Wu or Jimmy Choo!?”
“Gesundheit dear and bless you. Must be all the dust in here,” I said absentmindedly. “And I’ll have you know on that rack behind those legwarmers, you’ll find footloads of Targetellas and a special designer pair of PaylessaLobotomy. Now I’m tired of this subject. All I really know about shoes is there once was a little old woman who lived in one!”
“Okay, okay, don’t get so touchy,” she grimaced, placing her hand on my thickly padded shoulder. “Let’s have a look at your skinny jeans. What brand name are they?”
“Ugh,” I responded.
“No, mom. Uggs are footwear again. Stay focused.”
“I meant Ugh, as in my only pair of skinny jeans exploded the last time I sneezed,” I confessed.
“CASH-IN ON THIS FASHION? I THINK NOT!”
“Alright, we’re not making much progress. Let’s take a peak at your belts.”
“If God wanted us fruit to cinch their middles, he would’ve given Red Delicious a waist,” I said, recalling Glamour magazine claiming I was an Apple instead of a Pear. That publication is also how I found out it’s best for me to stick with things that lightly graze my breasts, while skimming my hips and hugging my thighs. Kinda like the hungry, drunk guy at my last Super Bowl party!
“Alright, I can see my work here is done.” My daughter impatiently tapped her Fendi heel, obviously eager to chalk this experience up to having a square mother who was beyond help and needed to get back to what she probably imagined was my boring record collection. “Let’s look at something even YOU can’t get wrong. Your cousin with the purse addiction always gives you a designer clutch for your birthday every year, right? So go bring out all your new, pretty bags.”
Aha! I would finally triumph at the closet game! I watched my daughter’s puzzled expression as I emptied my Duran Duran and Go-Go albums from the dozens of colorful paper gift bags I had purchased from the dollar store.
“Yep. We’re sure getting closer to our goal,” she said exhaustedly, picking up my car keys. “We’ll continue this treasure hunt after I go pick up some Juicy Couture.”
“Okay, but take lots of napkins,” I shouted after her, “I don’t want you drooling or dripping anything on the driver’s seat.”
“DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I WEAR!”
My daughter continued to roll her eyes all the way to the clothing swap party the next night. But once there, she happily traded all her gently worn last year’s summer styles for brand new (at least new to her) back-to-school designer duds. Meanwhile, I sat in the back of the room, played my 8-tracks, and held a bake sale where the money will soon benefit poor confused, fashion-challenged women who still Jazzercise, wear mood rings, and sleep in waterbeds.
As for being a fashionista? Let’s just say I’m scrutinizing all the fashion blogs and am hopeful next year at this time, I will be a Cheryl Tiegs lookalike model. A clothing designer? How about seated in the audience at a fashion-show? Using the bathroom in my local Nordstroms?? Okay, okay, I’ll settle for “coming out of my closet” with my head held nice and high – – and that’s only because I will no longer be wearing those large, clunky, 80’s style earrings that currently weigh it down.