It was the socks.
I was spending the day driving around the region visiting clients, with a nice young gentleman – see there it is again. Who speaks like that? I’ll tell you who. My mother-in-law. When did I start talking like my mother-in-law? When did I age out of “watch your language” and into “what a nice young man?”
Back to the socks. I was visiting my mother the night before the road trip. I forgot to pack stockings or trouser socks. (If I’m being totally truthful with you, I had actually forgotten my entire suitcase the day before and realized twenty minutes into the trip and had to turn back and go home.) I’m getting dressed and don’t have any socks. So my mother gives me a pair of beige knee-highs, and I figure, fine, I’m wearing ankle boots, no one will notice the beige socks with my black pants.
So I get into his car and glance down and see my feet. Those socks are screaming “old lady.” They make my ankle boots, which are comfortable (interpret: low heel) look like orthopedic shoes. I’m trying every which way to hide these socks. Oh, did I mention they are compression socks. Comfortable, let me tell you. But they don’t scream sexy.
Those socks make me think about the whole package. What image am I projecting to the world? Sensible black shoes. Compression socks (granted, not my normal hosiery, but the world doesn’t know that). Elastic waistband (even if I’m cheating by having it only in the back half, hidden by my jacket). Gloves and scarf because there’s a nip in the air.
Did I mention the tissues? I don’t even have a cold, but I have tissues everywhere. In my coat pocket; in the outside pocket of my many-pockets pocketbook; in a dedicated pocket inside the many-pockets pocketbook. My car has a napkin compartment. The only place I haven’t put them yet is in the cuff of my blouse. Oh please, if you see me start to slip one there, slap my hand.
Now, this nice young gentleman, who is only ten years my junior (young enough for me to have been his babysitter, but too old for me to be his mother) starts driving and we don’t have directions. Sensible, older me is a bit annoyed that young gentleman is totally reliant on portable technology to solve this problem. Problem being, I can’t find my reading glasses in my many-pockets pocketbook. So he’s counting on his hyperopia passenger to direct us, and I am totally useless. I can only look out the window and enjoy the scenery. Except when I’m telling him the exit is coming up, or to watch out for the car in front of him. (I can see in the distance.) Maybe if he didn’t have to read his phone GPS while driving, I wouldn’t have to keep my eyes on the road. If only I could remember where I put my reading glasses.
And then, and then…I still can’t believe I did this…compression-socked Eileen actually looked for a restroom when we stopped for gas …. just in case! I didn’t even have to use the restroom, but hey, you never know when the next one will come along.
It was a long day in the car, and we were late heading home. By 9pm, which is a sensible bedtime, I was yawning in the car. I wanted to take off my orthopedic shoes, adjust my compression socks and give my elastic waistband a real stretching. When we finally ended our day, I had to unfold myself out of the car and listen to joints crack. I couldn’t wait to get into my flannels and go to bed.
So, somewhere along the way, I’ve morphed into a sensible middle-aged woman. I now need to budget extra travel time to return home for forgotten items. I need to keep a bag of unmentionables (like compression socks and granny panties) in my suitcase so I don’t have to borrow from my hostess. My midriff has become too fond of elastic. Curses are just wrong coming from a woman who has to dye her hair every three weeks. I am forever on the hunt for stylish but comfortable shoes. And there are so many nice young gentlemen who call me Ma’am.
Oh, post-script about those reading glasses. The next morning I remembered I carry this really cool magnify glass in my many-pocketed pocketbook for times when I can’t find my reading glasses. If only I’d remembered I had them.