Wardrobe Malfunction: Do What I Say, Not What I Do

One of the greatest blessings of unmanageable chaos is the acceptance that I can’t do everything.

Or, more accurately, if I don’t always accept that I can’t do everything, at least I believe that if I do do everything most of it will be crap.

I’ve come to believe lately that my life is an experiment in holding things loosely and dropping balls. And then tripping over the balls I drop and stubbing my toe. And then cursing in front of the kids and apologizing for the cursing. And then trying to be retroactively gracious about being a Ball Dropper. So, you know, motherhood.

I suppose I just didn’t expect “dropping balls” to mean “going to work less than dressed.” Which is a funny expectation, really, because I’ve found myself getting in the car more than once on a workday with only my tights on and no skirt – true story – so there’s clearly a precedent. But I’ve always caught myself in time, and, blinders intact, I didn’t see this coming.

I told you I quit my job because I’m going to write. I didn’t know that I quit my job just in time because they were gonna haft to fire me for walkin’ around nekked.

My wrap dress is green and white knit, and it cost me an amazing $7 at the Old Navy outlet at the beach. It looks just like this,

except it bulges a tad more at the middle and it’s lumpier at the top and it requires a lacy tank top underneath because hello, ladies! 

Now, I admit I should’ve known that I’m not the right person for a real wrap dress. You would’ve known. You would’ve told me. You would’ve stopped me on that shopping expedition and said, “Beth. I know it’s only $7, and $7 is a steal. But this is no faux wrap dress, Beth. This is a real wrap dress with a real tie holding the entire contraption closed. And you are Janet Jackson at the Superbowl. There is no way that thing’s gonna stay tied. And when it comes untied – and it will, Beth; it will – don’t go yelling, EEK! Wardrobe Malfunction! like you didn’t know what was gonna happen. Have you even met you?”

I know, I know.

I know.

And I just want to say,

Thank God for breezes.

THANK GOD FOR BREEZES and for undeserved mercy.

Thank God.

Because, without those wintertime breezes – those rapid pulses of freezing air – that whipped again and again through my tights in the garage as I went to jump into my car, late for work and late for school drop-off and late for coffee, I may not have remembered in time that tights are not enough clothes and that I must also put a skirt over the top of them.

And without the breeze Monday morning – that warm gust of summer air that smelled like cut grass and gasoline – that blew my wrap dress WIDE open as I walked across the parking lot to my office for my very last Monday of work, I would almost certainly have walked into the office wearing an unwrap dress on just my shoulders and sporting my mid-thigh, flesh-colored, off-brand Spanx, my mostly-flesh-colored-except-for-the-Kool-Aid-stain-where-my-son-used-my-breast-as-a-napkin bra, and an inch and a half of actual, stretch-marked flesh playing peek-a-boo between my two undergarments.

“Go out with a bang,” they say.

I say, never trust a saying that hides behind “they.”

I say, don’t go out with a bang. That is TERRIBLE advice.

I say, keep your clothes on, Beth.

In conclusion, do what I say. Not what I do. For this is the root of all wisdom.

…….

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
12 comments
  1. […] pretty sure you’ve forgotten something at home, you appear to have all the children and your pants, so you proceed as planned and drop the kids off and make your way to work, but coming over the […]

  2. […] my head, because I love to tell you our gross poop stories, and I’m happy to write about humiliating myself in public, and I love so much – SO MUCH – that we momrades wave to each other in the dark, but […]

  3. You are a brave and wonderful woman. I love that you have the ability to share personal stories in an uplifting way.

  4. Thanks for a great laugh, Beth! You just keep them coming! It’s hard to believe that one person’s life could be so endlessly amusing! Hats off to you for being able to see the humorous side and for being willing to put it all out there for our amusement!
    ~Sharon

  5. I can spell, I promise. Excuse all the previous typos. Sent from my phone while a 2year old uses me as a jungle gym, and my two boys are performing wrestler mania in the floor.
    Should’ve been undone not udone and southern not soythern(although some people talk that way here in South Carolina lol)

  6. Sadly, I’ve had this experience as well. Only not in the parking lot at work. At a funeral and a black wrap dress(that was also insanely cheap. I didn’t tie it correctly to begin with, and it came udone as we were filing into the uber conservative soythern baptist church for the service. Also, the funeral was for someone in my husband’s family, and we’d only been together a couple of months. They knew me real well after that

  7. At least you can blame this and your near-skirt-less incident on the overwhelming demands of motherhood.
    During the early years of our marriage, our double-income, no kids time, my husband was sick one day and called in to stay in bed all day. I got up and got myself ready for work. I was completely ready, blouse, hose, skirt, heels. My skirt was hanging in the laundry room, so I was going to put that on as I left. I leaned over, told my husband to get some rest and feel better and kissed him goodbye. As I walked out of our bedroom, he called out to me in alarm, “Beth! Wait! You don’t have a skirt on!”
    I laughed and told him that I was aware and was going to get it out of the laundry room before leaving. I tried to be a bit offended and said, “I can’t believe you think I would go to work with no skirt on.”
    My husband just said, “Beth, we both know that is exactly something you would do,” and rolled over to go sleep.
    Sometimes it stinks to be married to someone who knows you so well.

  8. Oh me, oh my, what a lot of things go by….Somehow Dr. Seuss seems appropriate here. It is so challenging getting the correct combination of clothing on every morning! Thanks for making me giggle 🙂

  9. I just bought my first casual dress ever. Like, I wanted a dress, without any reason other than it was purty and girly and an adorable shade of blue (with flowers on it!), and so I finally bought it. I’ve never done that in my entire life. This was a momentous occasion for me!
    I’m all torso. I have petite legs and an abnormally long torso. Thus this perfect dress that I never knew I always wanted is one dryer cycle from being only wearable with bike shorts or leggings to be in my comfort zone (which means it just hits slightly above my knee – I’m kind of a prude).
    Having to relearn the elementary school discipline of not flashing my super awesome, obnoxiously colored undies to the world is such a pain! And my daughter is now a very active 15 month-old toddler. Which means chances are good I’ve already flashed my obnoxiously awesome panties to some stranger already and I’m really worrying over nothing.

  10. I love you. I just do.

    Signed,
    I’ve-had-my-skirt-blown-fully-up-over-my-head-by-a-strong-wind in Michigan.

  11. Oh, how I love this! Hilarious 😀

    I am put in mind of Miranda Hart, one of my favourite UK comedians, who steps out of a taxi to go clubbing and is relieved of her entire dress because it gets caught in the car door. Hello, bra and panties!

    The fact that she, and you, willingly share these delicious comedic facts with the entire world place you both in my top ten Hilarious Ladies. You are both in excellent company.

    xxx

  12. Wardrobe malfunctions: aye. My philosophy: the more pieces that can come off, likely will. So leave the shoes and extra bits at home. Dresses are good because I would likely notice and not leave it somewhere if I took my whole dress off. But my problem seems different from you. I just wanna be comfortable, you know?

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