Monday, December 01, 2008

Limited Utility

"Do you want some help?" a man called from his car. I tossed the hair out of my eyes and opened my mouth to politely refuse. Then I looked at the mounds of snow before me - I wasn't even able to tell where the sidewalk was, frankly, despite two shoveling trips overnight - and returned my gaze to the man.

"Yes, please," I answered softly, lip edging out in a pitiful pout. He climbed out of his car, tugged the snowblower out of his trunk and began to make short work of my impossible project.

"You can go inside," he offered, head covered by a hat with furry flaps over the ears. Staring at his yards compared to my inches, I nodded and trudged slowly toward the house. Once warm, I started to feel better about being mostly useless and tipped him generously before he took his leave.

*****

"Not dead!" I yipped, prancing out of my closet and through the bathroom as quickly as I could move on my tiptoes. "Not dead, not dead!" Sprout glared at me, for I'd chased him away from his evening treat before he'd finished killing it.

"Well, how long does it take to murder a mouse?" I asked, broom in hand - hand on hip, as I scolded him. "If you're going to do something, I wish you'd just do it!"

So I stayed up late, wincing at every pounce I heard upstairs. And, this morning, I picked the creature up off the stairs and disposed of the body.

*****

Back in the closet, not quite 24 hours after I'd seen the mouse, I was smoothing skirts and tugging at sleeves as I examined my body, clad in business clothes. I have shirts that go under sweaters, not jackets. I have soft, casual pants, not sharply tailored trousers. So I huffed with displeasure and glared into the mirror.

It's not that I don't own suits. I have a lovely navy with scalloped hems, rich brown that falls in sharp creases, deep gray wool-blend that's nearly fuzzy, a black nubby fabric and another that's more sleek. Each of them was slipped around my shoulders or over my hips while I turned and made faces at my reflection.

"I only need three," I stomped my foot after whining. I had one outfit packed - my favorite gray pants, a new black jacket and a pale purple blouse. "Could do this on the travel day," I mused, looking at a different pair of gray bottoms, a darker shade top and a cream and gray stripey jacket. Then I stared at the lavender dress and ruffled black jacket. It rested next to olive pants, taupe top and brown blazer. I had a pretty black skirt that flutters around my knees and could pair it with a shell in white and jacket in pale gray. I shrugged and threw them all in the suitcase. If I'm checking a bag, I may as well make it worthwhile.

*****

I'm off on another trip for a few days. And, as is typical when I fly, Nick (the PowerBook) stays home. Stay hopeful for me if it's not too much trouble - I'd like this particular exchange to go rather well.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

stripey jacket

You killed the cat and made a fucking jacket out of him!?

post-doc said...

The anonymous commenter made me giggle - that's very sweet.

Mr. Sprout is perfectly fine though - currently wrestling with the brindled hound since it's too snowy to hunt. Different stripes, different material on the jacket.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Doncha just love rich chocolate brown? I'm currently wearing cords in that colour with a cream square-necked sweater and a blue necklace.

Jenn said...

I so want pretty clothes! Need to get out of this lab so I don't feel like an idiot wearing something other than jeans and a fleece sweater...

Have a great trip!

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I like pretty clothes, too!

rpg said...

Can I like pretty clothes too?

I've been dressed up all week.

post-doc said...

I am fond of rich browns, Cath, but I tend for some reason toward gray more often. I find myself looking in the mirror and thinking I'm a thundercloud some mornings.

It was a good trip, Jenn - thank you. For whatever reason, dressing up makes me feel more professional. It just gets expensive with the dry cleaning. :)

Amanda and Richard, your affection for pretty clothes is duly noted. I'm sure you're both quite lovely whether dressy or casual.

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