Fall is my favorite season. Like Baby Bear’s porridge, it’s not too hot and not too cold. You can enjoy the vibrant colors wearing light layers without shivering or sweating. My only complaint about fall is that it procrastinates in the morning.
After rise-and-shining early all summer, as if anxious to get the day started even after a night up late, now the sun hits snooze and sleeps in.
Unfortunately, this means it’s the time of year for dressing in the dark.
Besides sporadically stubbing toes and occasionally walking into door frames, rising before the sleeping-in sun sometimes causes me clothing catastrophes. Though I rise early, I’m not a morning person.
Even when I turn on a light, Edison’s great invention doesn’t flip the switch in my brain to wake up, so I’m getting dressed half asleep.
Luckily, my first outfit of the day is usually workout wear. Running with my shirt on backwards or mismatched socks isn’t going to garner many second glances on the road or at the gym.
People don’t have any expectation that you’re going to look put together when you’re wearing stretchy gear, a ponytail and a bucket of sweat.
Still, if I discover I’ve pulled on my pants inside-out while still in public, I usually get a little redder in the face. Fortunately, since my face is already red from the exercise exertion, it blends in. The tell-tale tag sticking out the back doesn’t, but that’s what long shirts are for.
But no shirt was long enough to cover my worst inside-out dressing experience, when I accidentally donned a pair of running shorts with the underwear liner on the outside. It isn’t a good look and it’s even less comfortable.
In my early morning haze, I didn’t realize the uncomfortable fit was due to a dressing mishap and not overnight weight gain. To make matters worse, I didn’t have the cover of darkness to hide my wardrobe fail and it was an unusually social run, with several neighbors to wave at and an impromptu stop close to home to chat with some roofers.
But ignorance is bliss and hopefully if anyone noticed, they started their day with a laugh.
Last week, my morning wardrobe fail happened after my run, which is now ending as the sun rises. I actually thought I looked fine for work, wearing new clothes from top to bottom, bought the day before with the kind of coupon discounts that make you feel like you won something.
Though I normally loathe shopping, it felt like an accomplishment when the sales clerk showed my savings for a stack of clothes I hope will last several seasons. She was awash in nervous helpfulness befitting her first day on the job, and was equally pleased to have figured out all the ins and outs of a complicated transaction.
But she missed one crucial step, and I missed the uncomfortable outcome in my morning dressing haze. After a couple hours of sitting quite comfortably in those new clothes, I shifted in my seat and a poke pierced my backside and concentration. It felt like a finger jabbing me in a spot no one has any business poking in a place of business.
I swiveled my chair to glare but no one was there. My cube-mates were working away and oblivious. Then I turned back to my computer and felt the poke again.
Reaching back to rub the tender spot, I discovered a bulky, plastic tag, the kind stores staple through jeans to prevent shoplifting.
Chagrined, I pointed it out to a coworker, knowing she’d get a laugh at my unwanted accessory. And like a good work friend, she discretely informed me that I was also sporting another sign of my recent shopping spree and dark morning dressing mistake.
Beneath the ink tag a long sticker stretched down my leg, announcing my size to anyone who can read size 48 font.
Thankfully, a sticker is easy to remove. For the next six to eight hours I had a localized deep tissue massage that left a big bruise on my bum and a little one on my ego.
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