I Want to Be One of the Anointed

I’ve vowed to work on my “edgy” vibe and the perfect opportunity arose yesterday, when I’d run out of laundered jeans. Rather than scar my children for life, I grabbed a pair of my husband’s knit boxers — clean of course. They were black, my t-shirt was long enough to cover the snap, and I was astonished to find the fit rather flattering. Apparently the ToolMaster wasn’t…


Anyway, some time later, Frank awoke and asked me to take him to the book store to purchase Mockingjay.* Now trust me on this: when your reluctant reader of a son asks for a book, you don’t ask a metric tonne of questions. You grab keys and haul ass. You ride the gas pedal. Only when your parking at the mall does it occur to you that you’re wearing your husband’s underwear and will have to traverse the food court which happens to be filled with people. The ones who cherish some hope of eating…

Eh, so what, I thought. Other women do this all the time. True, they’re generally eighteen, have perfect breasts and a matching tank top in which to display them, but this’ll be good for me. I’ll practice my strut.

And it was great. I worked that mall. I flipped my hair. I did it so convincingly that when people looked at me, it was because of my horribly wrenched neck and the subsequent moaning, but not because of the underpants.

So fine, you’d think I’d be happy with my progress and know to leave well enough alone, but then I came home to a bunch of cyberfriends having a collectively bad day. Since they had legitimate reasons, all I could offer were hugs and the gift of perspective. It was time to unleash The Picture.

I’ve seen this image used before by one Gretchen McNeil. In her hands, it transformed a tense situation into a collegial one, and sobbing people become euphoric. True, Gretchen might be an opera singer, circus clown and sexay momma who could charm the fur from a ravening weasel, but I had boxers and these people were desperate.

You guessed it. Epic fail. The global response was an Ewwwwwww! and then mass defection from the board. Not a single “tee-hee” before they left, either. So clearly I do not possess the panache gene, I do not. What’s more, I don’t even know how to clone one.

How does she do it, peeps? What mysterious power allows some people to carry off borderline behavior and we’re charmed, whereas in other cases — mine — we’re repulsed? I don’t know the answer, but I yearn to be one of those so anointed.

Could you do it? Should I be jealous of you?

*Don’t give anything away, but is it fantastic? I’ll be the third in this house to read it, so please feel free to squee in a non-spoilerish way.


15 thoughts on “I Want to Be One of the Anointed

  1. So glad you’re back to laugh a-, (er), with! I can’t pull off this look anymore, either, and recently scarred my garbage man for life because of it (see today’s post, if interested). I think it’s brave of you to do so, though, and would have definitely signed off with a hearty “tee-hee” upon seeing the picture.

  2. Sorry, I couldn’t have pulled off that look at 20, much less 40+.

    One way I’ve found to be edgy is to look my age, but add younger accessories. And, of course, attitude carries the day. Be aware, though, there is a fine line between edgy and trailer-trash.

    I was thrilled to find that younger people think my writing is edgy (my novel, that is, not the blog — nothing edgy there). I did a funny little dance over that. My novel. Edgy. Imagine that.

    Good luck on finding your way through the mysteries of edgy, which is a fun word to use and say. Edgyedgyedgyedgy . . .

  3. Please, you used the oily man hug photo at an EPIC LEVEL. I didn’t see it til this morning, but that thing always makes me laugh.


  4. Jan,
    Something tells me that you pulled off the “walking through the bookstore in boxers” look….LOL You might have started a new trend. I’m thinking of giving it a try. Of course, I have no husband to steal boxers from and there’s NOOO way I’ll rummage through my son’s dresser drawer….ewwww Looks like I’ll have to go out and buy my own. I had to go to the bookstore anyway this week. 😀

  5. Average Girl, thank you for the seal of approval. Will head over to your blog shortly to see what chaos you created.

    T, who had the gall to say I was 40+? 😉 And that is way cool about the edgy writing. That trumps boxers any day, even with accessories. Congrats!

    Gretchen, thanks for visiting. And I will, thank you. 😀

    Jody, you know, much to my surprise, I did carry off the boxers. I know this because my daughter read this post last night. She clapped her hand over her mouth and groaned at my humiliation. “Oh no. You didn’t?”

    Um… The offending shorts were still being worn, and my fashion arbiter hadn’t noticed, LOL.

  6. I had the role of Tom/Phyllis/Leslie in AR Gurney’s ‘Sylvia’ earlier this year. It worked really well since I have a face that’s (let’s face it!) somewhat gender neutral. ‘Leslie’ was a marriage counselor way too much in touch with her masculine side, so it was hilarious to stand there in gender ambivalent clothes and demand of another actor, “Am I a man or a woman?”
    (Long pause. Looks me up and down.)
    Community theater. You should go. 😉
    BTW, single white, straight female, just in case anyone’s left wondering…

  7. Oh, Jan! I do so want to have that skill, as well. Alas, I am panache…less.
    BTW, I love your voice. I never fail to walk away with a smile or my mind filled with firing thoughts after reading your blogs. I look forward to it. In other words, I don’t notice any lack of skills on your part. I am always thoroughly entertained!

  8. Tracey, yes, that made it so much better. 😉 Thank you for investing your confidence in me. I will think of you when I wear the plaid ones outside. 😉

    Phyllis, you act too? You get up in front of p-p-people? *impressed*

    Gabrilella, you do so have panache. You are pan-full, babe. And thank you for the blog compliments!

  9. I love your hip stroll through the mall 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I can’t do hip at all and never have. I can do cheerfully dorky, though. Let me know if you ever decide to make a switch toward my forte. 🙂

  10. LOVE the story about you and your sassy Tool-Man boxers!

    Funnily enough, I have POSTED this exact group hug on my blog… (shocking, I know…man butts are sort of a staple of mine). I think I’ve got borderline down pretty darned well. But you want to KNOW something about the border? There are four kinds of people:

    Those who long-ago jumped over the border and anything goes.
    Those who rejoice in the border and WANT you to push boundaries without crossing.
    Those who feel obliged to PROTEST for appearances sake but like it.
    and those who don’t even want to be SEEN from the border.

    That last group will never be my target reader, and they’ve been known to unfollow me if I push it. But that third group always has to SAY something, even though they GENERALLY claim to think you are hysterical or fabulous. They LIKE it, they just can’t ADMIT they like it (even to themselves in many cases)

    So there you go. Tart wisdom.

  11. Medeia, I know. And they’re so uniformly…mahogany-colored too. It’s like they’ve been stained and shellacked, LOL.

    Sputnitsa, I mastered dorky when I was about five, but thank you for the offer. 😀

    Hart, but have you noticed? A lot of people will cheer as a person traverses the border, and then say, when it doesn’t work out, “What an idiot. I knew she’d push it too far.” 😉

    Glinda, that would be the most efficient way to get it, for sure. 😀

  12. Yeah… that’s that second group… they want you to push it but not cross… and there are also some who can handle SOME things but not others… like I think on this pic, some of my man butt lovers can’t handle greased up body builders… I happen to think it’s FUNNY in the context of the group hug.

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