Living in my own apartment while unemployed has sort of led to a drop in my usual dress code standards. It’s been even worse because of the cold I’ve had for the last few days. No one other than Kevin is going to see me today? Great, these fuzzy socks and college sweatshirt and fleece PJ pants will be fabulous. When we do run errands, even if it’s to someplace like Winco, it becomes an excuse to wear “nicer” jeans and maybe even put on earrings. Going to church today meant I got to wear a skirt, which hadn’t happened since my last job interview at a bank.
The morning started off well enough. I wore my black wrap dress from The Limited, thigh-high pantyhose, black patent leather heels, and even coordinating jewelry. My mom and I dropped my sister off at church early so she could practice with the choir before the service, and we went to Starbucks. I had tea, we chatted, it was warm, life was good. Things were great until we parked the car at church and began the walk up from the parking lot.
And then my pantyhose started to shift.
And then my pantyhose started to fall.
And I froze in the church parking lot, gripping my thigh, feeling like I’m about to become a pinup image at best or a Failblog post at worst. My mom looked at me.
“My thigh-highs are slipping.”
“You’re wearing thigh-highs?”
“They’re my favorites! They’re comfortable!”
“Well, they’re fine if you don’t have to walk much – how old are they?”
She stood so most of the parking lot might not be able to see me quite as well as I wriggled the tights back into place, trying desperately hard not to flash the elderly churchgoers. “I don’t know, a few months old. I wore them all the time in Ireland.”
“The elastic is probably worn out.”
I managed to hitch them back into place and we kept walking. We made it about eight more steps when that slipping feeling resumed. Luckily only the left leg seemed to be a problem, otherwise I might have just called in for a wheelchair and sat down and pretended to have low blood sugar for the rest of the morning.
“Still?” My mom moved us out of the way as a blissfully ignorant family passed us. I wrenched the tights up again, turning my back on the rest of the parking lot. There is absolutely no subtle way to adjust wayward tight-highs; it’s pretty much like trying to fix a wedgie. I am sure the Almighty was rolling on His metaphorical floor laughing, or at least I hope He was, otherwise this incident will be pretty high on the list of Things We’re Gonna Have A Little Chat About when I give up my ghost.
My only consolation at this point was that we are not Catholic and I would only have to stand up four or five times during the service. As long as nothing drooped past my knees, I’d be fine.
“Can you go up stairs? Do you want to take the elevator?”
“Stairs are fine. We just need to get there.”
I walked in with my hand on my thigh in what I hoped passed for a casually elegant pose, because naturally everyone’s goal at church is to pose and look casual and elegant. I sat down gratefully and enjoyed the choir and then…the first hymn arrived. We rose.
And down went the thigh-high.
Of course we were on the end of a pew, and of course I was on the outside, not my mother. And I’m sure a dozen or so churchgoers watched curiously as I tried to roll up the darn things without lifting my skirt, while trying to sing the hymn.
I still have a cold through all of this, by the way, so while I wasn’t standing and adjusting my unfortunate wardrobe, I was sitting and trying to blow my nose as unobtrusively as possible.
Three hymns later, the service ended, and I struggled out of the sanctuary maintaining my casual and elegant thigh-clasping pose. It probably looked more like I was trying to staunch a flesh wound. I hurried to the bathroom, let go of my thigh, and watched my tights roll down to my ankle like a deflated balloon. I peeled the suckers off, threw them away, and left church bare-legged and proud.
Farewell, thigh-highs. You served me well, and since you were Donna Karan hand-me-downs from my mother, I am unlikely to wear anything so grand again. Your shimmer and natural color went unmatched by my other, cheaper pantyhose. Those things make me look like I waded through self-tanning powder. I will always treasure our time together.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I hope your holiday was pleasantly chaotic and utterly delicious.