Sunday, November 16, 2008

Zoom zoom

Stephanie is 27. She's a marketing executive for a major corporation. She's unmarried.  She's worried. It wasn't supposed to be like this.

Her mother and father probe. Lovingly. Relentlessly.  She hears it in conversations with her married friends, too. It's a good-natured pressurized echo. What are you waiting on? Hurry up. Find someone. Why are you so picky, Stephanie? 

Stephanie knows it isn't about being picky. It's just that there is always something that just isn't right. Somehow when she starts seeing a man, there's something, some piece that doesn't work. It's been that way since high school.  

Wearing purple lace thong panties and a matching bra, Stephanie riffles through her closet. She's on the phone with a girlfriend.  "I don't know what to wear. I'm meeting Robert. I can't wear the same thing as last time."

"You're wearing your jeans, right?" the girlfriend asks. "The ones that look really good on you not the others." 

Stephanie twists around to check out her butt and thighs in the mirror. She stands on tip-toe. It doesn't help. Her legs are short. A tiny bit of cellulite marks the line where the elastic band on panties used to be. She rearranges her thong but there isn't enough to mask anything. 

"Yes. I have to hurry. I'll text you in a minute. End." Stephanie touches the cellulite and starts to cry. Still holding the Blackberry, she pulls out a pair of jeans, dark but not with a lot of stitching and tosses them on the bed. Then, she pulls out a cream colored cotton camisole, tosses it on the bed. Then a cream deep v-neck cashmere pullover.  

She texts: Wht d I wr w the jns & crem cami? Cash plvr V?  
The reply: Y  wht shoes?
She texts: boots
The reply: wch bts?
She texts: sde
The reply: rain?
She texts: no
The reply: G8t. hv fun. Call m ltr.

Stephanie checks herself in the mirror, this time from the front. Looks much better. Sideways. Good. Other side. Good. She wiggles into the dark jeans with very little stitching, sucks in her stomach and zips. The camisole slides over her head without so much as touching her hair or face. Then the pullover, same way.

A quick check in the mirror. Yes. She fixes her make-up. Her eyes are pink, but no one will know she was crying.

Then Stephanie pulls a pair of yellow striped cotton socks with green ivy on the scalloped rim from her dresser drawer, and puts them on. They are soft. She smiles and wiggles her toes. Next she shoves her foot, then jeans into one black suede knee-high four-inch heel boot and then the other.  

She stands in front of the mirror again. Each side. Good. Front. Good. She pauses and sighs. No more tears. Slowly, she twists her upper body to look at her butt. 

She texts: Im tkg coat.
The reply: ?
She texts: Bg Bt
The reply: K

Stephanie rearranges the sheer cream color deep v-neck sweater around her hips. She grabs a three-button black coat from the closet. She slings her extra large black leather bag with the buckles over her shoulder, and looks back at the mirror one more time as she leaves the room. The boots are perfect.

She hits send to call her parents. By the time she gets to the car, she'll be in a dead zone.

And that's true, to some extent.

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