Memory Lane Monday: High Waters

by Susan on June 1, 2009

At least I wasn't wearing socks.

In 1999, I moved to Colorado with my then-boyfriend (and now husband) S. He had been to Denver on vacation and really wanted to move there. I had never been anywhere but really wanted to be with him. Thus: a cross-country journey in the bitch seat of a giant moving truck, pulling two cats in a Kia Sephia.

As we were loading up into the cab to depart, S asked me how much money I had saved up. I said, “$400.” He started to cry. Not really, but he was horrified and shocked that I barely had enough to cover the gas. He, meanwhile, had sold his car and done all manner of other things to gather up cash. All of this to say that I was broke as a joke.
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As soon as we got to Denver, I started looking for a job and did cater-waiter gigs while I interviewed. I lucked into a director-level position at a modest hotel and swiftly jumped into career-girl mode, pulling together business-appropriate outfits from my 24-year-old’s wardrobe of low-cut tops and clearance rack slacks. I had a couple of suits, but I also had a couple of pissed-off cats who had spent a great deal of our first weeks in Denver rolling on and/or peeing on my nicest clothes. As we didn’t have the money for dry-cleaning (see $400, above), I decided to hand-wash the soiled garments in the bathtub to prepare them for a day at the office. I soaked and scrubbed and hung up to dry one of my favorites – a navy blue Liz Claiborne pants suit that I thought was the absolute height of sophistication. Said pants suit was cut perfectly and just the right length for my 5’1″ self.
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Once dry, I proudly donned my fancy suit and went to the office. It felt a little snug, but maybe I just needed to cut back on the M&Ms or something. When I caught my co-workers snickering behind my back, I thought I might need to cut out M&Ms and french fries.
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I should probably mention that we didn’t have a full-length mirror at this time. I should also mention that the suit was made of linen. So, in my desire to save the $10 dry-cleaning charge, I had created pants just slightly longer than capris, leaving my ankles in full view. As I prepared to leave for the day, someone said, “I hope everything’s OK at home.” I replied, “What do you mean?” He answered, “I hope the flood is over,” and everyone fell all over themselves dying with laughter at my pathetic high-waters. Needless to say, I’ve never worn Liz Claiborne again.

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