It’s 8:30am on a Wednesday morning. I awake and immediately know that something good is in store for today. A moment to think – Oh yes! It’s Wednesday my day in town with “the girls” of the Knit for Charity group. This is always a fun afternoon, filled with deep discussions, some disagreements, some agreements, but always in the spirit of good friendship. We meet at the club, where the staff go out of their way to make us welcome, and we feel comfortable and “at home” there. So, looking forward to all that, I get out of bed, and head for the kitchen for my first coffee of the day. Incidentally, I’ve been cutting down on coffee, so this is my first of two coffees I allow myself for the day. Too much of a good thing and all that!
In happy anticipation I continue through my usual morning routine, having already chosen the outfit I plan to wear for the day, and looking forward to going out in my nice swishy long skirt and matching blue top. Must try to find a matching blue mask, I think as I look at the clothes. A navy one would go well, but I only have my butterfly ones or black ones, so choosing the butterfly one, I lay it with the rest of the outfit. Masks are here to stay I think to myself, not unhappily.
At the appointed time, I put on my lovely outfit, feeling feminine and nice, and hoping that it covers what a dear friend calls “the jiggly bits” which women my age seem to end up with no matter how hard we try! The mirror says I look fine, no jiggly bits in sight, so I smooth down the skirt and “swish” out of my room, feeling confident and content.
I am ready to leave, so I locate my husband who is working in the yard somewhere. I find him and present myself with the question “Does this look alright?” “What?” he replies squinting at me in the bright sunlight. “The outfit!” I say, not without a touch of frustration. “It’s perfect” he states, and I know for the umpteenth time, why I love him so much!
So having gained my husband’s critical approval, I get in the Ranger and head off to town.
I arrive early at the club, so I sit in the air conditioned comfort of the Ranger for a while, waiting to see any of the familiar cars arriving. I can see one of the girls are here already, and I see another driving into the car park, so I hop out and go through the hoops to get into the club. Val greets me cheerily at the front desk, and Christine takes my card and “swipes” me in. It’s nice to be known I think to myself, to feel that you belong.
As predicted one of the girls is already there, sitting at “our” traditional table. I stand chatting to her for a bit, then order my coffee and sit down at the table. The other girls arrive and gather round. Pleasant chit chat and catching up on news. We start our knitting, and sit comfortable together, other ladies in the club smile, or pass a comment, and we are all feeling really good.
I walk around to chat to some other friends sitting nearby, greet “our” waitress and stand chatting to her for a few seconds, before returning to the table,
As I sit down, I notice something! I am appalled! I am stunned! I have no idea what to do next!!
I have both my T Shirt AND my skirt on inside out! What to do?! Should I just point it out and laugh it off, try to sneak away to the bathroom and hope no one has noticed? I’ve been parading around the club with my clothes on inside out! How will I ever live it down.
I decide, based on that thought, not to alert the girls to my mistake, and so, hoping I can make it to the ladies room without anyone noticing, I excuse myself from the table and make a bee line for the ladies room. This entails walking across the whole club and through the café, eyes down hoping there is no one I know around that corner! Oh no! Things just got a whole lot worse!!
As I come around the corner, intent on getting to the bathroom as soon as possible, there, at the very last table, right before the corridor to the ladies room, is an ex-boyfriend whom I have not seen in a zillion years!
Now, a whole new dilemma! Should I pretend I don’t see him? Pretend I don’t recognise him? Press on past as though my life depends on getting to the ladies room?
So, here I am, clothes on inside out, feeling awfully flustered, and probably looking red and embarrassed, I decide to simply put my head down and not “see” anything but the floor. This plan works perfectly, right up until I am passing his table. “Hey Wendy” a familiar voice says “I knew you were living here, didn’t expect to see you though, what a nice surprise”
Well I think to myself, not quite the way one wants an ex-boyfriend to see one after all these years!!
With no other choice, I look up and smile weakly, feeling even more stupid than before, and even more embarrassed!
“Oh” I say “Hello” feeling silly that I cannot say more than that, but my brain has gone numb and has nothing to give me! We look at each other in silence, there seems nothing else to say at this point.
“Please excuse me” I blurt out and rush towards the saving door of the ladies room. It closes comfortably behind me, and I begin to breathe again, hanging onto the basin and telling myself it’s OK! He probably thinks I have some awful disease that makes me rush to the ladies room! I am covered in embarrassment and wonder how to deal with the situation from here on. Visions of how I looked when last he would remember seeing me – young, slim – hair down to my waist, jeans, shirt, leather jacket and boots is the vision that comes to mind! Bit different these days I think wryly!
I catch sight of myself in the mirror, clothes on inside out, hair all over the place (another dear friend says “boat hair, don’t care” when her hair is a mess, so that’s what I say to the woman starting back at me in the mirror. She agrees wholeheartedly!
I right my clothes, taking extra care to make sure I have it right this time! Yes seams to the inside now, should be all good! I survey the end result in the unforgiving mirror. “Well, that will have to do” I tell myself. “No leather, no jeans, no boots, and no hair down to my waist, but you got what you got”.
“Now walk out of here like nothing in this world can stop you, with all the confidence of a club manager. Hold your head up, tell him it was so nice to see him again, and go back to the safety of the circle of your friends. You are not the person he knew then, you are a grown woman, a grandmother now, so be proud.
As I finish admonishing myself in the mirror, a lady appears from one of the stalls, smiles at me as says “You go girl, you got this” I am again covered with embarrassment. I mutter thanks and head for the door, big deep breath and open! And there he is, still handsome after nearly 30 years! He looks up as I once again approach, since there is only one way to go and that is passed his table.
“We should have coffee sometimes” he says cheerily, and I fervently hope he didn’t notice my clothes the first time! “You look good” he adds. In that instant I wonder if he did notice?
I smile in return, say “thanks, yes we should” and move towards my friends, now happily knitting and chatting, with bursts of laughter as I approach. Are they laughing at me? No, someone has told a joke and they are all laughing heartily! How I enjoy their company, I think as I resume my seat at the table, hoping I look calm and confident and in control when I am feeling none of those things!
One of the girls leans across the table and says quietly to me “see you fixed your clothes” with an understanding smile, and I again think how blessed I am to have friends who don’t point out my faults and mistakes, but who “fix my crown without telling me it’s crooked”
Everyone should have such a circle of friends.
I pick up my knitting, smile and relax!
(This story is based partly on truth and largely on fiction. Sentiments with regard to friends is real. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Love Wendy)