Saturday was one of those days when I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. You know the kind, when half way through the day you suddenly want to walk into the next store, buy something of the rack and wear it out?
My goal of the day was to buy comfortable shoes. I threw on my knock off uggs and headed out to Georgetown. I looked tres LES cute, but to people in uppity Georgetown I simply looked, homeless. Mary Kate and Ashley can carry this look off because they are famous and their entire bodies could fold up into the girth of my upper thigh. But alas, my thirteen minutes of fame don’t carry my herringbone jacket, chocolate leggings and grey flannel skirt worn with sunglasses the size of my entire head.
People in Georgetown stared at me and my messy pigtailes, mismatched jacket and booties and they pulled their children in closer as they walked by.
I felt short and unattractive. Exactly the way you don’t want to be feeling when seeing your ex-boyfriend (the man I thought I would marry) for the first time in two years. And definitely not the way you want to be feeling when you run into him two more times before the end of the day.
Arms full of potential outfits to wear out of Zara, I swung around and literally right into, him.
“Jane. Hey. How are you?”
“Oh my gosh. How are you? What a surprise. Well DC is such a small town, I guess it was only a matter of time. So how are you? Oh gosh, did I already say that?”
He was with his brother and I shifted my pile of clothes to the other arm so that I could shake his hand. We stood in the middle of Zara awkwardly exchanging tid-bits about family and his brothers tourist itinerary. I eventually hung my clothes on an available rack which was a big mistake because then I didn’t know what to do with my hands.
I could feel my lips starting to coagulate together, but I felt it might be odd to start applying lip gloss in the middle of our conversation.
I couldn’t even look at him. It was too sad. Always hard to see someone you haven’t in a long time and realize that you don’t know them anymore. There was a time when I knew how much milk he put in his cereal. For all I know, he could be a bagel and cream cheese guy now!
And it was sad because he wasn’t playing it cool. He looked bitter. And he has every right.
I took the first pause in the conversation as a cue to cut out. I shook hands and air kissed and I escaped out of the store and back into the street where a homeless man wearing puma kicks guarded his change from my rapid approach.
Unable to find an outfit to raise my spirits, I decided that buying a pair of uncomfortable shoes would bring me back to equilibrium. At least it would make me feel tall, and I could have used a quick attitude change at that moment. So I met my friend Lion and we made our way to Steve Madden.
As we browsed on separate aisles of the store, I told her the story of incident one. Right as I arrived at the description of my pasty chapped lips, I turned to see him standing in front of me. A pair of loafers in his hands.
“Jane. Hello again.”
“Who is your friend?”
“Well. See you.”
“Yeah, at this rate, I’m not even going to say goodbye because I’ll probably see you three more times before the end of the day.”
He leaned into me. Kissed my cheek. And walked away.
I caught my breath.
Walking down the street with Lion, our arms linked to keep in the warmth, he and his brother stepped out of the Adidas store in front of us.
We all stopeed and stared at one another. He graciously stepped aside and bowed his head a little.
“After you Jane.”
And he let me pass.