Friday, June 25, 2010

Janet, Elaine, and Me

It seems that #5 is not the only one in our household who has problems with wardrobe. Okay, so maybe my wardrobe malfunction wasn't as drastic as Janet Jackson's or Elaine Benes', but I can feel for those women (even if one of them is fictional).

While Kent has been gone on a high adventure with some of the Young Men, I've taken to not caring too much about my appearance, which is why I spent half of yesterday in my workout clothes. It was nice tonight to have a planned Ladies' Night Out as a reason to doll myself up a little. Nothing big. Just 45 minutes spent cleaning up, applying some makeup and styling my hair. I was happy to see that I could easily undo the hat hair; the hat hair had shaped all day under the cap that hid my bed-head hair; the bed-head hair was very impressive having been augmented by doing nothing but air drying after swimming yesterday. I love flat irons.

Anyway, I thought I looked cute. I put on capris with no stains and a non-sweaty shirt and headed out the door to meet some friends for a tour of historic homes in Provo.

An hour after I came back in the door, I noticed a problem with my blouse. If it hadn't been non-sweaty before, it would be non-sweaty then because there was a big, open hole in the middle of my bosom area. This particular shirt gathers to a knot in that area. I always assumed it was just a gathering of fabric tied off inside the shirt. Now I know it was a gathered opening that was not tied off so well as I would have liked.

I asked my kids if they had noticed a hole in my shirt when I came home, and they answered that yes they had. They had said nothing because they thought it was supposed to be like that. Um, no!

I don't know how many of the dozens of people I passed tonight noticed the flaw, but I'm glad I wear unders between my skin and my clothes.

This little episode has got me thinking, though. I heard someone on the radio say once that if a person one day met the queen of England and she had a booger hanging from her nose, it would never be appropriate to point that out. Upon hearing that, I remember thinking, "I would probably at least signal to her that she has a problem, and she would probably be grateful." My first reaction to my discovery tonight was that I wish someone had told me so I could have fixed the problem. But on second thought, I don't think I could have fixed it without a safety pin, which I did not have with me. For tonight, ignorance was bliss.

So I'm curious. Do you usually inform someone of a wardrobe, flossing, hair, etc. malfunction? Or do you try to overlook the problem to avoid embarrassing the person--and end up noticing it all the more? (I'm going to throw some safety pins into my purse right now!)

BTW, the home tour was fantastic! We went through four homes, and though each still held old-fashioned roots, they were all quite different; very different decor that evoked different feelings, from modern to country cottage. I think artists must be attracted to restoring old homes because three of the homes displayed artwork everywhere and two of them held paintings signed by the homeowner. In one home I also noticed two paintings by one of my favorite artists, Wulf Barsch. Too bad he's so popular that I'll never be able to afford an original. Would it be an "art malfunction" to hire a rip-off artist next time I'm in Mexico? They paint pretty good duplicates.


mindy said...

You know, I noticed the hole and thought it was supposed to be like that, too. As I've recently taken to wearing camisoles (that word seems too much like "parasol" to me to mean a clothing item), I just assumed you were layering. So, I think you were fine.

I had a great time seeing those old houses. I'm already planning to implement a couple of the (less amazingly fancy) ideas I saw.

Carolyn said...

My friends and I have a policy: "Friends tell friends." That's all there is to it.
When I was in London, some of the girls went to a play one night (I stayed home that night, but they told me the story when they got back). There was an older lady and her son in front of them. They were dressed really well and clearly knew how to present themselves in public. Except the lady had a curler still on the back of her head. She probably would have appreciated her son telling her about if before she left home that night.

Min said...

I like Carolyns policy of "friends tell friends". I would tell a friend, a stranger I'm not so sure about -- it would depend on the situation. I definitely inform on the basis that I would want someone to inform me so I could take care of it and on more than one occasion, I have been grateful a friend has told me.

Min said...
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Pam Williams said...

First of all, the Queen of England probably has a booger checker who goes into action before she goes out. You can have your own version of that at home, but you have to tell them what to check for. I once went to church with a clippie in my hair, which my husband didn't mention before we left. Later I said, "Why didn't you tell me?" He claimed he thought it was SUPPOSED to be there, something decorative somehow. Now he mentions things, or I ask. Last summer I followed a friend out of the church restroom and helped her pull the hem of her very full skirt out of her waistband. She thanked me profusely.

As for the wardrobe malfunction Friday night, I was there, but color me oblivious. I did not notice. I was too busy being dazzled by those elegant old homes. And slurping a milkshake, and having my own wardrobe malfunction - dripping on my blouse. But that's my role in society, to go around with evidence of meals on the front of my clothes. Color me klutzy, too.

Charlotte said...

That is awful! I think I would tell someone if I noticed something wrong, although I hadn't considered the ignorance is bliss argument. I would give someone the benefit of the doubt, though, that they meant for something to be the way it is. As in, "I'm sure she wore two different boots on purpose, no need to point it out."