Once I got makeup on I realized I’d completely over-applied to pink clown-like effect with nice heavy eyebrows. My hair refused to cooperate and when I pulled it back in a ponytail it only accentuated the makeup mania. I chose an outfit that seemed reasonable, but once I got it all on I realized the only clean tights I had were too busy looking with the sweater I’d chosen. I found another sweater, which then made the skirt look weird. I changed the skirt and now the top underneath the sweater didn’t work. I went back to the original outfit but now everything was covered in cat hair. And I was late…again.
I gave up on choosing the perfect ensemble, threw on some shoes and started in on the coats. I needed something to take me to work but because I intended to go to the gym afterwards, it had to be casual enough not to look ridiculous with sneakers. Plus it’s weirdly warm/cold out so it couldn’t be too light or too heavy.
The first jacket was too tight around the sweater I’d chosen. The second one was too light. Third one too dressy. I put on a long leather jacket, too tight in the sleeves again. I put on another long leather coat and a button popped off. I tossed them all on the bed in a frantic rush and one of the cats immediately snuggled happily, spreading hair everywhere. I finally opted for a too dressy wool coat, also covered in cat hair but loose enough in the sleeves to accommodate my mediocre outfit. I meticulously rolled the shit out of the coat with a pet hair roller, buttoned it up, grabbed my heavy bags and ran, cursing.
Once I got onto the street I realized the coat was way too heavy and I was already sweating. I pulled off my scarf and hitched up my heavy gym bag and heard the shoulder rip in the back. And the sunlight showed clearly that the fucking thing was still covered in cat hair. As an added bonus I’d buckled my shoes too tightly and they had a death grip on my ankles.
Trudge, grumble, trudge. One block into it I got stuck behind a day care outing featuring around twenty 3-4 year-olds holding hands and teedling along the sidewalk. I could not get around them to save my life. But I was broken by this point, already late for work, and they were actually pretty cute. So I gave in an just followed patiently.
One little girl on the end with short dark hair, wearing a floral, layered holly hobby outfit featuring white tights, kept stopping and pulling at her legs. I knew immediately what the problem was—that bane of my childhood existence, that torture of baby girls, that evil thing my co-worker JULIE calls “Christmas crotch”. Christmas Crotch is when your tights bag down below your crotch and make all movement uncomfortable.
This phenomenon is incredibly annoying but easily remedied when you’re an adult. You just head to a bathroom, hitch your skirt up and pull up the legs of the tights. But when you’re a four year-old girl it’s absolutely impossible to facilitate; your tiny fingers aren’t dexterous enough and you don’t fully understand what’s happening anyway. You just know you feel like hell. So you keep clutching at the waistband and kicking your legs out in vain attempts to get free of the Christmas crotch clutch. I remember this torture vividly and with great loathing.
This poor little girl would stop, pick at her knee, then lurch back into formation as the boy holding her hand yanked her forward. Two seconds later she’d stop again to scrabble at her waist, only to get pulled again, stumbling. It was heart-rending.
And then the woman at the head of the formation said, “Raphaela! Try to keep up! And Jamie be careful, don’t drag her!”
I’m taking it as some weird sign from the Universe. I’m not sure exactly what it’s trying to tell me, but I do know I felt less crabby about getting to work because I’d just passed my equally disheveled and suffering baby doppelganger. I only hope one of the helpers takes mercy on her before the day is done and gets those tights up where they belong so she doesn’t end up scarred for life and completely bitter like her elder version.
Because we all know how that turns out.