Give me the most ordinary extraordinary circumstances, and I shine. Need a program taught that hasn’t even been written yet? I’m your girl. Need it in five minutes? Even better. Have an event whose attendance matches the population of a mid-sized town? Call me. Need a substitute teacher for middle school the day after returning from a holiday? Bring it. I can rise to any challenge.
Until today. Today I am celebrating my birthday. It’s not my actual birthday. That comes soon. But husband couldn’t get off work that day, so today is the day. We were going to go hiking. It is currently pouring rain, with more predicted all day long, but that doesn’t bother me. Nor does the cold. I’m up for anything. Except for our shopping trip. We are going to look for Ugly Christmas Sweaters.
We’ve all seen them, the sweaters that leave us wondering what in the world the designers were thinking, or what hallucinogenics they were using at the time. We love to laugh at them, and now they are a thing to be celebrated. Everybody wants one. They’re iconic, classic in their absurdity. Here’s my greatest fear – that when I’m shopping, I won’t be able to tell if it’s an ugly sweater or not.
I’m not a girlie-girl.I know. A shocking statement. I will pause to allow you to pick yourself up off the floor. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I grew up with two other persons of the female persuasion in a house with only one bathroom. How in the world would three women get their primping done each morning without killing each other? I became a tomboy in self-defense. I wear makeup once or twice a year, or at least I did until one of my children absconded with my makeup bag and used all my stuff. Yes, I had a makeup bag. No, I didn’t buy it for myself. Someone gave it to me after the Padawan was born, packed with some fairly expensive bits and pieces, It was a thoughtful gift, and the message was clear.
“For heaven’s sake, woman! Cover that, won’t you?” “You’re the best, and I want you to feel pretty.” But I never learned to use the stuff, so I always looked felt awkward wearing it.
I was never much into style, either. I am currently petitioning Garanimals to make clothing for adults, but I’d still be screwed. I could match hippo to hippo, but I’d never be able to accessorize. What kind of jewelry goes with giraffe? I couldn’t coordinate an ensemble if my life depended on it. I look at Vogue with an incredulous look on my face. People wear that? Okay, then. My idea of style is my Harry Potter Half Blood Prince jacket. It has all the characters. All of them.
So how am I supposed to pick out a sweater? How am I supposed to know the good from the bad from the downright ugly? What if I pick out something, and it’s actually high fashion. What if I wear my ugly sweater and no one knows it’s supposed to be ugly? Or they’re afraid to ask?
I do have one ugly sweater. This one:
I know it’s ugly. There is no doubt there. I am sure it was the height of fashion in its day, but its day is not now. It seems like an easy out to wear it. Besides, it’s not Christmasy at all. Nothing about this sweater says Christmas Unless I can prove it was made from one of Santa’s actual reindeer, I need to find a new sweater. And not just one for me, one for my husband, too.
So now I go forth, trying to prove I have taste by showing a total lack of it. Where do I even start? It is, my friends, the ultimate challenge.
Have an ugly Christmas sweater to model? Please share a photo in the comments or email it to me. I’ll compile a post in a couple of weeks with your picture and a link back to your blog. Help a blogger out. Teach me what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s downright acceptably ugly.