The other day at the opera I was sitting behind a woman who wouldn’t stop shushing. She wasn’t shushing me but rather the two little girls who, with their families, made up the happy little party we formed that afternoon at a matinee of Rossini’s “Cinderella”.
The two little girls are six and a half and 7 years old, respectively. Their mothers are, like me, in their late 30’s/early 40s. This is an age that I’ve come to think of as “probably too old for Tom Hiddleston, definitely too young for… whoever the 50-something version of Tom Hiddleston is”.
Anyway, the reason I bring up our ages is… sorry, I’ve actually forgotten (old age) but basically, this lady with her shushing was kind of a bummer. I thought about telling her so. But then I realized that, because I am a terrible person, I was entertained by her vexation. I can still see her profile in the dark as she turned, bangs shaking in distress, as she tried to command the girls to stop being, well, girls.
She never said anything to their mothers, one of whom sat beside me the entire time the shushing lady was shushing. We could both see and hear her, and I’m pretty sure she knew the two of us were associates of these children run amok. But she never addressed us. She just seethed until intermission, at which point she and her male companion got up and left their seats.
The shushing lady never came back, which was terrific because I ended up with a nice, unobstructed view of the second act.
After the opera, we went to Greektown to have what ended up being an early dinner instead of afternoon coffee and dessert. The children amused themselves by eating their spinach pies with their hands, their forks, or their hands and forks. The best thing to do was loiter by the dessert cases, just out of the way of the waiters, and try to decide what sweet they would have.
While the littles got acquainted with the pastries, the BFF was cracking up over this listicle, “Women Without Pants in Giant Sweaters”, that she had recently posted to her Facebook wall. It drew 9 likes and a handful of comments. The consensus was that wearing a giant sweater without pants is dumb. Naturally, I kept it to myself that this is what I frequently wear at home.
Granted, my home consists of one room that is dominated by a bed I need to replace, stacks of magazines to recycle, and a refrigerator that needs to be emptied. There is nobody here to peer at my legs, then ask if maybe I’m feeling a bit of a draft. There is nobody here to tell me my sweater looks cozy, or that there’s something stuck to the back of my bare thigh.
It’s hard to know exactly why I’ve been dressing like this at home, but the one thing I can tell you is that it feels great. It feels cute. Almost rebellious. I never entertain at home so I don’t worry about having to be dressed for company. And even if I did expect company, I would tell them to make sure their underwear is clean because as soon as they walk in, before they can sit and have a cup of tea with me, they will be expected to remove their pants.
Especially if they are Tom Hiddleston.