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Spring Fling

Ruth and her new NEW clothesDear Diary,

For the fashion forward, spring is a time to come out of the closet so to speak. No more heavy Camel Hair coats and Alpaca zip up’s. All the UBER chic on the ROAM (dementia) floor of Happy Daze Assisted Living, resign themselves to the fact— that the time has come to reveal their more shapely silhouettes in something a bit more, well.. body conscious. In goes Ruth’s personal wardrobe consultant/ daughter-in-law. Out goes, via hefty bag force flex: Two pairs nasty breast fed baby number two yellow colored polyester pants (compliments of an acid rinse by weekend staff). A similarly dyed to match vest (originally olive green), a (at one time) adorable Liz and Company jacket, two shirts (one was a Ralph) and one nightie (Target..My bad). I methodically pack up all the puffy peplum and everything shirring or ruching and begin to unfold all the “new” old spring collection from the years of yore. Don’t get me wrong. Anything that I saved from last year will not automatically be placed on a hanger and resume it’s position back on the bar. There is a lot of thought that goes into deciding which pieces will make the “cut” and which pieces will be marked CNR (Can Not Resurrect). Always in the back of our minds (wayyy back in Ruth’s case) is the question: What will bring the largest amount of accolades and envy from the other “girls” towards Ruth.. out on the catwalk hallway?

“What about these leggings?

Are the girls wearing leggings? Or do those go in the box, too?” inquirers my forgetful fashionista, Ruth.

No the “leggings” otherwise known as COMPRESSION HOSE have to stay. This won’t be easy convincing Ruth that the leggings work well with Capri’s and cropped pants. I have this problem every, single spring and summer.  Why can’t these ugly beige knee socks come in.. maybe a fishnet? Yes! I’ve GOT it! Maybe a black fishnet or a cute little “sheer” with a seam up the back. There could be pastels. Prints. Paisleys. The possibilities are endless.

ME: Look. Just add a ballet flat and it really completes the look..I’m telling you! I even think I remember that Calvin showed them in his cruise wear 09 collection and they FLEW off the rack.

RUTH: Hmmm..(Looking down) I don’t know. Really? This is how they’re wearing them.

ME (cheery BS voiced): OMG that is SO the look. Here. See this?

I’m pulling out an old copy of W Magazine and pointing to Vivienne Westwood’s fall 1989 “Voyage to Cythera” collection. One would probably describe the model’s look as she posed on the runway in periwinkle colored, argyle “leggings”(compression hose..wink. wink), matching top and a red and white hounds tooth bomber jacket to finish the look, as a cross between Jackie Kennedy and Bozo the clown.

ME (stabbing the page with finger for emphasis): Can you see this? It’s shown in all the magazines. Do you know who this is?

RUTH (bringing her nose to the page to examine): No. Who is it?

Predictable answer. Yet— One NEVER knows whom Ruth will recognize. I once tried this same trickery to get Ruth to wear a hat and dark sunglasses (Macular Degeneration = light sensitivity) 24 hours a day by showing her a picture of Madonna avoiding Paparazzi in roughly eleven O.K. and US magazine’s. “Do you know who this is?” I say. “Sure.” Ruth says back. “Everyone knows that’s Madonna. What’s the matter with you?”

RUTH: It’s a little bit loud with all that color and craziness. Don’t you think?

Come on. Sell it baby.

ME: Not at all. In fact— That’s how it’s supposed to be. Everyone is wearing them that way. Plus..What are you worried about? Your hose are beige. I know Greta’s wearing her’s. Joan will be wearing her’s for sure. Do you want to be the ONLY one who doesn’t wear them?

Good. Peer pressure. Works E-V-E-R-Y TIME.

Once we agree that support socks will remain a daily MUST.. We move on to bringing out the NEW New things. Not to be confused with the NEW, old things. I had just finished a shopping trip to JC Penny’s to fill in the “holes” of our warm weather attire and began to dump the contents out on the bed for closer inspection.
You should have seen granny OOHHH-ing and AHHH-ing over each Navy. Beige. Tan. Item tumbling out of the white plastic jumbo bag. It’s always such a thrill. Then Ruth wants to run (shuffle) down the hall to show off her new look to the girls (and guy) hanging out in the dining room watching some hot Doris Day flick and chomping? on popcorn.

I watch her flit and float away and resume my black perma-marker hack job on the tags inside all her new ready to wear. Sure wouldn’t want to see Greta end up in this. Ruth would hurl.

My dear Sandwich Generation pretties. When you do your seniors clothing cleanse thrice yearly; you may need to learn the art of compromise. Don’t feel it necessary to win every battle with your parent. If they want to wear THAT pink floral cotton nightgown under their orange j. Crew polo and have the bottom skirt part hanging out over her pants..well then you might have to let THAT one go. Where you WILL have to draw the line is the other Madonna look. The BRA worn over the shirt— is no longer in VOGUE.

Strike a POSE,


Posted in Uncategorized 14 years, 11 months ago at 9:28 pm.


2 Replies

  1. I love your writing! You are following me on twitter and I for sure am going to follow you back. I very much identify with the “sandwich generation”. OMG! My mother is just like this. lol

  2. Adrienne May 12th 2009

    Thank you so much Tami! Really great that you stopped by to visit the girls and enjoyed their company!
    Wishing all the best with your OWN Sandwich!