Mariella begins preparation two and a half hours prior to estimated departure time. She brushes the latest hot color of shiny polish on tips of fingers and toes. With heightening anticipation she gazes into her closet, slips into a state of light meditation and ponders whether to dress from the earrings down, the shoes up, or start in the center and go either direction.
She inserts earrings that match the color of a favorite dress. Consultation with the full-length mirror results in a “so-so” rating. Garment is removed and tossed on the bed. Out comes the green silk dress with the high fashion label and low-fashion price. She smugly recalls how much she saved on that dandy purchase. Hmm. A little too snug and no shoes that are perfect with it. Never mind. Add to newly forming wardrobe locale. Next candidate, clingy red dress. Nah. Not in the mood. How about black? Full skirt, slim skirt, high neckline, risky neckline, long sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves, all are stepped into or slid over the head, then each is unceremoniously removed, confirming that black won’t be heading out the door tonight. Wardrobe continues to morph from vertical to horizontal.
Her eyes do a kind of closet-cabeceo, scanning for the outfit that will be most apt to make her the envy of estrogen producers and appealing to testosterone manufacturers. The black and white with pleated skirt and spaghetti straps looks inviting. Except…it will be chilly tonight. Need sleeves. B/W joins the shapeless form on the bed. She dons a flowing handkerchief dress. Looks fine…feels flimsy. Adds it to the garment party. Tries on a vibrant purple number. Nope, not in a “stand out” mood.
She scans the closet with dwindling optimism and slightly blurring eyes. Aha! An item previously passed over nearly jumps off the rack. “Burgundy!” Meets sleeves requirement and hasn’t been worn in a while. Perhaps folks won’t remember it and will ask if it’s new. Oh, oh, missing the other earring. Skip the earrings. Necklace or no? Decide later. Launch search for matching shoes.
Hair: Curly or straight? Down or pulled back? One side or both? Ribbon? Bow? Clip? Each requires viewing from front, side, back, and consideration of affect close embrace.
Make-up: Which shade lipstick? Cream foundation or powder? Rouge, mascara, eyeliner, all carefully selected and skillfully applied.
Lastly…which coat looks best and will be warm enough for walking to and from the car? Street shoes: flats or low heels? Which purse? And on it goes till everything feels right. Preparation completed just in time to leave on time. Whew.
Huber’s departure time is in twenty minutes. Clothing is extracted from drawers and closet with efficient motion and laid neatly across the bed. Matching socks, check. Absorbent t-shirt, check. Least wrinkled dress shirt, check. Stain-free tie, check. Sharply creased slacks, check. Snazzy sport coat, check. Shined shoes, in the car, check. Shower, dress, groom, check, check, check. Preparation complete. Departs ahead of schedule.