Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sisters, Pantsuits and Poodles

In just over a week I’ll be heading to Texas to spend the holidays with family. Perhaps because I’ll get to see her in just a few days I’ve been thinking of my sister quite a lot. We can get pretty silly when we get together. Let me tell you a story…

One day my sister and I went shopping. Not to the Mother Ship, which is our usual favorite shopping destination (Dillard’s to those who aren’t familiar with the lingo), but to a second-hand shop in the town where my sister lives. This self-styled ‘boutique’ – sadly, it is past its heyday, but let me tell you, its heyday was GOOD – was run by a roster of very energetic elderly women and was the sort of place where you could shop for hours, try on 87 different things and walk out with 2 or 43 things. All for about $23. It just depended on the day, and how the grass was growing.

Two hilarious things happened that day. This often happens when the two of us go out together. Cosmic forces unite for comedy’s sake.

First hilarious thing: we found the most hideously fantastic, perfectly awful two-piece pantsuit in the history of pantsuits. Which I have to imagine is saying a great deal although until this moment I’ve never given much thought to the history of pantsuits. It was hot pink, shiny, marbleized fake snakeskin looking, possibly made of vinyl. It had a halter top with a flared waist, almost a peplum. And pants. Hot pink shiny pants. It was an outfit Miss Piggy would have “Hi-YAH!”-ed to get for her very own. Naturally we went into spasms of pig-snorting giggles* as soon as we saw it, with lots of frantic whispers, points, and making the big eyes. We didn’t want the old ladies to know we were making fun of their merchandise. That would be rude. So instead we popped it into the dressing room we shared, tried it on and took cell phone pictures of the hot pink vinyl glory. I’m afraid the pig-snorting giggles got a little louder because an old lady voice asked, from the other side of the dressing room curtain, “Is everything all right in there?” You’ve no idea the effort of will it took to say “Yes” as normally as possible. We had to stop looking at each other, our reflections in the mirror, the pantsuit and just about anything else in order to get the giggles back under control.

(In the interest of full disclosure, we did not buy the pantsuit. That day. After I returned to Boston and told this story to my friend MKA she was horrified to know we hadn’t bought it and insisted that we do so, pronto. Kelsey went back, bought it and sent it to me so it is now my very own perfect shiny pink vinyl pantsuit. MKA wore it for Halloween this year. I say with perfect sincerity and a little awe, she was truly the embodiment of Tacky. K, whenever you want to borrow it, it’s all yours!)

Second hilarious thing. Later that day – it may have been another visit to the same store, but I think it was the same day – I was checking out. Ahead of me in line was a little old lady who was bopping around to the music the store was playing to encourage the spending of money. You know, the lively melodies of Lionel Ritchie or Juice Newton. Something like that. She just couldn’t sit still and I couldn’t help smiling a little watching her bop around, waiting to pay for her collection of teal and purple clothing. She looked very happy. The lady behind the desk was caught up in some baffling technical detail concerning the last sale. She turned to the Bopping Lady and said, “I’m sorry, it’ll just be a minute.” The Bopping Lady smiled and bopped and said, “Oh that’s all right, hon. I’m not goin’ anywhere till my poodle’s done, so you just take your time.”

It took me a minute to figure out that there was one of those dog beauty parlors just a few doors down from the second-hand shop and that ‘till my poodle’s done’ was not a new Southern unit of time or random figure of speech. She meant it literally.

Although Kelsey and I (and MKA) have been known to use ‘till my poodle’s done’ as a unit of time since then. It’s vague and distracting and a great way to buy time if you need it.

* For a full description of the PSL - that's pig-snorting laughter - phenomenon, please visit Kelsey's explanation of it here.


Antique Mommy said...

"I'm not going anywhre till my poodle's done" - that is hysterical. I can't wait to use it.

HolyMama! said...

I was pregnant that day and YOU tried on the pantsuit! HA! But I would have rather been the sister to try it on, than the sister who had to go back in there and BUY IT, thanks MKA. The saleslady smiled sincerely and said, "This is just something ELSE, isn't it?!" It was so easy to agree with her. Hot pink vinyl snakeskin halter pantsuit - something else all right!

woo hoo! only one word i don't know in this post!

Anonymous said...

No picture of the pantsuit???!!!

Happy PSLing!