Oh the joys of dressing each and every day for work!  Generally Joanie has no idea of what she will wear until five minutes before she must desperately find her purse, her briefcase, her car keys and her ferry pass, give Teddy a quick pat on the head and dash out the door.  As you can imagine, this little program is full of potential fashion disasters.

She has an enormous closet, and even another room (or two) where she stores her clothes, and occasionally she becomes, ahem, quite creative.  Years ago during her mild obsession with Chinese items  led her, unfortunately, to a brilliant red Chinese embroidered top and a pair of black silky pants.  She felt quite chic the day she debuted, until, at lunch, she was at the Ann Taylor store near her office and the clerk- apparently unaware of Joanie’s up- to- the minute fashion sense said to her “Would you like me to start a room for you?”  To which Joanie replied “Oh sure, that’s fine” and the clerk replied “So you are on your lunch break then!  Which Chinese restaurant do you work at?”  Quite a moment.

Then there was the time that Joanie, having felt a little rich apparently (this was in something like 1985), purchased a beautiful blouse at Nordstrom, cream with small polka dots, long sleeved and it had a bow which tied at the neck.  Joanie was so impressed with the blouse!  She thought to herself as she wore it, time after time, that the makers of the blouse were so clever to have had the buttons on the cuffs button on the  inside of the wrist instead of the outside!  “These expensive things are just different than regular things,” she would say to herself, admiring it and thinking she should shop there much more often!  Then, one day her friend Colleen stood looking at her at the office and said to her- “Joanie dear, I am pretty sure you have been wearing that blouse backwards, that’s why the buttons on the cuffs are on the inside, not the outside…”  Another beautiful moment…

Now Joanie would be totally remiss not to mention Dear Paul and his own fashion disasters, which are many.  One particular disaster stands out in her mind very clearly- the time he was waiting for her at the ferry dock in a pair of faded pumpkin shorts and an ugly bright orange silk shirt.  Not only did he look like an escapee from the Kitsap County Jail, he also looked vaguely Salvation Army/Miami Vice-ish, because he had the first five or so buttons unbuttoned so that his skinny little slightly hairy chest was in full view.  Which is interesting because he had purchased them earlier that day at St. Vincent de Paul, where apparently he has a Frequent Buyer card.

Another time he had tried to squish himself into a pair of my shorts- “Do these fit me?”- and unfortunately the zipper would not even begin to zip up so he had stuffed a washcloth in the front to fill the gap!  Joanie told him in no uncertain terms that said outfit would probably get him arrested for indecent exposure.  He slunk off in a huff to change before he climbed into the Cadillac to head to the store for more beer.

Finally Miss Joanie recently purchased a new dress and what you must know, Dear Readers, is that Joanie is mostly allergic to color.  Sad but true.  She loves black, beige, taupe, brown…you get the idea.  And the new dress was a brilliant reddish-orangish.  She knows that being an Upper Whiskey Gulch fashionista requires climbing out of the rut of black she wallows in and so she steeled herself as she put the dress on.  Even Dear Paul, as he zipped her up, one of his few uses besides watering the plants, looked at her quizzically as in “Hon, are you absolutely sure your nerves can take it?”

Since Joanie was out of time and had to run to the ferry, she threw on a red faux alligator belt and a jeans jacket, thinking “Be creative!  Mix and match!  Go for it!”  Good thing she didn’t look in the mirror before she left.   The dress was sleeveless with a boat neck and fitted at the waist with a poofy skirt.  50-ish style, which I guess works for someone who was, ahem, born in the 50′s, right?  Anyway as she attempted to tiptoe her way ever so elegantly down the gangplank of the foot ferry while keeping the dress from blowing up around her ears from the wind, the deckhand immediately shouted out “Whoo hoo!  Great dress!”  and Captain Ernie also exclaimed “Wow!  I love that on you- and Joanie it even matches our life preservers!

Here’s to all of Joanie’s girlfriends who support her enthusiastically, no matter WHAT she wears!

God bless you, my dearest of the dear.  Amen and goodnight


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