One of the random things I do every January is resolve to start dressing up more for work. I’m not a slob or anything – at least, I don’t think I am – but I don’t exactly go out of my way to look professional. You know how at the beginning of every single book in the Baby-Sitters Club, whichever girl was the narrator always described what everyone else wore? If that’s our metaphor, I’m Kristy Thomas. I’m probably like Kristy Thomas in a few other ways, too, come to think of it. But for the purpose of this entry, I’m Kristy Thomas in that I wear a sweater (usually turtleneck) and black or gray pants to work almost every single day of the week in the winter.
I’m also Claudia’s brainy dorky older sister Janine, though, because while I could remember the whole argument about how to punctuate “The Baby-Sitters Club” in whichever book that was, I’m so anal that I just had to go look it up to make sure I got it right (since I can’t remember the actual outcome of the great punctuation argument).
ANYWAY. This year, dressing up more for work meant that I was going to start wearing heels again. Since our departments moved to a new location on campus last summer, it’s been really hard to find a parking space near our offices. I got tired of walking across campus every day in heels and started wearing flat loafers a lot, like the 85-year-old woman I am. But I happen to have some kickass boots with heels, and I decided one day last week that I was going to start my “dress up more” plan by wearing them.
But the kickass boots with heels require longer pants than the flat loafers, and since I’ve been wearing flat loafers all the time, I wasn’t sure where to find my longer black pants.
One morning last week I went digging around for them, and finally found them in a pile in the corner of my bedroom (along with a suit that’s been missing and that I spent way too much money on to let sit in a pile on my bedroom floor for months).
I don’t iron. I don’t even own an iron. But I decided I’d fluff the pants in the dryer for a few minutes and see if that dewrinkled them enough to make them okay to wear. I was examining the pants to see if they’d be okay without washing when I saw a big-ass spider clinging to one of the legs.
And because it was morning, I was running late as usual, and I am a paranoid psychotic freak, I shrieked, flung the pants back into the corner spider and all, and wore shorter pants and the flat loafers to work that day.
I thought about the spider all week. I dreamed about it at night. Finally, today I went on a housecleaning spree and decided that I needed to suck it up and get those pants off the floor so I could start over with the “dress up more for work” plan next week.
But I didn’t know if the spider was still on them. I got a coat hanger and poked at the pants for a while hoping I’d find him and could then kill him before washing the pants. I wasn’t about to pick them up if the spider might be in them.
It appeared that my arachnid companion had found somewhere else to hang out, because I didn’t see him in the pants anywhere. But I still was afraid to pick them up in case he crawled out of the leg while I was carrying them downstairs to the washer, causing me to freak out and fall down the stairs and break all my bones.
So I did what any logical, rational, clearheaded person would do.
I put on a pair of shoes. I hooked the pants with the coathanger and took them out to the upstairs landing, where the light was brightest. Using the hanger, I spread them out flat on the floor.
Then I stomped on every square inch of them for about five minutes before taking them downstairs to the washer.
I still haven’t found the spider, but if he’s in the pants, he’s in the pants in clean pieces.