And then there’s that morning where you’re headed off to a wedding, and you were hoping (really hoping) the dark grape, winter-ish outfit you were planning to wear would work; but then you went outside to eat breakfast, and the sun and the warmth and the day and the season said, “No, alas. Not gonna work. It’s spring time; not winter.”
But then, knowing why you’d wanted your winter-ish outfit to work (because you didn’t have another solution and had jettisoned/donated/gifted so many of your go-to clothes in recent years and genuinely had nothing wedding-ish to wear), you suddenly spotted a very floral spring-ish/summer-ish dress in the back of your closet.
And realizing that floral dress–bought at a thrift store a year ago and never worn before, while much more aligned to spring, than dark-colored outfit you were hoping to swing–really isn’t an outfit; and it’s just a dress, you realize that while a ray of hope has emerged from your closet, you’re still rather far away from having an actual outfit; and that, for starters, you’d gifted your last pair of dress shoes because they didn’t color-match anything in your wardrobe anymore, when all of a sudden your realized, “Heck, I guess I can wear cowboy boots with this dress;” and “Erg, while this one is not my favorite sweater by any means, it is working with this outfit;” and “Let me add a bit of jewelry and makeup and see what that does;” and “Gosh, even though I didn’t think I had an outfit, per se, all my clothes are in the same color palette, so they do have an amazing propensity to work together;” and “Well, you know, if nothing else, ‘I’m near 60 and am rightfully in that ‘I can’t be caring about your opinion about me too much’ stage of life;” and then you grab your NBD everyday wallet clutch that suddenly perfects your outfit; and you head out the door thinking, “Not sure how I swung that, but it’s all good, one way or the other; the wedding and the celebration are the focus, not my attire; but, you look in the mirror and think, “Wow, cowboy boots and a flower-y flow-y dress — wouldn’t have seen that coming, but, yeah, whatever just happened: that was magic in the making.”
Then, patting yourself on the back for telling yourself the previous night to build in an extra half hour for the drive time so you could arrive a good half hour before the wedding to socialize, you head off, still with plenty of time to get to the wedding even with the unexpected last-minute wardrobe shift.
As you drive away, you thank yourself for listening to your intuition that morning, for as comfortable as you’ve become rolling out of the house without having showered, you had decided that morning that a shower would, indeed, be nice, and while you had no need, per se, to shave your legs — your know, because you were going to be wearing a winterish groovy outfit with pants — you decided to anyway, which was really great, because now you’re wearing a skirt and it’d have been just one more last-minute hurdle to have to also shave with the sudden wardrobe change. And you are grateful for small things, even though you notice, as the sun coming into you car hits your knees, and you realize you didn’t do nearly as good of a shaving job as you thought you did, and you have to say to yourself, “Well, whatever.”
Then, minutes before the wedding is scheduled to start and after parking in the retail-dense area with the hotel name on the invitation, you walk toward the place on the invitation–The Canopy at Hilton–realizing that with the tall buildings blocking the sun, that warmth you felt earlier this morning is missing, and with the wind whipping between the buildings, it’s actually rather chilly; and everyone walking around is wearing pants and jackets and little vests and beanie hats and things to keep them warm; and most everyone is wearing dark, wintry colors; and you’re the only person walking around with bare legs and a bright floral dress with a periwinkle sweater; but you’re wearing cowboy boots so it’s easy to act like, ‘Yeah, I meant to do that’ as you stride along; only to discover–upon arriving at The Canopy at Hilton–that there is no wedding; and that it’s just a restaurant and that the only thing going on today is a drag-queen brunch; and you walk (briskly) back to your car, grateful you brought the actual printed wedding invite rather than just relying on the address you put in your digital calendar last night, because, while you thought you were being organized and getting prepared, you actually entered in the hotel address for out-of-town guests and not the temple where the wedding should be starting in minutes..
Then, realizing you’re going to be about 18 minutes late, you say to yourself, “OK; it is what it is;” and you drive to the temple, which, turns out, is a Jewish temple where most everyone is wearing dark-color clothes and your are aware with your blonde-ish-colored hair and your colorful, flower-y dress and metallic and purple cowboy boots that you may have missed the mark on this one and are likely also belting out “Shiksa Shiksa Shiksa” by your outfit alone, but you also just have to say, “OK, it is what it is.”
But you go on, as you’re already there, and you try to sit in a less conspicuous spot in the back and on the side. And the bride and groom come. And you’re not late at all. And the wedding is lovely and simple. And then it’s time to head to a restaurant for the reception. But having noticed on your drive to the temple in Chevy Chase, Md., an extraordinary number of cherry trees that seemed to be in full blossom, your brain triggers a memory of something you heard about years before: how there is an alternative to the lovely-but-insanely-crowded D.C. Tidal Basin option for seeing cherry blossoms in full bloom.
So, jetting out a bit faster than most from the temple, you start driving down little nearby streets and discover, to your delight, that not only are street after street filled with cherry blossoms at their peak, but that the neighborhood(s) where you’re driving–Chevy Chase and Kenwood–are absolutely lovely and charming beyond any understanding you’d had prior, and now, as you wend your way around these thin little streets, you find your flower-y dress with your periwinkle sweater to be just the perfect outfit for such a moment and excursion.
And when you get to the restaurant, you’re wondering “where are my cousins?” because the bride — who you really don’t know that well and met only once when you two connected on Facebook because her father and your uncle were both adopted as infants, but to separate families, and through a bit of this and that and a lot of “meant to happens” were able to find each other and connect in their 70s — had told you your cousins from Nevada (the ones you hardly ever ever see) would be there; and you were figuring you wouldn’t know anyone except for them (and that turned out to be true), but, as far as you could tell, your cousins weren’t at the wedding or at the reception. And they weren’t responding to your Facebook messages asking if they were in town, and you didn’t yet know that their vacation home got 15 feet of snow and they had to bail on the wedding and go dig their home out; so you strolled in to the restaurant, looked for your table assignment and found none, but did see one for your cousins, so you told the person helping people find their tables that you’d sit at their table, much to her dismay that you were seating yourself without a table assignment.
Then you sat by yourself because no one else was at the table. For a while. Then three people sat down and after some awkward silence and avoiding each other, you said “hi.” Then you discovered you were sitting with the bride’s mother, and the bride’s son and his wife; and you all started chatting, and they were quite lovely; and you had a fun time; and you enjoyed meeting them. And you learned the somehow-related-to-me-sorta-bride was a Druid, and you loved how the wedding and reception blended her and her husband’s faiths; but when the Irish dancing lesson came, you realized it was time to go, and you took a few more minutes of detouring around charming Kenwood to see the lovely cherry blossoms in peak as you made your way home.
And when you came home after getting an eighth for $14 (fourteen dollars!) at the dispensary less from a mile from your place, you saw yourself in the mirror and, thought, “I would happily wear this outfit again,” and you’re simply delighted that you got to see cherry blossoms; and you’re happy the wedding was a simple one; and even though you didn’t get to see your cousins, you still had a lovely time; and you smile at the way things work out when you listen and glisten, and go and flow.