Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Which Onions Inform My Fashion Sense

Tomorrow, I leave for a month of touring in Australia, Germany, and France, and as I pack, I discover that I am flummoxed.

This is because, due to an accident of geography, Australia is on the other side of the planet, which means they are opposite to us in many ways. When it is day here, it is night in Australia. When our water goes clock-wise down the drain, theirs goes counter-clockwise. When we are watching re-runs, they are watching pilots. When it is summer here, it is winter there.

That is problematic because my tour packing usually involves me stuffing my 17 black tank tops into a duffle bag and calling it a day. It means that it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between photos from most of my tour events. The internet is populated by identical photos of me in black tank tops.

The Australians have informed me, however, that if I wear tank tops to Australia, I will be cold. Remember, the Australians are playing Opposite Day with us, which means that since I’m happy wearing tank tops here in Virginia, I will be sad wearing them in Australia. This leaves me with a packing conundrum. I have to think of something else to wear.

Luckily, this is not the first time I’ve had to apply my brain to tour wardrobe malfunctions. I think it’s time to explain this particular photo.

Maggie at Rainy Day Books

That is Kansas City. On tour. You’ll notice that that is me wearing, like, the opposite of a black tank top.

The reason I happened to have that dress packed on my road-trip driving tour happened about four days before my tour began. I was having a perfectly lovely morning and then Something Terrible happened. Namely, I began to put on my jeans (I was putting on jeans because it was a day that ended with ‘y’) and I realized that I was . . . not comfortable.

Further exploration revealed an ABUE (Angry Bump of Unknown Etiology) near my waist band which Google informed me was an ingrown hair. For those of you who, like me, had never had an ingrown hair, allow me to explain: it is when the natural order of the world is reversed and a hair grows in instead of out. It is much like opposite day and Australia in that respect, but more painful.


Aside from being ugly and painful, it was also humiliating. There is nothing sympathetic about an ingrown hair. Like pimples, they are a trial that must be borne alone, only appearing in public to be mocked on Family Guy.

Google told me not to worry. It would be gone in ten days, six days after my tour began.

But I could not wear my jeans.

I do not think the internet can adequately convey the fear and horror that washed through me as I realized that my tour wardrobe had been stolen from me in the blink of an eye. In the twitch of a hair. If you took all of the capital As I have ever typed in the history of this blog and add them to all of the lower case hs I ever typed into the Wolves of Mercy Falls, and you put them together, that would begin to create the sound that defined my agony.

Hurriedly, I consulted Google again. Surely there was a way to wish this abomination away sooner. Google offered a lot of remedies, but some of them sounded like beginning of stories my E.R. doctor father liked to tell at dinner, and some of them sounded a lot like magic. But I was desperate.

Which was how I ended up spending a day with half an onion strapped to my thigh.

After about ten hours of smelling like cheap salsa, I decided to get onto G-chat and ask my Oracle for advice. My Oracle = Jackson Pearce. She has never steered me wrong, except for when she has. On g-chat we discussed potential solutions. Some of them involved tweezers. Some of them involved baths and ice cream. For some reason, a lot of Jackson’s suggestions involve baths and ice cream.The following conversation happened:

me: Should I buy a dress for tour?
Jackson: If you buy a dress it'll be made of iron grommets and heavy weight burlap

Jackson has this theory that I will only wear clothing that is heavier than my body, or that looks like heavy machinery. The theory is not entirely unsound.

I am not a dress person.

But it wasn’t as if I could wear this onion on tour. Aside from imparting a less than beautiful silhouette, it smelled like rush hour at Chipotle. So I bought a dress. It was a beautiful dress, much to Jackson’s shock.   

Jackson: oh look at that!
That dress is delightful.
me: HA! double HA, pearce!
You thought it would have rivets!
... I couldn't find rivets.
Jackson: Who are you
stranger with Maggie's google name
me: I bargained with myself.
If I wear pretty things, I can wear giant hardware on my arms.

The dress was crochet, which means “see through” in layman’s terms, so, feeling clever, I bought the slip the site recommended. Both arrived. I tried it on. It looked like a million bucks. I looked like a million bucks. It was no jeans and tank top, but still, I was pleased. I emerged from my room, triumphant, to show Lover.

Lover: Uh, Maggie?

Because, this.

Dress warning

I'm not certain who designed this particular dress/ slip pairing, but they clearly had never aligned the two aspects to realize that crochet + crochet = still see through.

By now I was in proper form, frothing at the mouth, days before my tour, moving slowly as not to dislodge the ever-present onion. With the firm eyebrows and twisted mouth I'd learned from Bruce Willis in nearly all of his movies, I went from place to place until I tracked down a pair of bloomers to cover up my lady-parts.

In the interim, my in-grown hair went away.

Still, full of the principle of the thing, I brought the Onion Dress with me on tour, a sort of gruesome trophy. Twitter convinced me to wear it to the event in Kansas City. Photo, explained.

So, you see, I really have the experience to pack for this Australian trip now. I have loads of options. I even have a dress. And bloomers.

But I already miss my tank tops.
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