November 13, 2009

The Raven: Project Runway

I volunteer at a local agency that provides a worthwhile service to our community. I am passionate about the cause. I donate my time and money because I believe in the good this organization does.

Today I worked at their annual Fashion Show. This is completely not my cup of tea. Or on my radar. In any sense of the word fashion.

When the committee chair handed out assignments, I wanted to hide. I signed up for registration -- I figured I could do no harm there, Greeting people, taking checks, pointing out the bathroom--registration tasks went well. These are the fashion skills I possess -- greeting, collecting, pointing.

During the Fashion Show itself, my mind began to wander. I am not interested in fashion. Even in a thinner, younger body I just didn’t care. In college when all the perky petite sorority girls had matching pastel baby blue Bobbie Brooks suits, my journalism-major friends and I bought painter’s pants from Sears. Blue for winter -- white for the rest of the year. Adidas tennis shoes, and the random t-shirt of the day.

While I appreciate beautiful people (mmmm. George Clooney in black tie, channeling Cary Grant) I am indifferent to the twists and turns of high fashion, or even local low fashion. Today beautiful women of all shapes and sizes modeled gorgeous holiday party outfits, with beads, and fur accents, shimmering copper buttons, four inch heels, and little tiny purses the size of an Altoids tin.

My mind continued to dance around as the models walked the runaway. In my imagination, I heard the announcer describe me as a model….

The Raven comes to us today, on her way to a fall outing. Perhaps she is headed to the Dollar Store, to purchase the very latest in generic kitty litter. She is wearing size 11AAAA New Balance shoes. Since she lost her job, her feet have grown two sizes and she had to special-order these boats. Now her feet are larger than her husband’s or her son’s. Larger than most people in the civilized world.

The Raven steps gingerly onto the runway, looking up to see the edge through her fashionable no-line bifocals. She is fearful her bulky shoes will slip off the runway edge.

For this adventure on an autumn day, The Raven also has on her ripped blue Villanova t-shirt, white socks from Walgreens (six pairs for ten dollars) and a pair of men’s Hanes sweat pants with the stretchable, stringed waist.

These sweat pants feature two pockets, just right for the wad of Kleenex The Raven must constantly carry due to her ever-present running sinuses.

On another day, the Raven can choose trendy sweats in any color, and other favorite shirts--including the Shakespeare in sunglasses or I am toast tees. This plus-sized gal often likes to add a “hoodie” for warmth and comfort. Today, she tosses her American University hoodie, in the jewel tone of magenta, jauntily over her shoulder.

The Raven is back on the runway, showing us her Sunday best. She is taking comfort in her glide-in size 11AAAA SAS shoes, that vaguely resemble penny loafers. She has on Walgreens half-hose and black “expand-a-waist” pants. She is wearing a red camisole, and a black polyester jacket with her Eagle Scout mother’s pin on the lapel. The black jacket, no matter how hard she tries, is always covered with cat hair.

Back for her third trip on the runway today, The Raven shows her special occasion look. Whether it’s a high school play or the church women’s potluck, The Raven often falls back on her standard “Metro” pants by Dockers. These popular no iron khakis, feature the waist a middle-aged woman needs, along with the handy cell phone pocket for the woman on the go.

The Raven today sports an unattractive facial tic, which accent her Leonid Brezhnev eyebrows and Soviet-military style glasses.

The announcer -- a local television newswoman -- reads my bio as The Raven makes her last pstroll (er lumbering, tripping walk) on the runway.

The Raven Lunatic is a wife, mother, and underemployed writer who wants only two things: world peace and the Dairy Queen to re-open in her town. She has been writing a book for thirty years, called “Dress for Distress,” and expects its publication right after she starts wearing sleeveless dresses. Let’s give it up for The - Raven - Lunatic! Quoth the raven. ©