Thursday Morning Wood

Posted by Wood | Thursday, July 20, 2006 |

Last week Juniper and I met Dutch downtown for lunch. It was one of those rare hot days in San Francisco that cause everyone here to complain loudly on their cell-phones about the unbearable heat and the sweatiness of our thighs, only to be greeted with a well-deserved "fuck you" from people who live in the kind of places where the temperatures don't top out at 85 degrees. Still, riding the stinky bus downtown with Juniper perched perilously on my lap, trying to keep her entertained every single second of the bus ride to ensure that she didn't start running her hands through the natty hair of the homeless guy next to us wore me out. When we got to the financial district, I emerged from the bus looking like a withered, sweaty frump in mom clothes.

With Juniper slung on my back in her ergo carrier, running her hands through my 3 day-old wash'n'wear hairdo, I noticed that all around in the financial district were beautiful, fashionable people. They weren't wearing pants smeared with cracker spittle, and none of their shirts looked like they'd been yanked from the dirty clothes basket that morning. The warm day just seemed to add a pleasant, summery glow to these smartly-dressed professionals, and they strolled across the streets well-coifed in coordinated outfits on the way to their $50 business lunches while sipping cups of Peet's coffee without spilling a drop on their neatly pressed shirts.

As a particularly well-dressed woman passed us and shot me a glance of pity, I quickly retailated in my mind: "Ha, ha! Laugh now, but in a measly seven weeks, I too will wear red high heels with a charcoal pencil skirt and a black blouse! I am returning to the workforce, and I will do it in style! So long food stains and frump, hello formal businesswear!" I threw my shoulders back, brushed some more crumbs off my pantlegs, and continued up the block to meet Dutch.

As soon as I saw him, I told him about my realization: I couldn't wait to go back to work so that I could wear nice clothes again, clothes with buttons and collars and shoes with heels and pointy toes, and maybe I'd get a hair cut that wasn't so shaggy, and maybe I'd even start blow-drying it, and probably I'd have to buy some new clothes because the ones I have aren't right and don't fit well enough, but the bottom line was that very soon, I would be looking clean and fashionable again and there wouldn't be a single toddler finger around to so much as smear a line of snot across my lapel because I would be at work.

It was right after I said the words "at work" that I started to sob.