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My Wardrobe is Under Construction

By Brenda C. Birmelin

carpenters,carpentry,construction,construction workers,industry,lumber,persons
In the last month every wall, door and cabinet in my house has been painted and trimmed. New flooring has been laid over every room except the kitchen. That really gave the old expression “the kitchen is the heart of the home” a new meaning. Not only was it the heart of the home, it was the only floor that didn’t have tacks, glue or grout laid out like a land mine.

By the time the workers left, our belongings had been flipped around the house like a mosquito in a hurricane. We had to re-organize the rooms and closets, but it was slow going.

Getting the TV, DVD player and Video player back in order was like sticking my hand in a snake pit. I found three extra cables that didn’t fit into anything and placed them in a drawer. It only took 4 phone calls to the Direct TV people to discover that I only had two extra cables. Who knew that Direct TV caller i.d. requires a phone cable to be plugged into a TV set?

By that time I had worked up an appetite and decided I needed to take a trip to the grocery store. For two weeks my refrigerator had been filled with paint rollers and Styrofoam cups of paint, so I had insisted on eating out. Living in a house that looks like a combat zone does have its perks.

I realized I couldn’t get to makeup or clean clothes. I would just have to go with the face Mother Nature gave me and wear the work clothes that had crawled through the snake pit in the back of the entertainment center. I couldn’t even get into my coat closet, so I grabbed one of Bud’s old jackets and covered my unkempt hair with a toboggan cap. Unfortunately Bud’s jacket was so large, it covered my knees and the sleeves were so long I didn’t need gloves to protect my hands from the freezing weather. I took a very quick look into the mirror and realized I was a dead ringer for a homeless street person.

As I entered the grocery store I kept my head lowered hoping nobody I knew would see me. Naturally I ran into at least a dozen women I knew, all dressed like they had just been treated to a beauty makeover. As I left the checkout counter the assistant manager greeted me and quietly offered to give me the address of the local food bank and homeless shelter. I thanked him. I didn’t want to protest that I didn’t need that information. Somehow I didn’t think he’d believe me.

The next day I had scheduled an interview for an article I was writing, so I arose early knowing that getting dressed would take a little extra time. I discovered that if I used a coat hanger for leverage and stood on a suitcase, I could wrangle my red pantsuit out of the closet. It was the Christmas season, so a red suit would be quite fitting. Besides, I wouldn’t have to find a jacket. I wore that suit for three consecutive days. I did wash it every night.
At the end of three days, I was excited to realize that I could reach both my closets; I went to sleep dreaming of all the outfits and coats I could wear the next week. By the time I woke up and started moving toward the closet, I realized that Bud had placed his two hundred fishing rods in front of my closet doors.

I chose a pair of slacks from the dirty laundry hamper, threw them in the washing machine and headed for Bud’s jacket closet. In the back of my head I could hear the voice of Tim Gunn, Project Runway’s fashion guru saying, “Make it work”.

Copyright Brenda C. Birmelin

* * * * *

Brenda is a native Tar Heel and a card-carrying member of the UDC. She has written humor pieces for a local tourist publication including one called, You Might Be a Coaster If... Brenda was involved in a partnership-published book called, If Laughter's the Best Medicine, I Can't Be Sick. She also has been published in Women's Glibber and The Best Contemporary Women's Humor.


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