Saturday, May 17, 2008

The salad dressing really brings out the green in your eyes

I'm a big fan of the plain white dress shirt. Tucked, untucked, buttoned up or opened at the neck. You can wear them with anything. Any necklace, any scarf, jeans, skirts, dress pants.

I have a closet full of dry cleaned, lightly starched, crisp white dress shirts. They look so smart and pulled together. I love them, but I rarely wear them because inevitably whenever I wear one of my beautiful crisp white dress shirts, I'm guaranteed to slop some kind of crap all over myself.

It's very difficult to maintain a look that is smart and pulled together when the chest-ish area of your crisp white shirt is dotted with blobs of marinara sauce or what have you.

I want so badly to be that pulled together, elegant lady who can wear a crisp white dress shirt and remembers to touch up her lipstick throughout the day, but instead I am the doofus who walks around with a 5 inch zig-zagged ball point pen mark on her face, sweater fuzz in her hair and a post-it note stuck to her ass all day.

I really should have taken a clue from Tuesday's incident involving me carrying on about my business for the better part of an hour before I noticed that my pants were unzipped, and known enough not to wear a white shirt yesterday for my semi-important meeting. It was the kind of meeting where you actually get introduced to new people who will probably never see you again, but will communicate with you regularly via phone and email. The visual impression you make is the one they will keep forever.

The meeting was at 1:30 and I made it all the way to 12:45 without a hint of drop or crumb. In the morning I took the teeniest lady like sips of my coffee and at lunch time ate my salmon and spinach salad so slowly and deliberately I almost didn't recognize myself. I made it through the entire pre-meeting day and the shirt remained pristine.

It was more of a splashing that occurred when I threw the empty spinach salad plate into the trash, splattering my crisp white shirt with a yellowish, oily, fishy smelling melange.

I know from experience that trying to clean such a stain is futile and will only serve to frame the stain and help announce it more prominently. I may as well just draw big arrows on my shirt pointing to it. Not to mention the fact that my meeting was less than 20 minutes away and there was no way my shirt would have time to dry and I would have to walk to my meeting through the public hallways of the building wearing a wet white shirt that you could see right through.

No way man. The stain remained. I went to my meeting.

You'd think that I would know how to handle myself in such situations. Ignore it. Tell myself they probably won't even notice the stain on my shirt and move on. Act every bit the educated, professional and accomplished woman I know that I am.

You'd think that wouldn't you.


I arrived at the meeting and when I introduced myself and reached out to shake hands with the person I was meeting I noticed her eyes dip directly to the very prominent stain on my chest. I pointed to the spot with my other hand and said with sarcastic pride,

"That's a new modern art broach, I wore it special for our meeting today. If you like it I know where I can get one for you too."

Thankfully she laughed.

Hours later I discovered giant globs of spinach stuck in my teeth as well.

I am a hillbilly.


Leah said...

Wow, that really sucks, and you tried so hard. Hope the meeting went well after all that.

sparsely kate said...

Oooooh I'm feeling sorrow for you! I can relate, I think we all can relate to that but it still sucks.
At least they'll remember you as approachable, down to earth and wonderfully imperfect.
Rather be known as that than some pristine, egotistical white shirted princess. :)

i am playing outside said...

you need the Tide-To-Go pen. it REALLY works and FAST and DRIES FAST. and if not, also try the clorox bleach pen. it works too but i think youre supposed to launder soon after using. maybe if you have an older white shirt that you dont mind experimenting on at home, you could see if either of those will actually clean stains. it could save you lots of future embarassment.

Leah said...

YES, I totally agree with the Tide pen. I make a salad for lunch at work almost everyday, which includes making my own balsamic dressing with it. About once a month I get it on my white shirt and end up borrowing my co-workers Tide pen. Love it!

SkylersDad said...

Not me lady, I go out of my way to stain myself right away.

Just get it over right away I always say!

Suze's Sass said...

Aah, my soul sister. My white shirts hide in fear in the back of my closet. Cowards - come out and let me prove to you that I CAN wear you without spillage.

Michelle said...

I was totally thinking of the Tide-to-Go pen while reading this post. I love that commercial where the guy is in an interview and everytime he says something his Stain talks over him with a bunch of gibberish. It's so true that they're distracting! But I think you did a great job handling it! Might as well just get it out there.

WendyB said...

Oh, man!

Frenchie said...

Brilliant recovery!! Utterly brilliant! I'll have to use that one in the future.

Tara said...

That's why I wear silky scarves around my neck. To cover my sloppiness. Actually, I'm clumsy with or without a white shirt. My salsa stains are not color-specific, but the do gravitate towards the shelf that is my chest area.

When that lady looked at the stain on your chest, you also could've said, "They're breasts. You jealous?" Then the spotlight's on her. Hah! ;)

r cubed said...

Oh my god, that was the funniest post and pic I've read in a while. Sucks about the stain, but great save. I am also one who walks about splotched and unzipped with buttons askew and shirts on inside out. I think maybe I am just here to make others feel better about themselves.

evil-e said...

I always end up having to fix the fax machine or do physical labor, like carry boxes the day I wear my nice while polo. I have a few and I do not wear them often for the same reasons you don't. They have to stay nice and clean and the only way to do that is to stay off of me.

Those remover thingies don't work either. They actually have discolored stains weirder for me.

Renaissance Woman said...

So glad that somebody else walks around with food stuck in your teeth. And who the hell doesn't tell somebody? I think your humor was perfect and the other woman will be using it 1,000 times herself.

Thank you for the support and comments.

Churlita said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I spilled oatmeal on my headset phone chord without realizing it, so it was wiped all over my chest before I figure it out. Two words. Class. Act.

Utah Savage said...

What a great read. I, too am a lover of the crisp white shirt. I too am a slob. When I used to go for cocktails with the "girls" we would go to a love bar called The New Yorker" (funny only because this is Salt Lake City). Before we left the paring lot we would all bare our teeth to one another to check for the dreaded spinach or parsley snagged and hanging on. Then we reapplied the lipstick, and checked for lipstick on the teeth. Oh, those were the day.

Utah Savage said...

And they'll remember you as abroachable.

CDP said...

Oh my, I know ALL about the desire for crisp, polished, Rosalind Russell dame in the workplace perfection, coupled with rumpled, fuzzy-haired, gnawed cuticle reality. I've worn one black and one brown shoe to work, and I have done it more than once. (Every time I go to buy a white shirt, my husband asks me how many I have, to which I respond "one short of how many I need").

Chris said...

I'm not good at dressing myself. I once sat through an entire job interview wondering if I'd remembered to wear undershorts. Not that it mattered to anyone but me, but it was really distracting.

I didn't get the job.

In a fashion faux-pas just as deadly in a completely different social circumstance, I hopped on my motorcycle one day to head to a gathering of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. I did my quick pre-ride check as I sat there in the driveway -- keys, billfold, black T-shirt with some band's logo on it, black leather chaps, black leather coat, black leather vest with all my fancy patches, I'm set to jet. I plugged the helmet on my head as I fired up the beastie... but it didn't feel right. I pulled the helmet off and looked at it. Drat, I've got my wife's helmet. Oh well, it'll work well enough (it's black, after all). I drove the whole way there wondering why someone else's helmet could fit so poorly -- they're the same size and everything. It just felt awkward. But not as awkward as I felt as I pulled up in front of my fellow motorcycle enthusiasts with my wife's helmet on BACKWARDS, with a big white DOT sticker in the front...

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Leah - I'm so tickled that you are reading my blog now - I love you!!! The meeting was fine of course - I'm a big blower of hot air - you know this.

Kate - In most instances, including this one, hiding all of my insecurities behind humor works just fine.

Player - Got one - and doesn't work on greasy stains, which are my speciality - works good for wine and such though.

Skydad - that is excellent time management.

Suze - I dig them out, put them on and wait for it to happen.

Michelle - I've got to stop fast forwarding the commericals on our Tivo - I'm totally missing out.

WendyB - I know!

Frenchie - hi Love, thanks! I felt like a giant ass at the time, but am feeling better about it now.

Tara - you're right! the silky scarves are excellent cover for my slops. I swear that my boobs are some kind of weird magnets for marinara sauce. I always seems to find popcorn in my cleavage too.

Rcubed - it never fails either that the one day I totally slob out and wear cords and a t-shirt is the one day that there is a surprise meeting with some director of some shit that needs impressing.

Evil - me too - I stopped wearing black entirely when I worked in vet clinics all the time - and stopped wearing white when I worked in IT and had to dig around in the printers.
One day we'll show them all and just show up to work wearing a barrel.

RenWoman - My blog is nothing if not a support group for the sloppy and embittered.

Churlita - oh man, that shit turns to cement - but the stain comes out pretty easily. I'm always mad when MDH doesn't rinse out his oatmeal bowl in the sink. I want to throw the dish away.

Utah - that's what friends are for - the good ole spinach check.

Utah - very punny ;)

CDP - you totally understand and I LOVE the Roz reference - that's it exactly.

Chris - you get a big double sided air kiss for this one. Too funny!

Tara said...

Cleavage does tend to catch the kernels, doesn't it? A nice pocket.

i am playing outside said...

have you tried wearing a tasteful bib or garbage bag over yourself at all times non-meeting? that could work!

Gwen said...

Where in Sam Hill did my comment go? I wrote something about you pulling it off with class. Never mind. It isn't funny anymore. Poo.

another good thing said...

I love the IDEA of the pressed white shirt, but I can never seem to pull it off-- see the 7 different styles in my closet, all with drycleaning tags.
I'm glad you were quickwitted and she had a good sense of humor... you'll be remembered, and isn't that the point?

Alice said...

Great blog! And I'm with you on the white shirt look and have just the right set of teeth to catch peppercorns in.

Leonesse said...

Count me in the club. Damn, I thought it was just me. Don't get me started on white pants.

pistols at dawn said...

As for the spinach, better that it was in your teeth than your stomach. That stuff's gross.

Family Adventure said...

Tide To Go! Seriously.


The Secretary said...

I have one brilliant white shirt saved for a special occasion. Occasion came and due to the large shelf-like quality of my chest, I also managed to ruin it by noon. I don't know why I bother to try.

Hey I've been away, but I'm back again. Come see me:

I promise to not ignore my blog for months at a time. Thanks for entertaining me with yours :)