Quondam

October 2012
M T W T F S S
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I do appreciate your doubt

Maj and I are in a clothing store, because she wants to buy a pair of running pants.  Usually, Maj takes a hyperbolic eight bazillion years to progress from deciding she needs an item to actually purchasing that item, so I have little faith that running pants will actually be purchased on this day.  I am more than a little surprised when I find her running her fingers through a sales rack of running pants, and I am stunned when she selects two pairs to try on – one ankle length and one capri.  She turns and holds them out for me to see, “These are on sale.  I’m going to try them on.”

“Seriously?”

Her face is determined, “Yup.  I am going to try these babies on, and whichever pair makes me look more like an athlete, that’s the pair I’m buying.”

“Well, let’s get you to a changing room.  Let’s do this thing.”

She sighs and runs a finger along the shiny fabric of the pants, “I do hope these pants don’t have hideous details that are not at first apparent, but then become apparent when they contain my body.  My eye goes to the hideous details.”

“Your eye goes to the hideous details?”

She nods and walks ahead of me to stand in line for a changing room, “I am all about the hideous details, Mother.  I will not suffer them.”

We step to the front of the line, where a very nice young man escorts Maj and me to a changing room, ushering us into the smallish room with the words, “My name is Cort.  Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you or if there’s anything you need.”

Something about his tone catches Maj’s attention, and she stares after him as he walks away, turning back to me with a mocking snicker, “That was Cort.  He is concerned about my needs.”

“He was just doing his job.”

She giggles, “Can you imagine if I loosed the Maj upon him?  He would be ever so alarmed and regretful of his casual offers of assistance.”

I laugh and she speaks to an imagined Cort as she considers the first pair of pants, “Cort, I am worried these pants are too shiny.  Reassure me, Cort.  Address the shine, Cort!”

She pulls on the pants and is immediately unhappy with them, “Mother, these pants extend beyond my feet.  This will not do.”  She kicks out one flappy foot and then the other, “Where’s Cort?  I’m sure Cort can fix this.”

“Maj, the pants are stretchy.  The fact that they are a bit too long doesn’t matter, because the extra fabric will gather at your ankles.  No big deal.  Pull them up over your feet and stop being silly.”

She pops first one foot and then the other through their respective pant-legs, “Mother, did you just speak of gatherings?  Cort, there are small parties of chatting partygoers around my ankles!  I do not like crowds, Cort!  I do not like my ankles to be the center of gatherings, Cort!”

“Oh for god’s sake.”

“Cort, I am lost in the crowd!  I am lost in my pants, Cort!  Help me out of my pants, Cort!”

I raise my eyebrows, “Really, Maj?”

She snorts as she realizes what she has said, “Never mind, Cort.  I found my way out of the pants quagmire, Cort.  Carry on, Cort!”  She turns her attention back to me as she peels off the pants, “Mother, this pair will not do.”

“Obviously.”  I hand her the capri-length pair, “Try these on.”

“Whoa, Mother.  Whoa.”  She holds the pants in the air and runs her fingers along the side of one of their legs, “What is the meaning of this, Mother?”

I lean to examine the small puckered section of fabric along the side of the pants, “What you have there is ruching.”

She pulls on the pants, which fit perfectly, and eyes the ruching along the sides of her calves with suspicion, “Ruching is another word for gathering, then?”

“Yes, but this is an intended gathering.  This isn’t about extra fabric . . . this is about a fashion choice.”

“Hmmm . . . I am trying to decide if this is a hideous detail from which my eye will be unable to look away.  Seems like I will be forever imagining small mooing gatherings around my lower legs.”

I am confused, “Mooing?  What?”

“Calf gatherings, Mother.  Try to keep up with me.”

“Right.”

Maj turns her head, “Cort?  I have issues, Cort.  Come be here for me in my time of need, Cort.  Speak to me of the ruching, Cort.  Speak to me of its magic, Cort.”  She extends first one leg and then the other so she can examine the look of the ruching in the mirror, “Alright, Cort . . . yes.  You are correct, Cort.  My butt looks fabulous in these pants, I agree.”  She runs a hand along her thigh and up over her butt.  And then she does it again, “Mother, Cort has pointed out that my butt looks like a seal flank in these pants, and I am liking that image.  Although . . . now that I have noticed the sleekness of my butt in these pants, I am afraid I will be running through the neighborhood caressing my behind admiringly.”

“Seal flank?”

“Cort has a way with words, Mother.  He soothes me.”

“Geez.  Fine.  As for the moo-ruching . . .”

She interrupts me, “Shhh, Mother.  Shhh.  Let me just ask Cort what he thinks.  Cort?  If I run like this, Cort.  Watch, Cort.  Like this, Cort.  If I run like this, Cort . . . do you think that will be a problem?”  She prances like a crazed pony within the small dressing room’s confines, rubbing her booty ecstatically with every step, “Cort, I believe you are correct!  I believe that IS the sign of a good pair of pants!  No way this booty-rubbing self-appreciation is inappropriate!  I am an ATHLETE in these pants!  Thank you, Cort!  You have been ever so helpful.”

I sigh, “Are you quite done?”

“Yes, Mother.”  She bends to peel off the pants, “These are not suitable.  No running pants for me today.”

“Wait, I thought you and Cort agreed they were fabulous!  Seal-flank and booty-rubbing and what-not.”

“Mother, are you kidding me?”  She hands me the pair of pants, and as I clip them back to their hanger, she explains, “They are gray, Mother.  Gray.  I require black.  I could buy gray as a second back-up option, but I would need to have a black pair to be the main pants player.  Why do I even have to tell you these things, Mother?  You know the Maj.  You know her needs.”  She tips her head to speak to the imaginary Cort as she gets dressed, “I know, right?  She is like a crazy person.  Yes, she is apparently my actual mother, although I do appreciate your doubt, Cort.  Thank you, Cort.  I will be strong.  I must be strong.”

I open the changing room door, “So let’s go find you a black pair.”

“They don’t have my size in black.”

But it turned out they did.

Thank you, Cort.

    49 comments to I do appreciate your doubt

    • Moving. I felt like I was in the dressing room with you guys. Drinking booze of course and nodding in agreement / disagreement over the too-shiny fabrics. I just love how we invest untold hours in selecting athletic apparel while never actually becoming “athletic.” Perfect.

      • Hee hee . . . Maj is actually a cross-country runner these days.

        Which just ASTOUNDS me.

        And booze. Yes. Next time. Excellent suggestion.

    • Amberleigh

      You opened up comments?! Where have I been? Also, it would have been hilarious if Cort had overheard any of that conversation. “Cort, I am lost in the crowd! I am lost in my pants, Cort! Help me out of my pants, Cort!” Haha!

      • I opened them this morning. No illusions about how many people may be inclined to comment, and I am still not sure how I feel about the decision. But despite what I said, I closed comments to take time to think about and then write a book. Time to reopen them.

        Thanks for noticing!

    • I am commenting before you realize it’s open and close it again. Heh. HI!

      I was very shocked that the end of this said they DID have pants for Maj. (I still remember the shoe post from last year.)

      • I know! Maj ended up buying two pairs — the black and the gray — both with the moo-ruching.

        She is generally an IMPOSSIBLE shopper.

        And hello.

        Here in the comments.

        • Moo-ruching is a great term. I’ll need to see if I can work it into conversations.

          • I do so like that phrase. I was going to use it as the title of this piece, but I couldn’t get past Maj’s fabulous gratitude to the imaginary Cort for doubting that she was related to me.

            Let me know if you manage to work it into conversation . . . I so want to hear how that plays out!

    • Stephanie

      Comments? Really?!? I now need to go search for my jaw that just dropped to the floor.

      • Hee hee. Facebook is SUCKING lately as a place for people to reach me. Twitter is a fucking nightmare these days, filled with garbage and little actual interaction.

        So . . . the time I needed to take for me is over.

        We’ll see what this next part looks like.

        Love.

    • wasnt_serious

      The only thing that would make this story better is if Cort had heard the imaginary conversation with him and mentioned moo-ruching. Although you may never be able to get Maj into a store again if that happened.

    • Amy

      I AM SO EXCITED!!!

      and also, I totally snorted.
      Seal Flank. priceless

      • Awww . . . took me a minute to remember to check pending comments.

        It’s been a while.

        THANK YOU for the excitement.

        Thank you so much.

    • Seal flank is lovely. Though I’d have thought the gray would have been a good sealy choice. Ooh. Maybe chocolate brown!

      And I agree, I kept waiting for Cort to answer.

      And nice to he all cozy in here again.

      • Funny thing? I stopped taking comments oh so long ago because I was frustrated at my inability to move beyond this blog. Which is not to say that I feel there is fame and fortune awaiting me now . . . not that at all. I just couldn’t seem to find the quiet in which to write something that was not my blog. I needed to take that period of quiet for myself, to prove to myself that I could craft a longer story. My story.

        Whether or not anything comes of that effort by way of official “success,” I needed to take the time to do it.

        But I missed this space.

        I missed you.

        I so did.

    • YAY! You opened your comments back up!

      *does a happy jiggity-jig*

      I am giggly at the imagined conversation with Cort. How awesome that he really was able to assist in your time of pants-need.

      Hee hee!

      • Stasha?

        You have been a patient and loyal reader and friend.

        Thank you for that.

        And I do love your jiggity-jig, silly woman.

        Very much.

    • Tammy Proctor

      I have NEVAH seen the comments section open before. I. Am. Impressed. Plus I adore Maj’s Cort comments. And these things always make me want to have a website to list.

      • Hey, you!

        You went to moderation, in case you were wondering about the delay in posting. That shouldn’t happen after this first time. And yes . . . there was a time when I was all up in these comment sections.

        Hee hee.

        I do like to talk.

        Ahem.

        Welcome!

        • Tammy Proctor

          I didn’t even notice. I was in a hurry to comment on Facebook also. I like to talk also. Or ramble. Ok, I ramble. A lot. Shhhh.

          • Hee hee.

            You will like it here.

            Also? Kallan is dancing beside me in whirling suggestive fashion as I type, and she keeps sticking her hip out as she pulls out the waistband of her pants, “Slide me some bills if you liked the show.”

            She is eleven.

            I am doomed.

            Off to hunt down spare change to fling at her.

            Later.

    • Yay! Comments are back open :)

      I was just waiting and waiting for that moment that Cort walked back to the changing room door to see if Maj needed anything and over heard her talking to the imaginary Cort, lol.

      Your girls totally make my day. I have 3 girls (4 years, 2 years, and 2 months) and can only imagine the craziness they will cause when they get older!

      • Maj flew under the radar this time.

        She does not always fly under the radar. The girl tends to talk in ALL CAPS when she is annoyed, and she is oblivious to the attention of strangers during these moments.

        Hello, strangers!

        Hee hee.

        And also? I have missed you. Welcome back.

    • Sarah

      I had to check the date on this post three times because I thought you had reposted an old post that I hadn’t read on Facebook. You opened up comments, Yea! Now I get to post instead of sending a message.
      I also agree that Maj needs to be careful when speaking to imaginary real people. You never know when one of them might offer to help. Thank you, Cort.

      • I’m going to have to try to figure out why so many people are going to moderation . . . maybe because it’s been a while since I took comments, my blog thinks people are brand new. Apologies for the delay in posting.

        As for Maj? I would have LOVED to have seen Cort offer her assistance.

        Oh my god.

        LOVED.

    • Mitt Romney used the term “Moo-ruching” in tonight’s debate, and Obama said he was “100% behind strategically using Cort” in the Middle East. The power of your blog is simply mind-blowing.

      • Days later, it occurred to me to check my spam filters, as I was surprised not to have heard from you here.

        There you were.

        Sorry about that.

        Also, the power of my blog IS mind-blowing.

        I have almost no mind left, thanks to this blog.

        Blown.

    • Kathie

      Whoa. Am I in the right place?

      I came after the no-commenting-zone initiative, so just a little freaked out here. Sometimes I would think, fine, you don’t want me to comment, then I guess I just won’t read! Yet, here I still am. I just couldn’t tear myself away! Love your stuff.

      • Kathie?

        It was never my intention to alienate people, although I knew that not everyone was pleased with my decision. Thing is? I have had to learn over time that this writing thing can’t be about pleasing everybody else; it has to first be about what makes me happy. I’m making no money. I’m holding no contests. I’m pitching no products. I owe no one anything.

        Except myself.

        I owed it to myself to try to do something within a carved out time and space of quiet.

        So consequences be damned.

        I did what I wanted and needed to do.

        That said, I am delighted with the failed struggle you describe to stay away.

        I’m glad you are here.

        Thank you.

    • Jess

      Thank you for turning the comments on. I’ve also been a fan since about the time you turned them off so this is a first for me. How exciting!

      Maj reminds me a bit of myself at 12, except that I was never so good at expressing myself. I’m sure my mom feels your pain. I know I will too, although my toddler seems to be going the Kallan route with the booty shaking and dramatic posing. Oh, and the constant song singing with her own lyrics.

      So, with comments back up I should be checking your blog more obsessively than usual!

      • Maj spends a lot of time trying to parent Kallan, as she is quite certain Mark and I are completely incompetent.

        Oh, how I wish for her a future as mom to a Kallan of her own.

        A future like yours!

        Hee hee.