I have been invited to Israel, Germany, Rome, Italy and now, this morning via an E-mail, to California. These invitations are from friends who, having felt a hearty welcome here at my home, find it in their hearts to reciprocate.
Isn’t that nice? I’d go, too, if I knew where my jeans were. My second thought after, “Wow, I could spend mud season in southern California!” was, “I wonder where I put my pants?” I haven’t had them on in three days; I haven’t had to- I work at home.
Another bonus of working from home is I never have to leave it. I not only have the good fortune of living in a turn-of-the-century house, I’m lucky enough to live in a house coat.
Don’t misunderstand, I work hard; I just don’t look like I do. Working from home doesn’t mean I live in luxury, it means I live in yoga pants and a T-shirt.
But today is different. Today I have to exchange my slippers for boots and put on a jacket and walk across the street to Fotter’s Market for a quart of milk and some carrots, then walk a quarter mile to Arnold Trail Service Station to get my car that got new brakes. Next stop will be the post office across the street from the garage, but I will drive there, of course, because I just picked up my car. Hopefully, the new brakes will allow the Post Office to be my final stop.
The good news is not that my errands will be finished, and I will be able to come back home and get back into comfy clothes, no, the good news is that I will be able to come back home- period. I never got out of my comfy clothes before I left. I day tripped in nightclothes.
My preference for comfortable garments reminds me of something that happened last summer:
I was sitting at the counter at Stratton Plaza enjoying a slice of Hawaiian pizza when a gentleman from away started quizzing Carol, the owner and me about life here in a small town in the mountains. He said he was a businessman and he thought this area was beautiful and if he didn’t make so much money in the city he might consider living here. “Like you people do”, he said. That was his first ‘you people’. Carol’s eyebrows rose and my lips wrapped around my teeth. He asked us what ‘you people’ do here for a living, where ‘you people’ do your shopping, where ‘you people’ go to the doctor, the dentist or the movies and finally where ‘you people’ take your dry cleaning.
Carol and I looked at each other as if the notion of owning clothes that can’t get wet was incredibly dumb.
“Do you have anything that needs dry cleaning, Carol?” I asked, thinking there must be a flaw in my wardrobe- my lifestyle- because I did not.
Carol shook her head. I’m not sure if she was answering in the negative or if she couldn’t believe I’d asked her such a thing.
I looked down at my Gifford’s Ice Cream T-shirt and Wal-Mart sweatpants and said to the visitor, “I think I used to have something difficult to care for, but now I just have a difficult time trying to remember to put on a bra before I leave the house.”
Carol decided to talk again, “Yeah, that bra thing can be a real problem”.
It was obvious from the pained look upon his face that the businessman was no longer sure what to think of us people, nor was he certain he wanted to live amongst us, so he left.
I finished my slice of Hawaii in Stratton, in my sweat pants and T-shirt that hadn’t been washed in two days, much less dry cleaned, then walked all the way home...all the way back across the street.
L.E. Hughes is a columnist, writer and owner of Diamond Corner B&B in Stratton, Maine. She welcomes your thoughts and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.© January 2006 Lew-Ellyn Hughes. All Rights Reserved and Retained by the Author.