Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday! Yay!

And I'm doing laundry again. I remember that in one of the Star Trek movies (I had a terrible crush on Captain Kirk for a while - not William Shatner, because all of my pals in the business told me he was a terrible prick, but Captain Kirk) there was this thing in Captain Kirk's cabin on the Enterprise, and he threw a crumpled up uniform in it and about 10 seconds later, pulled out a nice fresh uniform. As I recall, it was even on a hanger.

This has GOT to be the best idea I ever heard. I mean, I'm a member of the privileged classes because I actually have an in-house washer and dryer. But the dryer is about a hundred years old and takes for-friggin'-ever to dry stuff, and the washer is really tiny (because the bathroom is really tiny and so is the bathroom door - the whole thing is built for der elves in der Black Forest, which will make no sense whatsoever to anyone who wasn't around when the original Volkswagen came out - the line, of course, was used about the "pregnant roller skate"). Therefore a week's worth of my deeply dull winter office clothing (five days worth of turtlenecks and pants - it's boring, but it's really easy - you add various scarves or necklaces) takes three loads, when you include my raggedy bits of underwear.

Speaking of which, when the government sends me my economic stimulus check, you better believe I am off to Century 21 to dive into the underwear section. I can't wait. Threadbare doesn't even BEGIN to describe it. And Century 21 is about the only place where I can actually find a big selection of bras in my size, which is fairly unusual...34D. I have no back, just bosom. (It's sort of like my problem with hipslung pants, which are supposed to hang on your hips and booty...I got no hips, no booty. Flat, flat, flat. So I spend my days anxiously making sure that nothing slips off altogether, which actually happened with a hip slung linen skirt I got at Old Navy once. Luckily, I hadn't left the house yet, but I got up to do so and the damn skirt fell off. And I don't buy things that sit on my actual waist, because of my long, long legs - makes me look like I'm six inches tall from the waist up and eight feet tall below - what with the bust, the effect is that somebody crossed Mrs. Potatohead with a Barbie...weird.) Evidently bra manufacturers feel that if you are going to have a bust, you've got to have a back to go with it. Therefore, I can find tons of 38D, 40D, even 36D...but almost nothing in 34D.

By the way, as long as I'm wandering around in my underwear here, have you ever checked out the wall of panties at KMart over on Astor Place? KMart tends to cater to a clientele that is rather larger than I am, but their prices are so good that whenever I'm in there I look for nice cotton panties in a size 5/small (which they almost never have). Well, I have found some deeply amazing items. Did you know that there are actually lace thongs in size 12? Given that the normal run of ladies' panty sizes is 5/small, 6/medium and 7/large, think about this for a moment. Size 12 lace thongs. Let your mind conjure up this image. Vow to eat nothing but salad for the rest of your life. No dressing.

Century 21. I used to LOVE this place. This is when I was working downtown in the early '70s, and it was the least chic joint you can imagine. It had concrete floors, and exposed pipes overhead and glaring fluorescent lights - but, oh, my God, the bargains. I bought everything there. And yes, they had all those designer clothes, but it was a little secret known only to us Wall Street workers. They'd advertise, but only things like "Diapers Half Off", "Toothpaste Sale" - that sort of thing.

I got a wonderful suit in there once that I paid something like a hundred bucks for that was originally $700. And I will never forget what happened when I went to pay for it. I was writing them a check (yes, children, there was a time in recent history when not everyone had a credit card) and they asked for ID. I don't drive, so I pulled out my ID, which happens to be my passport. At which point the nice girl behind the counter informed me that it wasn't a legal ID. I gaped at her - a United States Passport isn't a legal ID? Turns out they only accepted drivers' licenses, and I actually don't think this child had ever seen a passport before anyway. They accepted my bank card. Not my ATM card (we didn't have ATMs yet, either, and I'll tell you that trying to catch a cab with all those woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers running around was pretty difficult, too) - my bank card that said I was a depositor at the bank and could cash a check there. No picture, no nothing. Ah, where are the snows of yesteryear?

These days, frankly, I hate Century 21 except for the aforementioned (must stop working at legal firms) underwear. I might just as well shop at Saks, for God's sake. I can't find anything that fits and the racks are always all jumbled up. Anyway (little shopping secret here), Saks has the all-time best half-yearly sales. And if you are in need of decent suits, go to Syms.

And if you are in need of fashion tips, why on earth are you listening to someone who spends October to May in the same five sets of turtlenecks and pants? Fools.

Love, Wendy


SaintTigerlily said...

I got lost in Century 21 once. It was horrible.

Harlem tip: If you can stand the climb, the 125th street Marshalls has an awesome undergarment selection.

Splurge tip: If you really want to go hog wild with that check - Gill and I discovered a bra shop in the 70's on Madison called the BraSmyth. The bras are expensive but they do a fitting and supposedly Gill, who is a D and has the back of a seven year old boy, found stuff there that she swore was worth every penny as it fit her like no bra ever before. Also, the people who work there are teeny and French and really nice and they are always talking about the lost art of women's fashion and whatever happened to bags and shoes and hats and gloves and Zose were ze dayz! Ze dayz when we were ele-gaunt!

It's worth a trip just for them to be honest.

Seth said...

I love Kmart for undies. Anytime you want to go together, give me a ring.