When I was six my mother bought me a pristine pink outfit for the first day of second grade. I couldn’t wait to start the year wearing it. Mom laid it out on the spare twin in my bedroom with great care, and with even greater care I smoothed out the wrinkles after she left. I slept with both the light on and a huge stinking grin on my face. I first woke up at 2 a.m. (I wonder who will sit next to me tomorrow!) Again at 3:45 (Mrs. Brown seems SO nice!). At 4 o’clock, I truly thought my head would explode (I wonder where our first field trip will be!!!) Finally, at 5, I broke free of the constraints of adult time (and the duvet) and put the whole damn outfit on. And then I went back to bed. Fully dressed.
My excessive enthusiasm for first days has faded only slightly in the 26 years that have passed. I spent the last few days making trips to CVS for basic toiletry needs (I surely must have some tissues and Advil for the office!), to the mall (I don’t have a pair of brown shoes that are precisely what I need for that outfit), and to every damn Ann Taylor in the national capital area (Good news, Miss! We’ve located a store in upper Arkansas that has the pants in your size!) I have the tampon stash, the new silver jewelry, and all the trouser socks and 100-calorie pack Cheese Nips necessary to return successfully to the workforce.
[Please note that I have effectively stifled the urge to A number 1) do a drive by of the new office to scope out chain restaurants and driving shortcuts and other people’s outfits and such, and B number 2) clean Staples out of every novelty Post-It, writing implement, labeling gadget, and excessively large vat of Starlight Mints on those shelves within my reach. This is mostly due to A number 1) an irrational fear of my future boss and/or coworkers seeing me doing said drive by in vehicle whose missing hubcap has yet to be replaced, and B number 2) a perfectly rational fear that, after indulging in aforementioned expenditures, Visa check card may/will likely be declined at Staples checkout line.]
So tonight I will pack my new handbag full of unnecessary goodies and paint my nails a pale shade of pink. I will lay out the outfit I will be wearing tomorrow, right down to the last earring and bracelet. And I will make no promises that I will wait until morning to put it all on.
FIRST DAY UPDATE:What could have made the day more perfect? I made it through the entire morning without seeing that excruciating Dub Dub commercial in which Cher howls about loneliness while chunky women like yours truly walk about the screen.
I discovered that I can Eat Fresh for weekday lunch WITHOUT HAVING TO DRIVE ANYWHERE! Represent, Jared!
NO PC LOAD LETTER. NOT. A. ONE.
Did I mention my commute was cut by 10 minutes?
I feel like I'm going to do good things with this new group. Good things make mama happy.
As in lives past, no one told me about their gastric bypass surgery or second broken engagement in the first two hours.
In the interest of full disclosure, I did fantasize (between breaths on the ride home, detailing the entire day to my padre via cell phone) for at least 12 full minutes about all the goods I would buy for my new office (Ooooh! A girl needs a new lamp!)
And the piece de creme brulee; I HOUSED those college suckers on my cognitive show tonight.
Now my peepers and I are sleepy. I'm going to turn off my celly, watch a Juiceman infomercial while performing aerobatic feats of macrame (I kid about the juice thing) and, well, I'm just going to kick it.
I love you and your support.