Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In a Tight Spot

Living in Houston, Texas and then Southern California, I never really got the whole "tights" concept. Yeah, they're cute on a two-year old little girl, but add thirty-five years and I don't see the attraction, or use, behind them. Besides, they are too thick and don't look good with most of the heels I own.

But, now that I live in Belgium, I've completely changed my tune on tights. You might say that I see tights in a whole new light. And, for that matter, I now get why European women wear not only thick tights, but jeans under their dresses --- It's called cold weather!

Before I left San Diego, I bought a pair of navy tights and a pair of black ones, thinking that I might, one day, have the opportunity to wear them in Brussels. That day came a couple of weeks ago, when I was invited to attend a European Union Parliament House Subcommittee Meeting on Human Rights, followed by a cocktail reception sponsored by the Canadian Embassy. To say that I was looking forward to the event is a gross understatement. I was beyond excited.

For the special occasion, I pulled out my dark navy suit, a black, navy and cream striped silk blouse, and my "oh-my-God-where-did-you-get-those" navy heels. Since it was a balmy 28 degrees, it was a perfect day to break in the new tights. I grabbed my long black coat, scarf and gloves and headed out the door, feeling tres European and absolutely giddy about the day ahead.

While on the metro, 2 stops from my destination, I looked down to admire my shoes when I noticed, for the first time, that my navy tights were not, in fact, navy. (I always knew that the lighting is bad in our bedroom, but, until that very moment, I couldn't appreciate how bad it really is.) My tights were not "admiral" blue as falsely advertised on the package, but more "asphyxiation" blue. Ever seen a cartoon where the guy starts choking and turns bright blue? That was the color of my tights -- surrounded by a sea of dark navy.

Freaking out, I did what most women would do under the situation. I started evaluating my options. Since wearing my full-length coat all day long was out of the question, and I did not have time to take the tram home and change, nor did I have time to pop in and buy some new ones even if the stores were open (which they weren't), I reverted to the standard fall-back -- I started looking around the subway train to see if anyone was dressed worse.

Ok, I thought to myself, at least I'm not wearing gold lame' knee-hi boots like the lady sitting directly across from me. Of course, any comfort I received from this thought was short-lived when I realized that I had just compared my "professional" outfit with one of a professional hooker's. So, I continued to recon the train. When we hit the Schuman stop, I relaxed a little when a lady got on wearing a bright lime-green full-length puff coat. At least I'm not wearing that! But wait, she can always take the coat off. Merde!

At this point, I am at my metro stop, cursing whatever color-blind marketing hot-shot thought up the label "admiral", cursing why tights would even be sold in San Diego, cursing my bright blue legs (yeah, I know, a real slimming color!), cursing all the 7-Eleven stores on every street corner back home with their sorry-ass supply of off-brand pantyhose that I would have killed for at that very moment in Brussels, cursing Dan for listening to me for once and buying cheap lighting fixtures because "why spend a fortune on light fixtures that we are just going to have to sell or leave here?", and cursing the weather, because it was too cold for me just to take the bright blueies off and go commando. That's a whole lot of cursing for a girl brought up in a God-fearing southern household!

Faced with no other options, I slipped into deep denial mode. By the time I had reached the office where I was meeting my host and escort, I had thoroughly convinced myself that the lower half of my body was invisible. I went about the day acting as if everyone was not staring at my tights wondering what the hell I must have been thinking when I put that outfit together.

So, it's a bittersweet memory for the Belgian Years. Yes, I had an experience of a lifetime and had the opportunity to attend a Subcommittee Meeting and even meet several members of Parliament, as well as the delegation from Quebec, but I did so in choke-me bright blue tights.

Copyright 2007 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Manic said...

Poor you! You had a chance to make it in Europe and you coloured it blue -that's the lamest joke I've told so far today.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Elana said...

You know where you could be seen now, in the back of European Glamour with a black bar over your eyes, you Fashion Don't!

2:51 AM  

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