Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting Dressed

For the first few weeks after January 8th, I really didn't think about my clothes.  Hospital gowns were fine for meeting the President and First Lady, fine for walks with the physical therapist through the hallways, fine for going to x-ray. 

The only time clothes became an issue was when I wanted to go out in front of the hospital and roll through the memorial garden.  The kind nurses found me scrubs and The Bride handed me the girls' sweatshirt and I was good to go.  When I returned to my room, my cell phone was ringing.  Big Cuter was laughing as he greeted me with "Nice yellow socks, Mom."  CNN had me on a continuous loop, my bright yellow hospital gripping socks attracting my son's attention more than my teary face. 

Clothes make the woman?  Let's hope not.

Once I was home, TBG's elastic waist gym clothes were my go-to outfits.  This plan was short lived, as the physical therapist didn't want me tripping over their length and TBG found himself without proper attire for his own life.  Those over-large waistbands were lovely, though.  I was so swollen and so stapled that there were very few places on which fabric was comfortable.  Too-Big was suddenly Just-Right.

Then the gifts started flowing in.  Cousin Victoria sent comfy more-than-pajamas.  My hiking buddies brought me flat waisted yoga pants.  Not only was I comfortable, I was wearing new clothes.  That brought a smile directly to my face.

Belt loops and snaps and zippers - my waist has issues with them all.  Sitting as I do for most of the day, I found that anything metallic made a permanent impression on my delicate skin.  Bending over was a nightmare, as poking and prodding from my pants added to the general discomfort I was feeling.  I went back to elastic waists.

Gym shorts work well when I'm not entertaining or leaving the house.  I'm just not comfortable pretending that I've come from lifting weights when it's so obvious that I haven't.  Two pairs of hiking pants are pull-ups and they've become staples in my current rotation.  I have a long black skirt and several full flowery skirts and a short khaki one that sits on my hips but, as I found out quite quickly this morning, is not something you want to wear when CNN is filming you.  (Watch for me tomorrow, sometime.)  59 year old thighs need more camouflage than that particular item was providing.  Even in shape 59 year old thighs.


Through it all, I've been in t-shirts on top.  I like them extra large, so that posture and underwear and general slovenliness is hidden behind lots of fabric.  I've gotten shirts from races and concerts and baseball games since January 8th.  I have oodles of oldies but goodies jammed into every nook and cranny of my closet.  I have shopping bags full of ones too hole-y to wear but too dear to throw away.  I have some that are scratchy and some that are softer than soft,  and I love them all.

But there's one which has risen to the top.  Martin sent it to me, all the way from the UK.  He asked me to wear it and wondered if I'd write about it and then I got shot and it sat on the shelf until I found it.  And put it on.  And took it off to shower but put it back on again.  I slept in it and it wasn't wrinkly when I woke up so I took another shower and put it on once more.  This all started last Sunday; here it is Thursday afternoon and I've managed to wear it for most or all of every day this week.  There are no stains or odors attached, there's just comfort and coverage and the relief of knowing that what's covering my upper body requires no thought or planning. 

I just grab Mr. Monkey and I'm good to go.
Now, it is true that TBG thought that Mr. Monkey was a house with a chimney, but in his defense he was standing above and behind me and there was a wrinkle through Mr. M's mouth.  From my vantage point, though, he's a smiley yellow bundle of laughs, hugging me as I think about Christina and weep. 

She'd have liked this one, I'm sure.  I even have earrings that match


  1. AB,

    Sounds like me after three different C-sections. All I wanted to do was be comfortable and hold my new baby.

    It's funny how clothes can elevate our mood. As soon as I get home from the office, the first thing I do is put on pajama pants and a comfy shirt. When I'm home, I have to be as comfortable as possible. It helps me relax and I can then focus on other things (like the house being a wreck or the kids etc...)

    If the monkey shirt is what makes you comfortable, I say wear it as much as possible. Not having to fuss over clothes, IMPO, is a great relief.

    Hope you are having a good day!

    Megan xxx

  2. I can certainly relate to this post. I've had several surgeries that sent me scurring for elastic waisted things. After December's surgery someone suggested men's pajama bottoms. Absolutely wonderful! Hope your discomfort passes soon, but until then, there's no shame in comfort.

  3. Actually, I am thinking of making this t-shirt my permanent uniform! Slept with Mr. Monkey again last night and here he is, unwrinkled and perfectly happy as I type to you this morning.

    There ought to be a product out there for situations such as these, don't you agree?

  4. I had a pair of flannel jammies I wore straight out I loved them so much. They had little cocktail shakers and martini glasses, and I would slip into them every evening. I finally had to say goodbye last fall. I know what you mean about finding a uniform that feels good!

  5. I might need a Mr. Monkey, since I obviously don't have sense enough to make moment-to-moment clothing decisions.

    Just now, I read this post and, before my usual second read-through, I felt a little chilly. I was wearing elastic waist gym pants and a logo t-shirt with short sleeves. So, I left you sitting on the kitchen counter and headed back to the closet for a sweater...mulling over the post and Mr. Monkey and Martin and Christina and how my middle felt after a hysterectomy, etc.

    I was back in the kitchen ready to make a comment when I noticed I'd put my white terry bathrobe on over my gym clothes instead of a sweater. Just grabbed that baby off the back of the closet door and rushed back to you.

    Oh, brother. Be comfy, sweetie. See you on CNN.

  6. I'll be looking for you, and I think you should have worn your monkey shirt :)

    I love, love, love Old Navy's yoga pants. More than I should, actually. I might have 3 or 10 or 15 pair. They may be too tight around your waist, but they're flat. If you'd like to borrow a pair, I'm sure I could part with one :)

  7. OK. From now on, I will send only XL t-shirts. xoxoxoox

  8. CNN does a nice job and I admire you - from reading your blog and now seeing you. My thoughts are with you and all who were affected by Jan. 8th.

  9. One never stops to consider the ripples from such surgeries....who would've thought that belt loops, snaps and zippers would cause such problems.

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