2. The Phillips Collection

This time my husband was home.  He has intermittent days off, but makes a job of sitting in his tighty whiteys mumbling NFL statistics at the TV.   He secretly believes he can will spandex clad athletes in the best direction.  I had the NFL on my side as well as my so-called “idiotic” pants.  Why my choice in wears is idiotic to my husband, I’m not exactly sure.  All I know is that when I slide into my comfortable pants, and make the ensemble complete with my furry want-to-be-Uggs, all he can do is shake his head.  He says I look like the villain from The Cell. 

 the cell


So I had those two things going for me – the NFL and my so-called silly pants.  He hates venturing anywhere with me when I’m wearing my silly pants.  I knew that when I asked him if he wanted to go to the museum, he would pretend to think about it for a moment before he went back to screaming at the television about sacking quarterbacks, hut hut, or whatever.

I was happy to go alone, or so I thought.  I didn’t want, just me, to be so obvious but it was no use.  It was raining, so entering through the double doors became an elaborate production. I had to balance my umbrella and purse while simultaneously making sure the squeaks from my want-to-be-Uggs didn’t turn into a hip breaking slide across the hardwood floors.  The loud adjustment of the floor with every step I took sounded an alarm to everyone.  I was alone.  Couples looked up from the art and the guards gave me a second look.  I plopped down on the bench in front of the painting I had come for.

1) Degas_Dancers at the Barre

I sat there motionless for several moments, and then I looked to my right for the bag lunch…Oops!  I felt awkward for a few seconds taking notice of my surroundings.  I decided to move on so that someone else could let the painting put them in a trance.  If I watched from the next room maybe I could have a vicarious experience as someone else made the same mistake, and imagined they were on a park bench eating lunch while admiring the view.

I skipped over all the abstract art.  I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.  I stumbled down a narrow hallway and found a familiar painting.


When I was in graduate school earning a basket weaving MA (Ok, so it wasn’t quite basket weaving.  It was American history.  The degree earns me as much money as I imagine a basket weaving degree would.) I studied many paintings by Jacob Lawrence.  I never saw this painting, however.


Every time I tried to pull away I was back cataloging the nuances of this painting.  From the pouty look on their faces, the feather in her hat, the cane in his hand, and the wispy white gloves – I slit my eyes in order to isolate each detail.

Ok.  So I guess an implicit piece in this whole process (100 outings in 365 days) is admitting that I am awful at maintaining relationships.  I don’t return phone calls.  I was born without the filter that keeps me from expressing my, “wonton disregard for people’s feelings.”  I’m quoting an ex- boyfriend.  It’s a flaw that I need to work on.  I know.   One thing at a time.  I’m not sure, but I think this flaw of mine is connected to the paintings I spent so much time with.  The Degas painting is the me I see when I look in the mirror – A content faceless ballerina wrapped in simple taffeta and tulle effortlessly molding lines with her body.  For good reason, I suppose, others see me with my nose in the air as if I drape fur around my neck.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.

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