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.
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.
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.