Thanks to Janet Jackson and her left breast, we now have the term “wardrobe malfunction” which over the years has evolved to describe a broad spectrum of garment related grievances, from mismatched outfits to button failures.

And who knows. There were rumors that Janet planned her little peek-a-boob. So, maybe for her it wasn’t a malfunction after all. That lady with her pantyhose tucked in her skirt: Malfunction… or shocking fashion statement? Your friend who looks like a million bucks but is embarrassed that her blue black belt clashes with her brown black purse: Fussy… or malfunction?

How’s about this one: The young, high heeled - skin tight jean wearing – midriff baring - hair flicking chick whose nose was so high in the air at Nordstrom that she didn’t even notice her fly was wide open. Or did she? That really happened by the way… and I refrained from saying anything because yes… I’m that bitter and cranky and in my mind, it was a screaming malfunction… and it was my birthday. So I considered it a gift from the gods of comedy, thank you very much.

It’s all about perception.

Lucky’s perception of wardrobe malfunctions have evolved over the years since she started caring about what she wore at the tender age of two. Back then, tantrums erupted because she couldn’t fit one more crunchy, glitter encrusted, highly flammable princess dress over the three other princess dresses that she was already wearing. She’d layer ‘em all up, each tangled taffeta mess tighter than the one underneath, until she had inadvertently constructed herself a Disney straightjacket and fell over in a heap of exhaustion and despair because the laws of physics were not agreeing with the laws of fashion.

At eight years old, Lucky’s clothing conundrums no longer consists of princess garb. Now she’s rollin’ with the big girls, with real clothes and real “issues”.

Take pants for example… apparently a “no-no” for girls in second grade PE class. This is a huge news flash for me because last I checked, people wore those two legged things that cover both legs and your crotch so you can do things in PE… like run, jump, and bend over. Lucky put them on then proceeded to sulk, shooting me a glaring look like I was making her wear a clown suit…

“What?” I said.

“Mom! Ugh. I can’t wear this! See? I can’t even move!”

Then the dramatic re-enactment of what must be PE on Mars is carried out as she gyrates around the room, clearly demonstrating  how horribly confining these things called “pants” are.

“What the heck is wrong with them, Lucky? They look like they fit fine.”

“Maaaawwm! You except me to do PE in these? Watch… I can’t even do this...!”

Huffing and puffing, her body spasmodically goes into these freakish halting contortions, interrupted by moments of tripping and falling to the ground.

Wow. I want my money back, because these “pants” clearly don’t work. That’s right. I’m marching right down to Old Navy and telling the clerk “These pants are deceiving and not to mention, dangerous. They may look and fit like real pants, but they will beat you up and knock you down…especially if you are making any attempt to dance like an Egyptian in PE. I call shenanigans on these pants!”

And after I return said “pants”, I believe a chat with the PE teacher is in order… because I would like to know more about this new fangled gyro-belly dance sport that slightly resembles underwater rhythmic gymnastics that Lucky was attempting to showcase, before she was taken down by her menacing pants.

In the meantime, we’ve still got a situation at hand. I start digging through drawers and closets to find whatever is left of the clean clothing… because Zsa-Zsa Gabor is now demanding a skirt with leggings.

Did I mention there are more dirty clothes than clean? Keep that in mind, because the vintage spandex kitty shirt and bedazzled leggings that used to be mine in the 80’s is what I handed her with a fake smile on my face… trying to pass it off as the most exciting thing ever to hit elementary fashion since, well… the 80’s. Lucky was not easily fooled, but she tried it on anyway… to escape the grip of the pants.

She stood there, slouched over… her body language screaming “are you freaking kidding me?”

I squeaked out…

“Oh my gosh! You. Look. AWESOME!”

… She didn’t.

I’m sorry. I’m a horrible mother who was seriously okay to send her daughter to school looking like that. But I had had it. It was too early in the morning to be running late and I was tired, suffering from caffeine withdrawals. Sending Lucky to school looking like the “irregulars” clearance section of the 1985 Sears catalog was fine by me at this point.

“Can you believe that outfit used to be mine!? And it fit me!?”

Wait a minute. Did this stuff really fit me? Now I’m kinda pissed at my own mother for letting me go out of the house wearing this stuff. Lucky is eight; I was 13. She sent me out in a spandex kitty shirt and shiny leggings… that were obviously way too small on me. I know her game, because I’m playing the same one now. Only difference is, I was dumb enough to believe her back then. Lucky’s got some street smarts…

…and, is still slouching, and glaring… because she knows she does not in fact look “awesome”.

“Are you serious mom!? Ugghhhh.”

“Fine, Lucky. You find something. I don’t care what it is… just get dressed cuz we gotta go!”

I lied. Again. I do care what it is, because when I see her next in a tiny t-shirt and panty hose tights so see thru you can see “Friday” printed on the butt of her underwear , I say “Umm, no”.

Lucky stomps off screaming “I guess I’ll just have to wear the first outfit! That stupid sweater and pants! And I’ll just look dumb in PE!”

I guess so…because wearing any of the other outfits she tried on and squiggling around with those moves she pulled off earlier were definitely NOT dumb. Yes, pants are by all means the dumbest thing ever… no doubt.

Lucky and her malfunctioning wardrobe were off and running to school, albeit ten minutes late but still, dressed and ready to conquer PE with her schizophrenic pants… and I went grocery shopping… in my pajamas.


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