I know that I sometimes don’t really consider what I have on before I leave the house. One morning, when I had a respectable job that required me to do interviews, I inadvertently put on two right shoes (one black and one dark blue). It wasn’t until I crossed my legs during an interview that I realized my folly - it appeared that I had two right feet and the color difference in the light was quite obvious. My colleague, who was doing the interviews with me, noticed my shoes at the same time and we both burst out laughing. I can’t imagine what went through the mind of the poor candidate we were interviewing. We had to explain to her my propensity to be clothing challenged. The interview deteriorated from there and we ended up taking the interviewee to lunch (and hiring her).
Fast forward a few years: I not only live on a farm but I work at a worm farm, so why would I dress up to go outside to feed the livestock or go to work? A ratty pair of jeans or shorts with an old tee shirt suit me just fine. Bill, a PE teacher, doesn’t dress up much either. Little did we know how much embarrassment we must have brought our children because they entered us in a contest to win a $5,000 wardrobe - each!
Had we known we’d been entered in the worst dressed couples contest, we may have made a more conscience effort to adorn ourselves in the sneakers with the most holes in them or matching armpit stained tee shirts. I have to say, I was wondering why our children suddenly took such a great interest in photographing the two of us together when we were out herding goats or on our way to estate sales. For at least a week, it wasn’t unusual to find one of the children hiding behind a wall trying to sneak a picture of us in our casual attire. I had no idea what they were up to, but I was too busy to really give it much thought. I had goats to deliver and worms to feed, after all.
The photo sessions ended as abruptly as they started and I completely forgot about my children’s strange behavior until I got a letter in the mail from the TV show, “What Not to Wear”. It said something like this: Congratulations, you have made it to the ten finalists in the “What Not to Wear” worst dressed couples contest.
I was devastated! How could my own children be so callous! No wonder they were so intent on snapping pictures - the insolent guttersnipes (it took me a long time to find that word). After calming down, I took an inventory of what I was wearing while I stood by my mailbox: No shoes, an oversized nightshirt with “Merry Christmas” on the front (it was July) and no undergarments. At that moment it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe my children had a point.
As I made my way into the house, I read the rest of the letter: Should the two of you make it into the top three finalists, you and your wardrobe will be flown to New York City where our What Not to Wear staff will make the final decision on which couple will be given a $10,000 shopping spree and a complete makeover.
Did I call my children guttersnipes? I was mistaken - after all, they were only trying to assist their poor clothing-challenged parents. As soon as I got into the house, I immediately did a google search of What Not to Wear’s worst dressed couples. From what I could find, we had some stiff competition; a leather-clad duster duo with purple hair, a pair of hippie throwbacks in camo and two punk rockers. I was not concerned, though. After all, thanks to our little cherubs, I was photographed barefoot in my daisy duke shorts and their dad in his ripped shorts with his ever-present white crew socks. Surely, we had a good shot at making it to the final three.
Sadly, we didn’t make it. I don’t even know who won the contest - although my vote was for the hippies in camo. To this day, I wonder what would have happened had we won. Would I be leaving the house in Avalon tee shirts to tend to the worms? Would Bill be braving middle school PE in Milo designer shorts? Would I long for my University of Kentucky nightshirt and pink polkadot undies? Would I never see my husband’s farmer’s tan again?
I guess these questions will haunt me forever...