Wardrobe malfunction, Part II

Two weeks ago I tweeted:

That morning, when selecting what to wear, I considered the following:

  • I’ll be in a dark theater.
  • I’ll be with a bunch of kids.
  • I haven’t worn this shirt in two years. (I know there is a reason, but I cannot remember what it is.)

During the performance, the reason came back to me in a whisper of cold air up my spine. I do not wear this shirt because it does not fit properly.

It’s one of those crossover V-neck shirts that looks really cute when you first put it on and even retains some level of cuteness for the first hour of wear. It’s also striped in shades of red that flatter my hair color and skin tone. After a few hours of wear, however, it stretches and sags in the front, forcing constant adjustment to prevent, er, wardrobe malfunctions, particularly in the neckline area.  Also, I’d forgotten to wear a tank top or camisole under the shirt. By the end of the performance, I’d tugged and twisted the shirt so many times it had stretched to almost twice its size.

Like this, only with more sag. Via Treehugger.com

Shortly after the show ended, I thought I’d just slip into my jacket and slink on out of the theater. But this wasn’t just any show. It was the first U.S. tour for this traveling troupe of musicians and dancers from a university in Hubei Province, China. We heard the call for students in the audience to head onstage if they were interested in a meet and greet with the troupe.

Being the mother of a four-year-old Girl from China who loves, loves, loves all things Chinese, it didn’t take long for me to find myself being pulled by one hand toward the stage by my eager daughter while the other tugged at my malfunctioning top.

Once the college students made eye contact with my girl it was all over. I don’t now who gushed and giggled more: my girl or the pretty young women. My girl was passed around from student to student for photo opportunities and even rode on the shoulders of one of the male musicians. No amount of backing into the shadows stopped the inevitable, “Mom, how about you get into a few of these pictures?”

On the way home it occurred to me that I shouldn’t ever dress myself with a dark theater, it’s just kids, who cares attitude. You never know who you’ll bump into, and when you do, you’ll be judged by what you are wearing, like it or not.

When I got home I did two things: I tweeted my revelation and then I tossed that saggy shirt into the trash.

Lesson learned.

Culture – it's not just for yogurt

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Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, Detroit Institute of Arts

My effort to add a dash of culture to our weekly schedule begins with a family trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Armed with a map of the galleries, I lead the pack through the crowded building. It was family Sunday at the museum: culture, with extra toppings.

Sometimes in my zeal to share my passions with my family, I lose sight of common sense. This proved to be one of those days. Consider the following events:

Girl from the East thinks the modern art sculptures are play structures and attempts to climb them. Other objects, while not posing as climbing equipment, tempt sticky little hands to touch them when signs nearby advise against acting on such impulses. 

In the main courtyard, a folk singer strums his guitar before a foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ crowd. Something about folk singers seems to send husband and older daughter fleeing in the direction of the Dutch masters.  I take folk singers on a case-by-case basis. In this case, the guy was young and attractive. Based on this, I take a seat.

I’m not seated for long. Between the singing and guitar playing, I detect a high-pitched note. Back-up singers? An exotic far-Eastern instrument? No. It’s Girl from the East, who has erupted in tears for an inexplicable reason. 

More cultural, artsy stuff is avoided as no one wants to enter the craft room, an area otherwise known as the open glue bottle and scissors territory,  and unsteady hands wielding paint brushes zone.

We  avoid the Native American art gallery because it is “too spooky.” Ditto for most of the African art. This is due to the tribal masks and totem poles. Mostly, it’s because there aren’t any pictures of Dora or Diego on the walls. See, there’s Diego and there’s Diego. 

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Detroit Industry, Diego Rivera

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Go, Diego, Go!

Girl from the West is caught texting her way through the Renaissance period.  

There are a few things that capture everyone’s attention: the food court (which features reproductions of European architecture and, well, food), those aha! moments when a famous masterpiece is discovered on a wall,  and the freight elevator. We ride it twice. It’s that good.

The first rounds of  “Can we go?” “What’s for dinner?” and “How much more is there?” signal the end of my attempt to infuse culture into the family. At least I tried.

Suddenly, I recall the many Sunday outings of my childhood in which we landed at bird sanctuaries, ambled through Amish country, strolled through various museums and historic sites.  I remember my dad brimming with enthusiasm, exalting the virtues of this or that feature. I remember sighs and eye rolling and wishes for a trip to Dairy Queen or a Disney movie. 

Sorry, dad.