When the pandemic is over, I’m just going to warn you: I’m going to be dressed up pretty fancy. And not just, like, the first day after. At the rate I’m going, I should have a solid six months’ worth of jazzy outfits ready to head out on the town whether I’m in them or not.

Why so? For some reason, I’ve started shopping for clothes.

To be clear, I have absolutely nowhere to go, unless you consider heading down to the basement an outing. But I’m shopping nonetheless. And, considering I’m a party of one, I’m having an incredible time.

It started because my social media feeds became packed with ads featuring incredible sales.

The problem is these sales are almost exclusively for spiffy numbers that no one is buying because no one is going anywhere: cocktail dresses, out-for-dinner frocks, blouses you wear when you don’t think you’re going to sweat, slacks you wear once and then wonder, “When did I get so old I’m excited about slacks?”

You get the point.

But all of it seems like a marvelously good idea to me. At one point I bought a gown in anticipation of wearing it to a ball that doesn’t exist. I’m now on the hunt for glass slippers.

Along the way, I could not possibly be more dressed down. The other day, my husband told me that if he sees me wearing my 80-year-old, bootcut workout pants one more time, he’s giving them the old tossaroo.

These pants (which I continue to wear) are paired with any number of crap t-shirts, the faded, super soft, oversized kind that you get from running badly-attended 5Ks and you keep wearing in hopes it will act as motivation for running a 5K again. Except there is no point in that because who’s going to host a 5K during a pandemic?

So you sink into the couch, pull on a Snuggie and nestle into a website that is selling cut-rate Great Gatsby dresses. Which is a worthy consideration because can you imagine, can you imagine, how many theme parties there are going to be once we get out of this mess? I mean, a Great Gatsby dress will practically be a fashion staple at that point. In fact, sold, flapperboutique.com. Mark this girl down for one.

Of course, what does one need with a flapper dress? Outerwear, of course.

The other day, I found myself wandering around the antique mall on U.S. 27 (just a little tip: they’re super good about wearing masks, you can social distance really easily there, and it is an absolutely magical place).

I’d initially gone because I am looking for some cast-iron sconces to put on the back deck. But soon, I was knee deep in flipping through vintage clothes.

And what was that hung up on that wall over there? Pray tell? Fur stoles.

I mean, what else would a mostly homebound girl need to look at on an 85-degree day?

Now. Before we get up in arms, I am aware that buying furs is wrong; you’ll not hear an argument from me. But the thing is: these furs were used. Someone else had already done the wrong thing. If anything, I was just there to honor what used to be.


Anyway, right or wrong, pretty soon I was on my tiptoes reaching for a white mink. Moreover, I’d noticed a sign that said everything in the booth was 25 percent off. I mean, come on!

So, I put it on. And it was fantastic. The shoulders were stylishly squared off Katharine-Hepburn style, the lining was silky and pristine, there was a little buttoned clip to tie it together, and, of course, there were the best pockets in the country.

I started searching everywhere for a mirror. I found it over a mahogany vanity featuring a collection of Normal Rockwell figurines (which, can I just say?, never stop being disturbing).

I had to look twice because I didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. She was wearing running shorts, a half-marathon tee (maybe I’ll start training …), and an old pair of glasses. Her greying hair was tied up in a top knot circa 1997. Her face wasn’t washed.

She looked like she hadn’t been out of the house in six months.

But a woman with a fur stole. Oh, the possibility. The post-pandemic parties she would attend. The oysters Rockefeller she’d eat. The martinis she’d drink. The trains she’d ride. The boats she’d sail on. The beaded clutches she’d carry. In gloved hands.

It was a done deal.

So I shelled out $67 for the mink stole. It’s now hanging in my closet beside the other ridiculously dressy items I’ve purchased (but on sale!) and which I’ve gotten into the habit of randomly caressing.

I don’t regret any of it.

Because when all of this is over, I’m going to be ready. And, boy howdy, am I going to celebrate.


One thought on “Gatsby in a pandemic

  1. I have an evening purse you might like, Tara, and guess what, it’s like new. I wore it once, at your wedding
    Sounds like you’re having fun. Enjoy!

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