We live in a charming old neighborhood of Victorian-ish homes, most of which were built in the end of the 1800s. Some - a couple - are pre-civil war. We moved here because of the Artist Relocation Program. (It didn't have those incentives in place when we came, darn it.) Now the neighborhood is an Arts District, peppered with studios and galleries. You can read about Paducah HERE. This was our house when we bought it. (Complete with the lively pink Intent to Demolish notice on the front plywood.) And then the after photo, which is telling me I better get some decorations up.
(Stick with me, people, I promise it's worth it.)
See the porch roof and the columns way in the back on the right of the "after" photo? That is the entrance to Bill's gallery. There is no dog fence around that part.
Occasionally someone looking for the gallery will knock on our front door. This is no meager feat, as the gate is nearly impossible to open, because Delia could open anything that a reasonably intelligent human could. The gates are closed with horse stall hardware. On the inside. And there is a sign on the gate which announces "Dogs In Yard" and another sign stating "Gallery Around Corner".
Last Valentine's day my dear Bill proved beyond proof just how much he loves me. I am always freezing. I am the only one I know who thoroughly enjoyed her (all too brief) period of hot flashes because for the first and last time in my life I was warm. At three-thirty each day I felt like I was on a tropical vacation with hot sunny breezes enveloping my body. Heaven.
Back to Valentine's Day, 2011. Bill bought me a Hoodie Footie from Pajamagram. We call it the Big Pink Thing. Here it is on a cachectic model:
(Can you guess where this is going? Not yet? Hang in there.)
In real life, it's not so pink. More chewed bubble gum flesh toned.
So (here we go) yesterday I was sitting in the kitchen in my Big Pink Thing. See how on the model the ankles kind of sag? On me they sag much worse, along with the knees and elbows. With the hoodie hanging down in back it gives the idea of a Hunch Back thing going on. And the butt has to accommodate - amply - my fifty-seven year old derriere in all sorts of whippet-comfort-couch-positions, so it's stretched just a bit and hangs alarmingly. It is so warm and toasty and I become a large chenille comfy whippet bed and I did mention how I put it on in November and take it off somewhere around March or April depending on the temperature, didn't I?
Sitting in my kitchen in my Big Pink Thing, eating my lunch, surrounded by somnolent whippets, I heard our front door open. "Huh," I pondered. "I thought Bill was in the studio. He must have stepped outside for a moment."
The dogs, who go ballistic whenever there is a knock on the door, raised their heads, experiencing the same puzzlement as I. But dogs have noses. They said, "That's not Bill!" and trotted over to the foyer gate to say hi to our visitor.
I stood to see what on earth was going on.
In my Big Pink hoodie footie Thing. Without a bra.
The young man standing in my foyer and I did a silent Drew Barrymore/ E.T. scream. We stared at each other, not being able to process what our eyes were telling our brains.
My eyes to my brain: A nicely dressed, handsome young man has just entered my home without knocking. I have no clue who he is. I am wearing my Big Pink Thing. The dogs think he's a friend because he didn't knock. Thank God Luciano wasn't in the yard or he'd have eaten him.
Young Man's eyes to his brain: Oh My GOD IN HEAVEN what IS that? It's a horrible lumpy saggy naked woman with a hunch back and a million skinny woozle dogs. Run! Run for your life!!!
My mouth said, "Did you just walk into my home without knocking?" Obviously my brain wasn't yet fully engaged, because that was in fact indisputably what had just happened. And I was wearing my Big Pink Thing.
The Young Man's mouth said, "Oh. Er. Uh." Which was all his mouth was able to produce while his brain continued to scream, "Avert your eyes before you turn to stone! Medusa! Get behind me Satan! Look at that .. no! Don't look. I can't help but look it's so horrid! Turn your eyes from it before it gets you! I thought the Zombie Walk was Halloween weekend!"
Young Man's mouth: "I. Uh. Oh God. I. Uh. I've made a T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. mistake. I. Uh." And then he was able to sputter in a last gasp sort of voice, "Art Gallery."
Normally when an embarrassed art patron comes to the front door by mistake, I invite them in, show them some paintings in the house and walk them across the breezeway and into the gallery through its back door. But I was wearing my Big Pink Thing and no bra and here came Luciano down the stairs realizing that something terrible was happening and perhaps the intruder needed to be bitten in the butt, thank goodness the gate into the foyer was closed.
I tried to look normal in my Big Pink Thing with my mascara down my face and my boobs hanging somewhere in the vicinity of Northern Tennessee and my scary stick up hair. You know, casual chic. "The gallery is around the corner. Go back out of the house and out of the gate and turn left."
The Young Man's face still reflected the depths of the horror he felt, but he tried so hard to be polite. "Uh, I'm so very sorry. Art gallery. I. Uh. I. Uh. I. Oh. I. Art Gallery." He clutched his notebook or sketchpad to his breast, like a shield, as he backed away from the Apparition of Grotesque Pinkness. "I'm sorry. I'll just. Go. I'm uh. I'm uh. Uh. Have uh. Have a day. A nice. Uh. Oh."
And with that he got himself out the door.
I watched him trot to our front gate, shaking his head, clutching his sketchpad shield to his heart.
I fear the poor soul will likely have nightmares for the rest of his days.
Hug your hounds and stay warm this winter.