One day last week I finished up a hectic afternoon of running errands by stopping at that one-mile loop track that’s sort of near the farm. I sprinted for three sweaty, desperate miles, making eye contact with nobody, then hurried back to my Jeep and made a beeline for home. Once there I kissed my husband, who was working on his Camaro and thankfully didn’t need a lot of eye contact, then made a second beeline to the shower and then my closet for fresh clothes. I’m not always in such a hurry to shed my running layers, but on this day my running layers were embarrassing.
I was wearing third-day, baggy yoga pants, full length ones with wide bottom legs that went swish-swash with every stride. Also the kind with a wide elastic flap at your hips that when flipped over reveals a super classy word, etched in sequins. Totally appropriate for a woman my age. Oh, but I tend to wear these pants wrong side out because I hate the way those sequins feel against the small of my back if that flap flips up. Which it often does. So, third-day, baggy, wrong-side-out yoga pants with bell bottoms that could start a campfire.
I was also wearing a lavender-colored stretch cotton pajama top, some ill-fitting Winnie the Pooh number from I cannot fathom what chapter of life (it looks like a maternity top but isn’t), and my husband’s athletic socks. Picture, if you will, the heel contour landing somewhere north of my ankle and near my calf muscle. Not that you could see that. On account of my super classy yoga pants.
I looked less like a runner and more like a person who had just awoken from a coma that had started long ago, while nursing a baby during a Britney Spears video.
My only semblance of normalcy was that pair of new blue and turquoise Brooks that still looked pretty fresh. Those shoes alone carried all the heavy burden of making me look like a legit runner at the track that day. Apparently I care about this now.
Why such shoddy attire? Because I hadn’t done laundry in several days. So all my workout gear was used up. Nor had I showered very recently.
These were facts of life because our septic tank was near capacity.
This was because Oklahoma has been enjoying a deluge of steady rainfall for weeks now.
Our water table is full. Our well is full. Our pond is full. And so, as things go, is our septic tank. Or at least it was last week, and I was exercising an abundance of caution. Trust me: not showering and not doing laundry is not my thing.
Anyway, the next time you see a badly dressed person at the running track, resist judgement and assume that he or she has a good reason for it. Things happen.
After all, color-coordinated spandex and witty racer back tees are for the drought.