Wednesday, I happened to pop into one of my favorite clothing stores to purchase a long-considered pair of black tap shorts. "That's a big bag," said the girl who works there. "What's in it?"
"Oh," I said, "some antidepressants and a Snuggie."
Now, the fact that this was true doesn't change the utter desolation of the words. The Snuggie in question was a birthday gift for my dad; the antidepressants were, of course, for me.
The next morning - Thanksgiving day - was one of those occasions where I could have used a full-length mirror. I hadn't thought that the new shorts, with opaque tights and a pair of high-heeled booties, would look anything but decorous. And it didn't occur to me that, in combination with the short fur-collared coat I found at that thrift store in Baltimore and which I judged a good weight for the day, it would look distinctly like I was wearing no pants. And I speak as a strong proponent of the "tights-are-not-pants" movement!
(You see the problem.)
Anyway, I set out bright and early with a rather lopsided pumpkin pie for the Bowery Mission. The first hints that something was amiss came from some side-eyes on the subway. And then I reached the Bowery, and walked the gauntlet of hundreds of hungry lechers and the chorus of whistles, leers, and catcalls. The fact that my pie bag was leopard-printed may not have helped. I was deeply shamed, and as a Samaritan, an abject failure.
However, the snuggie was a big hit.