Off the Wall

Onces classy chassis, wife now just wrecked

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The Law of Entropy states that a system, left to itself, becomes more disordered. Translation: Your average married middle-aged woman looks like an ancient ruin.

I knew I'd hit rock-bottom when a stranger tossed change into my Starbucks cup.

"I can't believe what I've become," I mutter into my mirror.

"It's not our fault," Leila says. "Men did this to us."

When Sweetie and I first started dating, I rolled my hair twice a day on electric curlers and never left the dorm unless my nail polish matched my merry widow. I had the boy convinced that, like dew falls on grass in the morning, I just naturally awakened with eyeliner and Slicker lip gloss.

But as every girl knows, the minute you take yourself off the meat market, your stock starts to fall. And the man in your life does everything he can to accelerate your great depression.

"Honey, you look great without makeup," he says. "No really, I like a woman with a little meat on her bones," he says. "You don't need expensive lingerie! You're never sexier than when you're wearing ratty jeans, a stained T-shirt and underwear with stretched-out elastic."

Then, the next thing you know, he's dumped you for a painted teen-age anorexic lingerie model who only wears panties for catalog shoots.

"Men have no idea what they want," I say.

"That," Leila says, "or they're just stupid."

Still, being the "no one pulls my strings but me" kinda girl that I am, I can't put all the blame on Sweetie.

"Comfortable shoes were the nail in my coffin," I say.

"A pox on Reeboks," Leila says.

Before I discovered comfortable shoes, my idea of casual was skin-tight jeans with needle-nosed stilettos. I just assumed every girl needed Demerol to walk across a parking lot.

Then came the Tennis Shoe Revolution. Women who had no idea which end of a tennis racket you sat on started dressing like Chris Everett at Wimbledon.

The first time I didn't have to use the Jaws of Life to remove my shoes, I was hooked. But wearing comfortable shoes leads to wearing comfortable clothes. When I showed up in black sweats and pearls at my Great-Aunt Mabel's funeral, Mom organized the intervention.

"Don't lie to me," Mom said, jabbing her manicured nail in my face, "when was the last time you wore matching coordinates?"

Of course, by then, fashion sense was the least of my worries. There was the distinct possibility that if I tried to peel off my leggings, the top layer of my skin would come off.

Furthermore, the Law of Lycra states that not only does the material expand to fit your body your body expands to fill the material. Leggings should come with a warning: With continued use, possible side effects include your butt blowing up.

"I look like one of those clowns that when you punch it, it bounces back to a standing position," I say.

"What we need," Leila says, "is a day at Le Spa."

"Le Spa?" I echo.

"You'll love it," she says, already dialing the number. "It's like an auto body shop for wrecked females."

"We'd better hurry," I say, staring down at the scale. "Two more pounds, and they'll have to tow me." (Copyright 2000 P.S. Wall. Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate.)

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