January 21, 2018
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Palin’s wardrobe an issue I understand

By Renee Ordway, Special to the BDN

I must say that I’m feeling a bit sympathetic toward Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this week.

Sure, I squirmed (and chuckled) along with a lot of you as she muddled and fumbled her way through the now famous Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson interviews, but I didn’t feel any sympathy for her. Tina Fey, with her upswept hair, rimless glasses and spot-on irritating voice, simply rocks my world every Saturday night at 11:30, but again not even a smidgen of sympathy for the guv.

But this week when she took the heat for a $150,000 spending spree by the Republican Party to dress her up for her role as a vice presidential candidate — well, I have to tell ya, it tugged right at the strings of this middle-aged mom’s heart.

We may not have a lot in common, Sarah and I, but there may be some similarities. For instance I can’t drop or field-dress a caribou, but I do enjoy a nice piece of venison now and again. I don’t know Joe the Plumber or his brother Joe Six Pack, but I’ve been known to toss back a few with the boys on occasion. I’m not a governor, but, well, let’s see, I did cover Gov. John Baldacci’s inauguration party. My kids don’t play hockey, but I spend a whole lot of time taxiing them to cheering, football, baseball and basketball practices. Of course, I’m not often wearing lipstick when I do.

In fact, a lot of the time I’m wearing sweat pants and T-shirts. Since I work from home and since two of my kids are teenage girls, there’s not a whole lot of money left for me in the family’s clothing budget. So, say John McCain had tapped me as a running mate; well, I just would have had to politely decline because I wouldn’t have had a thing to wear for the occasion.

Since the Republican Party has never offered me any money for new clothes, I had to find my own solution to my wardrobe deficiency problem. I did. And I found it in my girls’ bulging closets.

I discovered that I could wear the 15-year-old’s shirts, jackets and sweaters. I can wear the 17-year-old’s shoes and Capri-type sweat pants (if the waist is elastic.) And, of course, accessories, such as purses and jewelry, are one-size-fits-all.

The only trick to this covert clothing operation is to wait until the girls are out of the house before the closet diving begins and then changing quickly before they get home. As busy as they are, I’m often left with loads of time to trot about town in my “new” outfits.

Things were going swimmingly until I made the still-controversial decision to adopt the dog. My dog, it turns out, is something of a perverted weirdo with an obscene obsession with any piece of clothing or footwear that so much as touches my body.

She routinely scours the house in search of whatever clothing item of mine she can find. She then drags it to her bed in the family room, where she either lies on it or sticks her nose in it. Since some of her favorite items are my unmentionables, this can be somewhat embarrassing depending on who may be visiting when she trots through the kitchen with her latest prize hanging from her mouth.

For example, my daughter nearly died of embarrassment the other day when the dog darted by her as she opened the door. With my screaming daughter in hot pursuit, the dog raced from one end of the yard to the other with my bra dangling from her jaws. I’m sure neither the neighbors nor the dozens of kids walking home from school noticed a thing.

Fortunately, I wasn’t home and I missed that particular spectacle, but I got blamed for it. After all, she’s “my” dog and it was “my” bra.

This troubling fixation is only for things that I wear. So the other day when the dog came marching into the kitchen swinging one of my niece’s prized UGG boots, the jig, you might say, was up. At first my daughter was puzzled as to why the dog would occasionally snag one of her shirts or jack-ets. But as we stood and watched the dog nestle her nose in that UGG, the proverbial light bulb went off in my daughter’s pretty head.

“You wore Carlin’s boots, didn’t you?” she said with an air of disbelief. While they haven’t yet bolted their closets shut, I am currently under very close scrutiny. So I’m lying low for a while, reverting back to my embarrassing middle-aged mom sweat suits and jeans and turtlenecks.

But I’m patient and, after all, McCain says all of Palin’s new clothes are going to be donated to charity after the election.

Dibs on those sassy black boots!


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