We started the day at the bakery, where there is always a line out the door on Saturday mornings.

#2 son, #2 daughter, and I bought about 5,000 calories worth of croissants, doughnuts, fruit, and hot chocolate, plus a cup of tea for me, and admired one another’s Book Club visual journals.

Not that #2 son has a visual journal. He is not in the Book Club. He just came along for the food.

Actually, he was also up for the shopping.

We went to the early-opening places to begin our shopping expedition. I had a list. #2 daughter helped me by saying things like, “You don’t always have to wear gray.”

Actually, we had a salesperson who was quite informative about colors, but that was later.  After we had bought things like dog food and athletic shorts for #2 son, we dropped him off at home and went on to the hairdresser. We were going early in hopes that she could fit in #2 daughter, who was going to something fancy and needed a little something done for her hair.

We sat out in the hall waiting our turn, and actually discussing hair. “I like the stripey bits,” I said about my hair, “but I don’t know about the part that’s just getting gray. Maybe I should color it.”

“No, you’re not!” the hairdresser, Cecelia, shouted from inside her lair.

“Because you think I won’t come back regularly?” I called. It’s true that I don’t go regularly to get my hair cut.

There was no answer.

When it was our turn and I went in, though, we discussed it further. Cecelia assured me that my current hair is a good look for me. “And when it gets white, it’ll be awesome.”

I explained about the photographer. “I want to deceive people into thinking I’m stylish,” I said.

Cecelia stared despairingly at my face. “I could straighten it for you,” she said.

“I like it curly.” More staring ensued. I ended up with exactly the same hair style as always.

#2 daughter, however, came out with an entirely different look.

Nice, eh?

We then drove up to the shopping center in the next county, where the special clothing store for older ladies is located.

I needed a jacket for warm weather. I was thinking that I would be amazingly bold and go for navy blue pants. And I was thinking I should get a summer blouse or two.

I bought this blouse.

We went around the store looking at all the jackets, but there was a preponderance of bright prints.

The salesperson liked that idea.

“You can wear a black pant and a little white cami and then just a pop of color,” she said.

People who use the word “pant” are not speaking the same language as me. People who can even entertain the concept of wearing a pop of color, as opposed to having such a thing as an element of, say, a logo, are thinking in a different way from me.

This is fine, of course. But I could tell this lady was knowledgeable and could perhaps be helpful, if we could get on the same page, so I tried explaining that I had to teach five days a week next month, so I had to have stuff to wear for that purpose.

I wasn’t speaking her language. To her, clothes were not for utilitarian purposes like looking appropriate for a job. They were Fun and Decorative and Expressive. Or something.

While I was off somewhere else, she asked #2 daughter, “Do you always go shopping with her?” #2 daughter was a little confused by this. “Do you help her?” the salesperson expanded on the earlier question.

Apparently, she thought #2 daughter was my keeper or something.

Anyway, she gave up on trying to make the process fun and started being very specifically helpful about fit and color.

She told me I should wear pinks and blues, not orange or brown. I believed her. She also said I should wear aqua, so I accepted the aqua shirt from her hands. You may notice that the shirts pictured here are nearly identical apart from color. This store has lots of things that are nearly identical except for color.

“It’s a store for people like you,” said #2 daughter. That’s what I thought, too. I bought four of these roughly identical shirts in the colors the nice woman told me to buy.

She also brought me a yellow jacket. I would never, under normal circumstances, have considered wearing a yellow jacket. There is no way yellow can be considered a neutral. However, by this time I was simply doing as I was told. I added navy trousers to the stack. “I bet you don’t wear white pants,” the woman said confidingly. I would have bought a pair if she had told me to, actually, but I agreed with her instead.

At this point, clearly having decided that I was an unfortunately disabled person of some kind who would just do whatever she told me to do, she brought me this necklace.

“You could wear anything with that jacket and put this on,” she said.

#2 daughter and I stood and tried to imagine my putting on that necklace. Pretty as it was, it just didn’t seem likely. I’ve been doing well about putting on earrings most days when I’m going to teach, but necklaces are kind of advanced for me.

“I think I’m set,” I said.

We went home, and I changed into some of the new gear. We headed off to the Derby party, where neither of us drew the winning horse, but we had fun.

The custom is to wear silly hats. This was one of the silliest.

Notice that the owner of the hat is wearing a bright print jacket.

No one said, “Mercy sakes, what are you got up as?” even though I was wearing a yellow jacket and bright blue shoes, so I guess it’ll work for teaching. Although my classroom doesn’t feature bourbon as prominently as the Derby party did.

Janalisa was there, and had read about the photographer in my blog, and was all excited about it. “She’s going to be insufferable,” she told #2 daughter.

I’m not, though. It is true that I was childishly excited about being interviewed, but I am merely alarmed about being photographed. I hope that the story does run, does contain my web address, and does bring bunches of traffic to my website. I get all thrilled about that (did I mention that nearly 700 people went to my work blog the other day from Stumbleupon?). I also hope that the article causes several rich people to hire me, that being a newspaper that caters to rich people. I also hope that people click through to The Computer Guy’s website from mine and that he ends up with some major corporate client, because he would like that, and I’d be happy to have the work from such an event, even though I’m not personally set up for many major corporate clients.

But I plan to be stay as sweet as I am even if this comes about.

We then came home and got #2 daughter dressed up for her next party. It was fun, but it was also a humbling experience, she told me, because she kept meeting people and having them tell her that The Computer Guy is a keeper and she should hold onto him. Normally, her date is told that he should hold onto her. She kept wanting to say, “Excuse me? I’m the keeper. That’s my job.”

It’s good to have humbling experiences occasionally.

Today is church, and also church meetings. I hope to get everything sewn up for the content of their website. I also intend to loll around. I haven’t worked at all this weekend, and I plan to keep that up.