Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adventures in a Maxi Dress

Oft times in the summer, instead of shorts, I tend to gravitate towards sundresses and maxi dresses (that's long, flowy, lightweight dresses for those of you not hip on maxi dress speak). I think it's because I'm feeling borderline too old for shorts or maybe it's because I like how comfy they are or how girly they seem or how they hide the one too many cherry dip cones I may or may not have eaten.

As it turns out, maxi dresses are not only comfy but multi-purpose.

Exhibit A: I journeyed to the University of Iowa hospital in Iowa City (Go Hawks!) wearing my maxi dress to visit my BFF Heather, whose little boy Brayson had been admitted there on Wednesday night due to an injury. Heather and her 3 kids had just made the 3 hour journey from Burlington (the town I used to be black in) to the Koons Zoo to visit the animals (oh and maybe us too) the Saturday before and had spent a fair amount of time chasing the “peatock” aka peacock.. When Heather told Brayson that I was coming to visit on Friday, his one request even in his injured state, “Can Howwy bring me a peatock?” I figured a live peacock visitor might not be welcomed so instead I put together a peacock feather bouquet. Imagine the stares and looks I got as I walked thru the hospital halls carrying a peacock feather bouquet and a balloon. I arrived on Brayson’s floor and was waiting for Heather to come and get me when I noticed that all of the nurses and staff down the hall at the nurse’s station were staring intently at me. I blamed the peacock feathers and continued to wait for Heather. She came and got me and took me to Brayson’s room. A few minutes later one of the nurses came into the room and said to me, “We didn’t mean to gawk but we thought you were wearing a prom dress and we don’t see a lot of people in the hospital wearing prom dresses.”
Maxi Dress Multipurpose Use #1:It can double as a prom dress. Who needs taffeta when you’ve got cotton?!?

Exhibit B: After hanging out in the room with Brayson (who was not much of a host since he was sedated), Heather and her husband Jody, I decided they needed some nourishment. I set out to go get lunch and a few other necessities for their stay in the hospital. Easy enough right? I think you know better. When I arrived at the hospital I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to what level of the parking garage I was on, I just knew I was in Garage #2. However, when I got to the parking garage, the Princess Mobile had mysteriously disappeared. I huffed and puffed my way thru all of the levels of the garage and could NOT find my PMobile. It finally occurred to me that I must be in the wrong parking garage so I found a way to get to the adjacent parking garage which I assumed would be the right one. Please note, I was beginning to “glisten” by this point as walking up and down a parking garage can be quite a workout. After walking thru several levels of this new parking garage I still couldn’t find the PMobile. I was exhausted, I was parched, I was delusional, and still wearing my maxi dress aka prom dress. I made my way back to the elevators because it was time to use the emergency phone located there. I picked up the emergency phone, dialed 0 for HELP, and then listened to it ring…and ring…and ring…and ring…and ring..and you get the point here right? NO ANSWER ON THE EMERGENCY PHONE! I was nearing desperation and beginning to look for an unlocked car to camp in for the night (even though it was only noon) when I decided I would try to find my way back into the hospital and start over, or at least force Heather to walk me to my car so I’d have company in my misery. I don’t really know how it happened but I ended up back in the first garage I was in and believe it or not, still couldn’t find my PMobile. There was another emergency phone so I tried again. Still no answer. The emergency operator must’ve been on break…which makes one feel very safe and secure in the event of an emergency. After approximately 45 minutes of wandering aimlessly in the desert, I mean parking garages, I found my way back into the hospital. Oddly enough though, this wasn’t a part of the hospital I was familiar with or had been in before AND the sign on the wall made no mention of Brayson’s floor, but ALAS there was a RED emergency phone. And this time, when I picked it up SOMEONE ANSWERED! Here’s a dramatic reenactment of that conversation:

Operator: Operator, how can I help you?
Me (out of breath and panicked): I’m lost, I’m alone, I’m afraid.
Operator: Ok, no problem I can help you with that. Where are you trying to go?
Me: I need to find my car. I parked in Parking Garage 2 but I can’t find my car! My car’s been stolen OR someone moved it! Please HELP ME!
Operator: Where are you now?
Me: By a sign that says blah blah blah (I can’t remember what the sign says)
Operator: Oh ok, so you were in parking garage 3 and 4 and you need to be in parking garage 2. To do that go this way and then take the elevator and then turn right and you’ll be there.
Me: Thank you, thank you, thank you! You saved my life!

Lucky for me her directions worked and soon I was in the comfort of my Princess Mobile, right where I had left it…level 3 of parking garage 2. Turns out I had turned the wrong way out of the elevator when I left the first time which lead me to the wrong parking garages. Huh, weird since usually I’m so directionally in tuned.
Maxi Dress Multipurpose #2: It can serve as workout clothes should you be lost in a dark, muggy, parking garage and have to walk up and down all levels. From prom to perspiration.

I'm a cowgirl..on a steel horse I ride, (in a maxi dress)

Exhibit C: When I finally arrived home that evening I discovered GI Joe and his father standing in the middle of the road just past our house, waving their arms. I was intrigued. I made my way down the road to investigate and found that they were trying to herd Mark the Farmer’s cattle back into the pasture. Allegedly, the cattle had popped the gate open from one pasture and had been walking down the gravel road or in the field next to the gated pasture and Mark the Farmer was nowhere to be found. And apparently that’s what country neighbors do, herd your cows for you if they get out. Cows on the road? That makes me laugh. Soon you will find me walking Holy down the gravel road just for kicks and giggles. I digress, back to the story at hand. They had successfully herded about half of the cattle back where they needed to go but there were still about 15-20 who were being kinda stubborn. But never fear, Prairie Princess was here!!! GI Joe directed me to a spot in the pasture where I was to “redirect” the cattle if they tried to come towards me so we could funnel them back towards the opening to the gated pasture. He was circling on the 4 wheeler “pushing” the cattle towards the opening where his dad stood and would then direct the cattle into the pasture. It was quite an operation. Apparently, I am the worst at “redirecting” cattle because after only a few minutes GI Joe drove over to me and told me to get on the 4 wheeler and circle around and back behind the cattle and push them towards him and his dad. Dressed in my maxi dress best I hopped on the 4 wheeler and begin driving at high rates of speed up and around the cattle to herd them back to where they needed to go. It was exhilarating; except for the hay I had all over me after driving thru the hay field. I felt like raising one hand in the air and yelling yeehaw but given my driving record, thought it best that I keep both hands on the 4 wheeler. I am proud to report that my herding efforts resulted in 8 of the 15 cattle being herded back into the gated pasture. The remaining were just dumb. They were frustrating me AND they wouldn’t let me pet them so I tired of their antics quickly. I turned the 4 wheeler back over to GI Cowboy I mean Joe, and he resumed the herder position while his Dad and I stood on the road to block the cattle from taking a walk. MY FIL gave me a quick lesson on how to scare cattle, by waving your arms high above your head which gives you the appearance of being bigger and yelling. Yes, it was as comical as you’re picturing it in your head. I, in my maxi dress, waving my arms wildly above my head yelling loudly, “Get in there you stupid cows! I’m so glad my HOLY COW would never act like this! Jerseys rule Angus DROOL!” If all else fails, trash talk. Eventually, we got all of the cattle in and my FIL congratulated me on being a real cowgirl. Later, Mark the Farmer called my FIL to thank him and GI Joe for taking care of his cattle and got a big ol’ chuckle when my FIL told him that I had helped…in a dress. I think we’re even now for those corn stalks I stole from him last fall. Editor’s sidenote: I am currently using this incident to prove to GI Joe that we need a herding dog, you know to herd our ONE cow. This is still under negotiation.

Maxi Dress Multipurpose #3: Who needs Wranglers and boots when you can just slip on a maxi dress and herd cattle?

Maxi dresses..... they aren't just for sissies anymore.

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