“wow!  i thought you were a school girl in uniform, hired to walk gwendolyn!  i didn’t even recognise you!”

when picking my outfit for yesterday’s walk, i never quite imagined that i’d encounter this sort of dialogue to process.  i wore a khaki skirt, conservative yet leg baring, a long-sleeved vera wang grey t-shirt, and apparently, school-girl looking brown loafers.

i dressed consciously, knowing that single, cute dads would be everywhere, manning bus stops, dispatching their kids to a great first day at school.  additionally, there would be Range Rover dad chauffeurs, towing princesses to the academy, the same princesses who will skip lunch, using their money to buy blair waldorf headbands.  it’s a new school year, and for most nine-year-olds, a new diet.

but ultimately, why i invest time to look cute for these walks is beyond me.  i don’t really want to connect with anyone, notably a man.  i suppose, however, that earning a wink or sexy smile from a cute, eligible bachelor (who doesn’t care to reproduce again) is something that will provide an extra bop to my hop.

aside from enjoying this back to school social scene of splendour, i now had something else to process.  a fashionable, very well aesthetically maintained lady in her mid fifties, compared me to a school girl in uniform.  school girls are small, right?  and to the best of my knowledge, school girl uniforms are thought of, normally in the adult sense, with regard to sexual appeal.  and this woman looks great.  people adore her, so perhaps they can like me, too, is what i thought.

i said, “thank you!  that is very sweet of you to say.  i suppose you’re paying me a lovely compliment!  but the real school girl today is gwendolyn.  she starts regular daycare sessions this week.”  we both laughed and walked our separate ways.

gwendolyn sports my vintage back-to-school book bag.

the lady walked stage right.  gwendolyn and i walked stage left.  and my brain walked onto the battlefield, into the trenches.

she’s complimenting me?  calling me thin?  no way.  she’s a liar.  my legs are g’damn tree trunks.  she meant to say that i have no right wearing this skirt.  a school girl?  more like a fat school girl, scheduling early lunch.  knee dimples in third grade, going strong since 91!  maybe i’ve gained weight!  oh my god!  she’s sly.  the housewives always are.  she wants me to look stupid.  she wants me to get fatter.  tell me i’m thin, and i’m really fat.  that’s it.  what a bitch.  nicole, shut up.  there’s no way.  she’s so nice.  and educated!  i’m lean.  my abs feel tight.  i need to breathe, in and out through my nose.  come on, nicole.  no, don’t look.  don’t look.  fine.  next car window, just look once.  one quick glance.  ew! my face is disgusting.  it’s fat.  keep walking.  you have another mile.  don’t kill the walk.  maybe you’re not that fat.  yeah, i’m totally skinny.  no, i’m healthy.  i’m happy.  maybe i’ll skip my KIND bar anyway.  i can’t believe i ate two on friday morning.  nobody wants a fatty.  shut up!  oh my god, gwendolyn’s so happy to be walking!  me, too.  thank goodness for gwendolyn.  she’s saves me every time.  i feel better now.  i’m totally skinny.  i love the first day of school!  it smells like fall!  note to self: blog about this.

and i forgot about the single dads until i spotted the next Range Rover.

© nicole marie story and nicoleandgwendolyn.com, 2011.