“The outfit just doesn’t work,” Jack announced, arms crossed against his chest with his patented look of disapproval blaring at her, telling her she was failing at ‘working it’, just as she had failed all of her life in that one miserable area.
She felt the tears welling up in her eyes and she fought them as hard she could. This was too important, she had to look amazing. She couldn’t sit through one more meeting, across the table from him, feeling like her old drab and plain self. She knew he would size her up the moment she walked in. She shuddered at the thought of that head-to-toe once over that she had come to know so very well.
“What you need is a new pair of shoes.” He suddenly brightened, knowing that this was the key to the ensemble. How did a straight man know so much about women’s fashion? She assumed it was because he suggested she wear what he wanted to see a woman wear. Whatever it was, it worked. The only time she ever really felt put together was when her brother Jack had gone shopping with her for her clothing.
“You want to know what is so crazy about all of this? I am helping my own sister dress to kill – to impress a man that I truly hate. I need to get my head checked. What if you two get back together and I have to see his ugly mug every Christmas?” He snorted.
She laughed as well. It was true. There was no denying that Jack hated her soon-to-be-ex-husband. As did the rest of her family. And friends. And coworkers. And…even the cat. They all hated him, and she supposed that if she was honest with herself, she would have to admit that there was a part of her that did as well.
“I just can’t stand the thought of walking into the mediator’s office looking like a frump one more time. He mocks me. He judges everything from my hair style to my handbag.” She admitted this without any shame. This was her brother. She didn’t have to sugarcoat it. He’d changed her diapers as a baby – there was nothing she could do to embarrass herself with him.
Suddenly, a thought occurred to her.
“I need a pair of ‘do me heels’ to wear to the mediation.” She said it while deliberately looking at the floor. She could not to see the look on his face when she mentioned sex to her brother. Check! Cross ‘find the one thing that might possibly embarrass me in front of my brother’ off the list.
“Oh no you didn’t. You did not just bring up “F*%! me pumps” to your own brother, your own flesh and blood.” He was laughing, but he was serious. And she knew by his chuckles that she was right – that’s why it embarrassed him so. Now he had to envision his sister wearing sexy heels.
“Right?” She began, “That’s probably the only thing that would save this outfit, I just can’t think of anything else.”
She began looking through the kitten heels and Jack doubled over in hysterics.
“Nice to see I can entertain you, what the hell is so damn funny?!” She demanded, still looking through the pretty shoes.
“Oh, honey, I am sorry, but those aren’t sexy. That is your problem. You need actual, real high heels.” And he handed her a pair of what seemed like 7 inch peep toe pumps in a red snake skin print.
“Oh crap.” She muttered.
But she knew the moment she laid eyes on them – those shoes were the beginning of something. What exactly, she would find out later…