Dressing with Assistance

Recently the husband approached me with the most indecent of proposals: Would I consider pitching in at his office on an as needed basis? It took me all of one second to respond with "Hell, no." I'm absolutely convinced nothing good can come of spouses working together, especially this particular pair. But the husband has a need and I, as the wife, must at least go through the motions of pretending to satisfy it.

So I said to him, "I won't work for you, but I'm sure my imaginary assistant would be almost happy to help you out." Yes, that's exactly what I said and the husband understood exactly what I was talking about.

What, you don't have an imaginary assistant? Why not! Mine does the stuff I just can't face, like going to the post office or sorting through copious amounts of catalog orders and writing my novels and screenplays. And when I want to be alone, I just send her away so I can watch Everybody Loves Raymond reruns in a judgmental free environment. 

Now that she works for the husband a couple hours a day, things have gotten a little more formal, she's even been given a name, "Brenda." What the husband doesn't understand about "Brenda," though, is that she's kind of flaky and prone to needing help instead of being helpful. She also requires the thermostat to be set no lower than 73 degrees and she won't come in to work if it hints of drizzle or cramps. But she answers the phone like a pro, will eventually fax documents to the correct number and might even make dinner reservations if they're to a place where she wants to eat.

While "Brenda" is only on temporary loan, it doesn't mean she shouldn't dress for the job. And "Brenda" being "Brenda" it means that what she wears is just a little bit off, at least it is the way she puts it together. It's part of charm that is "Brenda."

From top left: Watch, Marc Jacobs, $250. Dress, Milly, $395. Sweater, Paul and Joe Sister, $340. Leggings, Yummi Tummi, $75. Boots, Jimmy Choo, $1050. Glasses, Oliver Peoples, $315. Tote, See by Chloe, $225. All at netaporter.com


Don't worry, there's no chance of any hanky panky between "Brenda" and the husband. Thanks to her fashion sense, she might as well be wearing a nun's habit. That's how appealing he'd find her wardrobe choices. For one, the husband hates sweaters that are remotely cozy and he can't wait for leggings to finally be over. While he may have a thing for a gal in glasses and a flower print dress, the rest of "Brenda's" choices are sure to take care of those likes. You know, I'm starting to like "Brenda." Maybe, I'll cut her some slack and let her wear something besides blue eyeshadow and mauve lipstick. Then again, it might prolong temp assignment and neither of the three of us want that.

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