Friday, July 8, 2011

A trucker’s wardrobe

While you’re traveling, if you ever have the opportunity to stop in at a truck stop I encourage you to do so. For the maximum understanding of my lesson – stop in about 7pm; you won’t be disappointed. Truck drivers are a different breed and come in many sizes, shapes and styles. I’m not a judge of anyone – I just really call it like I see it. I don’t knock anyone’s hustle either – like my Dad used to say “to each, his own”.

The men...

The company driver – usually in a uniform with shoes that lace up. A baseball cap with the company’s logo is sitting prominently on the dashboard.

The cowboy driver – he’d rather be out riding ponies, but someone has to pay for the feed so he took his show on the road. Big belt buckles, a pair of cowboy boots and a big ‘ol cowboy hat are staples in the Cowboy’s wardrobe – he won’t leave home without it (I’m saying that in my best southern drawl)!

The playa driver – everything matches including the chunk jewelry and pinky ring. The outfit is color coordinated with the shoes and there are no signs of wrinkles or “truck dust” anywhere.

The ex-jock driver – he was either a basketball or football player in high school. Preferable choice for footwear is a pair of Adidas slides (with socks) and a pair of basketball shorts and a loose fitting T-shirt.

Then, there’s women…

Some women drivers you have to look real hard to see if they are actually a woman. Their outfit is not feminine and I’ve even seen some wearing a chain on their wallet.

Other women drivers prefer to remain feminine.  They may border on the comfort side of dressing but, they do wear make-up and take the time to do their hair. I’ve even seen Soccer Mom types driving and thought “whodathunkit”!

There are a lot of women riders that are doing what I do – act like a seat cover on the passenger side. Almost all of the seatcovers are like me – hair, nails and make-up is done and their clothes are comfortable but fashionable.

Now, in no way am I claiming to be a fashion guru – or do I think that anything is wrong with the way anyone dresses… Live & let live, right?


I do know that it’s a fine line between beauty and busted. I’m also finding out that my taste in fashion is aging. I’m old and fat so my fashion is driven by clothing that doesn’t bind or itch. This becomes most important when you’re cooped up in a truck all day – sitting for hours.

I don’t remember when I transitioned from tom-boy to woman, but I do know that even though I prefer to shop in the women’s section now, I don’t like my clothes to cling and I like to hide the cellulite that has magically appeared since I turned 40 (better known as saddlebags). I prefer to wear shorts that come down to at least the knee.

Now, if Aboy had his way – I’d wear lace tank tops (no bra) and daisy duke shorts  - and don’t forget the 4 inch spiked heels. This suggestion always gets an eye-roll and sometimes I even suck my teeth or let out a big sigh. I appreciate that he thinks I could be a super model, but I grew up in an area that going to the store requires make-up and color coordinated (conservative) outfits (ya never know who you may run into). Can you imagine me running into an old classmate wearing an Aboy suggested outfit – I would probably end up on and be the laughing stock of the world.

I do have to find clothes for the truck that are (1) comfortable, (2) functional, and (3) not too masculine/ not too feminine. I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes because it still is, after all, a truck – grease and dust (and spilled coffee) are hazards of the job.

We stopped at a Walmart on I-70 in Illinois. I was getting tired of wearing basketball shorts and wanted to get some outfits that were more within my observation’s guidelines. I found a section of capris that were made of stretchy cotton. PERFECT! I got 4 pairs in dark colors with matching tops. I thought to myself “this is excellent! Kind of girly, non-binding, and durable!”… until I got to the check-out.  

The cashier was old enough to be my grandmother. As she scanned each pair of capris she kept saying “I need to get over there and find some of these for me!” I turned to Aboy – eyes widened – looking at him with the “maybe I shouldn’t get these, now” look. I mean if grandma is jocking my style – what is that saying about my style!

A couple weeks passed. Aboy and I were at a truck stop somewhere in Arkansas. We decided we were going to take our showers in the morning – so we could have a fresh start on the day. I packed up my bag. I put a pair of grey capris and a Yankee shirt in the bag with matching flip-flops. I got out the shower feeling like new money!... until we got to the coffee island and there was a 60-something lady standing there making coffee in the same style capris I was wearing.

So at this point I’m open to suggestions (beyond losing 40 lbs) for comfortable functional clothing that is not the preferred wardrobe choice of the 60 and over generation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I’m not a meteorologist, however…

Cohabitating in a space that is not even the size of a decent walk-in closet has its challenges!  I don’t care how much you love and care for someone – when you exist in a space big enough to hold your wardrobe, nerves will be tested. Add in the fact that Aboy and I are both cut from the same sarcastic cloth – it makes for some snipey exchanges.

It’s all good – it’s not like the early days where I’d say “Let me out!” and he’d pull the car over and say “Get the fuck out!”… now it’s more like – silence. I did mention I’m an only child, right?  I’ve mastered the silent treatment.  I have pouting, tantrums and determination (a hint of hard-head) in my arsenal too and I’m NEVER afraid to use them. Getting my way is the ultimate goal – I have a competitive personality so the goal is to win! Plus now that I’m older, I know which battles are worth picking.  

Let me give you an example.

It’s July. We’re driving through the south. We stop in West Memphis, Arkansas and we are literally 5 miles from the Mississippi River. We are going to call West Memphis home for the night. We pulled into the truck stop around 7 pm. There were puddles on the ground – which looked like at some point during the day, they had got a substantial rain fall. We’re in the south which means - rain PLUS heat EQUALS humidity, right?

Aboy finds the perfect spot. We’re in Garden City if you put us on the Long Island to City commute scale. We’ve got grass and neighbors but, we’re not living on top of anyone. Cool, right? I didn’t get to the good part, that’s why! Aboy decides since it’s in the high 70’s, we should sleep with the windows open.

We’re settled into the parking spot. Aboy shuts off the truck. Now, for an hour or so – heat is going to rise through the floor of the truck as the engine cools. I have a screen that fits (and locks) into my window, so I put the screen in. As I open the window – I can feel a gush of humid air.  I say to Aboy: “Wow, it’s really humid!” to which he replies “that’s just the hot air coming off the truck”.

I have kids – 4 to be exact. I understand - they think I was born yesterday – but I’ve been with Aboy for 23 years… he KNOWS I’m not a dumbass. I’m not a meteorologist, but I know what humidity is – I grew up on Long Island for cripes sake! So, we had a little heated exchange, then a little silence - no biggie.

We walk to get some dinner and come back about an hour later. It is hotter than an oven in the truck – but I don’t say nothing (I don’t know what I’m talking ‘bout, remember?). The little breeze that is kicking around is sticky, add in the heat coming up from the floor of the truck, and 2 fat asses… the conditions are deteriorating quickly (but I still don’t say nothing).

I can tell Aboy is trying to prove a point – but he cannot stand to be sticky when it’s time to go to bed. He washes off to get the stickiness off of him – which lasts all of about 30 minutes.

I’m going with it. He’s trying to prove a point and my silence is screaming mine – I’m just waiting for him to admit that I am right.

Another 30 minutes pass and Aboy finally gives in and turns the truck on – so we can run the Air Conditioner.  I win!

We wake up in the morning and there is dew dripping on the outside of the windows (that’s how humid the air is). We walked into the truck stop, took a shower and got coffee. When I walked from inside the truck stop to outside, my glasses had fog on them. BUT he’s still insisting it’s not that humid.

I just laughed and rolled my eyes.