Essay: Trumped at Lord & Taylor

 In this Wednesday, March 28 2012, file photo, Ivanka Trump wears an outfit she designed as she speaks to the audience prior to the presentation of her Ready-To-Wear Collection at the Lord & Taylor flagship store in New York. Trump's father, Donald, is seated to the right. Retailers are trying to figure out a way to deal with the politically charged Ivanka Trump brand, stamped on everything from shoes to pants to handbags. The products have become more polarized with President Donald Trump’s rise to the White House. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

In this Wednesday, March 28 2012, file photo, Ivanka Trump wears an outfit she designed as she speaks to the audience prior to the presentation of her Ready-To-Wear Collection at the Lord & Taylor flagship store in New York. Trump's father, Donald, is seated to the right. Retailers are trying to figure out a way to deal with the politically charged Ivanka Trump brand, stamped on everything from shoes to pants to handbags. The products have become more polarized with President Donald Trump’s rise to the White House. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” It’s been a long time since this Catholic girl has gone to confession. But those were the first words that popped into my head as I handed my credit card to the cashier.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

It’s been a long time since this Catholic girl has gone to confession. But those were the first words that popped into my head as I handed my credit card to the cashier at Lord & Taylor — the opening line that a Catholic says, in the dark anonymity of the confessional, when she seeks forgiveness.

What do I need to confess? For the first time in my long and happy marriage (over 30 years,) I have deliberately disobeyed my husband.

Lest you fear I’m trapped in some 1950s union, controlled by an evil despot on the other side of the bed, let me tell you why this is news.

My husband is the most gentle man I know. He’s never told me what to do. Our marriage is based on “love, honor, and cherish,” not “love, honor, and obey.”

But this time, I’ve really done it. Not something minor, like getting anchovies instead of mushrooms on the Friday night pizza. Or cancelling our family’s annual Christmas Eve dinner. No, this time, I’ve definitely crossed the line.

I just bought, on sale, a pair of really good-looking, really comfortable, really practical shorts … but the label reads: “Ivanka Trump.”

What could have possessed me to commit this act of insubordination — if not total madness? My husband and I have already discussed this matter. I’d raised the subject a few months ago — tentatively, guiltily.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but just for the heck of it, I tried on some Ivanka Trump clothes — and they really looked good!”

He responded so strongly that I knew he meant business.

“Promise me you’ll never buy her clothes,” he implored. “It would make me sick to know you were giving business to those people.”

Fair enough. But I can explain. I’m what the demographers describe as “55+.” That size 6 that I wore from age 14 to age 50 no longer cuts it. You gain weight, you lose weight, but somewhere along the way, you start to grow hips, your waist gets wider, and one day you wake up, and it’s like you’re looking at yourself in a fun house mirror. You have all your body parts, but they’re in all the wrong places, in all the wrong proportions.

It’s not that you’re just bigger — it’s that you’ve changed forever. No, I don’t long for the hippie clothes of my college days. I don’t miss those orange-and-white, polka-dot, hip-hugger bell bottoms that I once wore with impunity. But I don’t want to look like those sad women hawking miracle weight-loss pills on TV — the ones in the commercials they run after 9 a.m., when all the skinny women have left for work.

When you’re 55+, my friends, you are suddenly out of options.

But Ivanka understands me. Her clothes are gentle and forgiving. And she is discreet. She never mentions those unsightly lumps and bumps, never makes me feel self-conscious. She just finds a way to keep my flaws a secret, while emphasizing my good points. (My thick, shiny hair? My compassion for the downtrodden? Anything but my missing-in-action waistline.)

When her clothes hug me close, I feel loved and respected, not judged. I can look good, not merely “good for my age.” Though, in the Game of Life, I may be in the fourth quarter, with Ivanka at my side, or around or under it, I’m now ready for the halftime show.

Surely, my husband and I have weathered worse. Baby’s projectile vomiting? Adolescent hormones (the kids’ and ours)? The day I knocked both side mirrors off the new car while backing out of the garage?

But now this: In pursuit of a simple pair of shorts, I’ve been Trumped at Lord & Taylor. Dearest Husband, please try to understand. Ivanka Trump’s clothing line promises to satisfy the deepest longings of my heart. By electing to wear Ivanka, I can “Make Your Wife Look Great Again.”

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