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The stores that always sleep

I don’t take out the trash very often. It was an ordinary Thursday soir and I was cleaning up after dinner. I realised the bin reached its existential limit and pushing the trash down was not an option anymore (believe me I did try, several times). Frustrated and hopeless, I grabbed the bag and left my apartment. I was wearing those sweatpants with an indelible stain that I should have recycled into a dishcloth. No bra (because "home is where the bra isn’t") and my ancient hoodie which was screaming teenage summer camp souvenir. My hair was the living image of an electrocuted lion and I didn’t even try to tie it in a bun. I told myself I wouldn’t bump into Timothée Chalamet in my backyard, so I walked down my stairs overconfident and positively underprepared. Well, there were a total of 0 bins in the backyard. It took me a few seconds to process the situation. I pondered how terrible of a citizen I’d be if I just left the bag there, in the midst of the nighty solitude. We were just entering the second month of the year, and I was still strong on committing to my yearly resolutions, so I breathed in and out extremely loud and I confronted my fate: the outside world.

As I stepped outside the front door, the moonlight seemed the brightest focus on a stage, fully uncovering the flaws of my despicable outfit. I felt like the worst dressed attendee in the Paris fashion show, and I began the walk of shame. A perfectly synchronised couple of influencers passed by, both wearing le 5 à 7 in patent leather. I could literally feel Yves judging eyes on me. I spotted an old woman walking her Corgi, both wearing silk handkerchiefs. If you have visited Paris you know how stylish Parisians are. Their casual elevated looks, the way they hold their cigarettes, their thin fingers crowded with jewels caressing a cup of rosé. I walked past one, two and three busy terraces (seriously, where’s the bloody bin), everyone rich and fabulous was apparently on my street at that exact time. And then this reassuring thought crossed my mind.

What if I’m not to blame for my outrageous appearance? what if it’s all about the old “but I have nothing to wear”? The simplicity of my arguments seduced me instantly. I saw the promised light, God itself, the container at the end of the street. I’m a dog mum with a full time job. I’m out all day from eight to seven. Can you guess at what time the stores close in Paris? Bingo, seven in the evening. No time for late-night errands. So once in a while, the stars, laundry day and my lack of time align and sweatpants become the new Chanel suit. Then I can exercise my fully justified right of dressing like a shipwreck. If anything, my looks are a clear indicator of my social status: buried in work but resourceful after all. What a relief.

My new empowered self threw the garbage with unseen determination and I walked my cocky butt back home.



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