Jarvis gets dressed up

We settled on “Jarvis” for the heart rate monitor’s nickname, in honor of the computer that talks to Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies. So far, Jarvis is doing great. Whenever I exercise, Jarvis gets worried and dutifully records my heart rate, then takes it on itself to phone his true masters and tattle that I scared him. The experts then look over the recording and say, “Oh, yeah, whatever.”

(I’m assured that if they find something dangerous, they’ll phone me, and Jarvis will feel smug. Until then, I’m highly motivated to keep frightening him.)

Jarvis attaches by two electrodes on my chest, connected with a black wire about two feet long. I thread the wire below my shirt and clip Jarvis to my belt or stick him in my back pocket. I joke that I’m wearing a wire. At night, I clip him on the back of my pajama pants and walk around like Taylor Swift in concert. You’re already familiar with my fashion sense (read: nada) so I’m having fun.

Sunday: time to take Jarvis to church. I pulled off my pajama shirt and pulled my dress over my head, and then went to take off the pajama pants.

My Patient Husband came into the bedroom to find me standing there, confused. I said, “I can’t wear a dress.”

There’s no way to thread that wire out of the dress, one piece from a high neck all the way to the hem. I can’t bring the wire up and out the top of the neck. Jarvis could be worn under the dress on a lanyard, but it’s twice as big as an iPhone and you would see it under the dress.

Kiddo2 said, “You could wear a belt around your waist under the dress and clip it to that.”

Or maybe I could strap it to my thigh, like Elektra Assassin with a gun under her skirt. Yeah. That would be awesome.

Um, no. Take two. Skirt and blouse.

Fail number two: even I, the fashion-sense-crippled, know blouses need to be tucked into skirts. I almost made it work this time, clipping Jarvis to the skirt and then threading the wire out the front where the blouse buttons, but it was still obvious I was wired up to the thing, and when I moved, the cable tugged at the blouse.

Take three was to wear a sweater on top and a skirt on the bottom, and that worked. The sweater even comes down over Jarvis so strangers don’t think I’m on the verge of taking God’s final call right there during Mass.

It’s like the opposite of “We can dress you up but can’t take you anywhere.” Jarvis can go anywhere. He just can’t get dressed up.


  1. Janet Sunderland

    I’m so glad I subscribed to your blog! This is wonderful and made me laugh on this Monday morning. Thank you.

    1. philangelus

      Thankyou for subscribing and commenting. 😀

  2. Pat

    Why is it so important that no one see it?

    1. philangelus

      People can see it in general because it’s jammed into my back pocket and there are wires going up under my shirt. If someone pays attention, they’ll notice it’s not a cell phone.

      But at church, I feel like advertising that I’m monitored up is drawing attention to myself when there’s no reason to. People are there to worship God, not to laugh at my lame jokes. 🙂

  3. Ken Rolph

    Untucked blouses. There is a solution, taken from that group which normally wears their blouses untucked. Wear a girls school uniform. Now you might say, Americans don’t have school uniforms. But I’m sure you could come up with some exclusive private girls school uniform.

    That’s the way it works in Sydney. Some school has a finely tailored unform which is worn with grace and decorum during school hours. Afterwards the blouse gets pulled out and the skirt tucked up inside the belt. You could hide the monitor inside the copious folds of skirt there. This also allows you to get an upper thigh tan and those sunlight vitamins through your skin.

    But wait! That’s the fashion style for hanging around the steps to the railway station. Probably wouldn’t go down so well in church.

  4. cricketB

    Some shirts should be worn outside. Look for light sweaters or nice hems. I rarely tuck anything in. I like high waist lines. Tucking a shirt in emphasizes my belly. Leaving it out gives better lines. (Better, not good.)

    See, Jarvis is a chance for you to go clothes shopping.

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