We Are Surrounded by Witnesses – Especially At The Worst Moments

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I can make an impression. I just don’t always make a good one, but it never fails, I always have an audience when things go badly for me…on any level. Today, I had a really, really big audience to several really trying wardrobe problems.

I’m kind of a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. I own maybe 4 pairs of shoes altogether, and my cowboy boots. I’m definitely no Imelda

This is me tonight, back in my comfy clothes, hair un-brushed, face-paint removed, and gearing up for another try at this professional dress-up crap tomorrow.

This is me tonight, back in my comfy clothes, hair un-brushed, face-paint removed, and gearing up for another try at this professional dress-up crap tomorrow.

Marcos. I almost never wear any of them but the boots. I don’t often wear jewelry or make-up, and because I have long hair that is really curly, I have been known to not even brush it before heading out the door. It isn’t that I’m not clean and neat looking. I am. I just don’t like the way makeup feels on my face, and I own almost no jewelry. Usually, bracelets and rings get in my way when I’m typing, and since my Star of David necklace broke, I haven’t really found one I like as much. So, I dress for comfort. I like to think of myself as kind of an earthy, natural kind of girl.

My mom used to call it just being lazy.

When she was young, she wouldn’t be caught dead without makeup in place and her hair made up just so. She was one beautiful, elegant, graceful woman. And my dressing habits always horrified her, not to mention that I am about as graceful as a cow, and I’m prone to make jokes when I’m nervous, which she also found a bit unsettling. I miss seeing that shocked look on her face. I’ll bet she secretly thought I’d been switched with her real child at birth!

Today, the company that I work for set up a booth at a job fair that was being held for Veterans. We were pretty excited about this since it was our first time, and we’ve been all a-flutter with preparations. And I, in rare form, wanted to look professional. Ask anyone who has ever worked with me, I’m a pretty good employee except I hate dressing up. I can find the technicalities and loopholes in almost any dress code, and every single company I’ve ever worked for at some point or another brought up the fact that I skirted as close to the edge of their dress codes as one possibly can and still remain employed. Kim, my friend/boss at this company was actually my boss at another company a few years ago. The first time I worked for her, she gave me a big raise on the condition that I go buy more professional clothes. I did, but I didn’t agree to wear them. :-) Just kidding. Kind of. I made it a point to try to wear one skirt a week, but that was about it. I work better when I’m not bound up in suffocating panty-hose, balancing on heels, and tucking and re-tucking in silky blouses that keep slipping all over the place. How do women do this without losing their minds???

I don’t know what it is about panty-hose that makes my skin crawl. It is like applying a second skin that costs too much, tears really easily and gets caught on everything. I know they make our legs look slinky and beautiful, but at what cost? I can’t make it through one work day without a run taking off and spreading the length of my leg. Then my legs don’t look so great anymore.  And high heels? Obviously, those were a man’s idea. My mother, who was elegant and ladylike, made me walk around in heels with a book balanced on my head so I wouldn’t look stupid in them. Yes. I know how to walk in them. I just don’t want to.

But, this company that I work for now is absolutely perfect for me because I only have to dress in business professional clothes for special occasions. I mostly work behind the scenes, so I don’t have to don the little black skirt and heels all that often. But because we were representing our company to the public at this Veteran’s Job Fair – Hiring Our Heroes today —  I wanted to make my company proud. (Well, that and this company actually bought me several nice business suits for these such occasions. I felt obligated, too.) I picked out my favorite little black skirt set with a cute top and fancy undershirt that I had been saving to wear last, and I even applied eye makeup, along with the normal face paint and blush,  and wore some earrings and a fancy necklace. All of these things don’t happen often. Really, almost never. And even though I was uncomfortable, itchy, and balancing on spikes, I felt like I looked pretty darn good. I headed out the door ready to tackle the day.

I had no idea.

First, I stopped to pump gas, and my necklace, obviously not secured correctly fell down my blouse. Note: There is no graceful way to dig something out of your waistline from the top of a blouse. It literally didn’t even pause at my breast area. What does that say about my twins? Still pumping gas, I placed my hand on my waist, keeping the necklace from making a more embarrassing exit from beneath my skirt, and acted like something was wrong with my stomach while I paid the cashier. Once in the car, I fished the sucker out and re-fastened it while two teenage girls gathering signatures for something I was sure I wouldn’t care about, stood there and watched smirking. Not a great moment, but not earth-shattering either. They are girls, and as such, we women all have these kinds of stories. Their time would come. Our fashions and styles are way more complicated than men’s, and even worse, we care about the mishaps more. Still, I recovered nicely and headed to the Expo.

Once at the location, that stupid necklace did it again! This time, it got lodged in my bra. I don’t get why my boobs were able to impact its course this time but not the last. Did I grow a cup size? Probably not.  Incidentally, the bra fishing expedition wasn’t as bad as the waistline one, but the security guard didn’t even bother to pretend he wasn’t looking at me digging in my bra for my necklace. Once again, I put the necklace on, this time making absolute sure that it was fastened correctly. Then I backed out of that parking space and went to the other side of the parking lot, just so I wouldn’t have to get out of the car in front of the peeping security guy. Hopefully, he would think I was someone else.

Next, I was kind of dismayed to realize that my shoes, which fit me just fine all these years, no longer fit me correctly. You just can’t wear high heels that don’t fit snug, or you clump around like a moron, the heel slipping off and making an extra little “thwack” sound as you walk. Nice. I had no idea back then, but I must have had fat feet because with all this weight loss, my shoe size went down one whole size. Can you believe that? I don’t remember my feet being fat! But with visions of my mother and her book-balacing exercise running through my head, I was mortified. How did I not notice this before I left my apartment?? So, I had to really, really want to go somewhere today before I would set off in my too-big high heels, thwacking my way down the road. I thought about kicking them off and running around like a comfortable heathen, but something told me my boss would frown on that, not to mention my mother, so I didn’t.

I had a lot of things to carry in, and that was when I noticed that my top button (which is this flimsy little fancy eyelet kind of thing) was undone. Yes, I had a cammasol on, but it was pretty lacy and see-through, and I quickly clicked the stupid thing back in place. Little did I know that this crucial clip thing would come undone every time I breathed! If I slouched in my chair, it would pop open. If I bent over, it would pop open. If I took a deep breath, it would pop open. It was making me crazy!! Kim even tried bending it a bit  but no joy. The sucker was determined to stay unbuttoned.

So, of course, I became obsessed with that stupid button, and I had a hard time focusing on my actual job. If a guy smiled at me, I checked my blouse. If anyone frowned at me, I checked it again. In fact, I literally must of have checked, and then re-buttoned, that thing over 100 times today. And the job fair only lasted 4 hours!

About an hour in, I notice news cameras around. And guess which table they were taking pictures of? No big thing, I told myself. They had been all around that place, and we’d likely be cut from anything that went on air. I wasn’t too concerned until the news guy came and interviewed one of the ladies I work with, who just happened to be sitting right next to me. All of the rest of us moved out of camera range, except the lady who was being interviewed. And again, I had to re-pin my blouse. I was fairly sure though, that I was far enough away to not be doing that on camera. I thwacked my way to the restroom hoping to find a pin in my purse to fix the naughty clip, but I thwacked for nothing. I have the most random crap in my purse, but nothing so sensible as one stupid pin!! I thwacked back to my booth disappointed.

Finally, the fair was over, and we packed up our stuff. I went straight to my car, took the stupid blouse off, put on a t-shirt, and returned to help everyone pack up. We went to a lunch meeting, and then I came home. I put on my most comfortable sweats, t-shirt, washed off the face stuff, put my  hair in a lopsided braid and settled into some television. Already, I pretty much over the several embarrassing wardrobe mishaps of my day.

When the news came on, though, I was a tiny bit horrified.

First of all, I was in a lot of shots they took, clumping around in heels too big for me, pinning and re-pinning the top button of a semi-low-cut blouse, and as an added bonus, eating a cookie that I had taken from a tray that said Veterans Only. In my defense though, I didn’t notice that sign until after I bit into the cookie. The vendors had exactly the same cookie tray available to them if we were willing to scale the steps that led up to the lounge. And with my wardrobe problems, I didn’t figure the cookies up there would be worth the effort. Instead, I munched on Kim’s stale popcorn, and my stolen Veteran cookie….on camera.

What do you think the odds are that the owner will never see this news segment?

My mother would just die of embarrassment. Well, at least I kept my shoes on, right?

Tomorrow, we take our office Christmas picture, and I had planned on wearing the same skirt set. I’ve re-thought that idea. Tomorrow, I will be wearing a pull over blouse, no necklace, and boots.

I think my inability to pull off one graceful day dressed like a real professional, sophisticated woman of America should be classified as a legitimate disability and I should be excused from ever having to try to do it again. I’m not optimistic about tomorrow.

Thanks, News Channel 2. I think you did that on purpose. Stalkers.

:-)

Night, everyone!

– Bird

42 thoughts on “We Are Surrounded by Witnesses – Especially At The Worst Moments

  1. See? That was great! I chuckled my way all the way through that. Great visuals, word choice and ‘voice’. You are a one funny woman, chica. Signed, The Grammar Nazi :) (My junior high english students used to call me that.)
    Much love,
    V

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    • lol..Thanks, Vic. It was a wardrobe-challenged, but good day. I haven’t even called Kim yet to see if she saw the clip. As a matter of fact, I haven’t called anyone I work with, and even worse, they haven’t called me..lol. I can’t believe I was sitting there munching on popcorn, buttoning a wayward fancy button thing, and completely oblivious to the fact that someone was pointing a camera at me! Sometimes, I’m seriously clueless. :-) Tomorrow, I’m wearing dress pants, and shirt with normal buttons, and boots. I am what I am.
      And, Grammar Nazi, I already found a mistake, and it’s making my head hurt to not fix it. I didn’t know if you edit your post after publishing it, it sends out new notices to people until recently. It was still a pretty good day. :-) How’s the vacation? Still having a blast?

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      • IT DOES? Oh no! I changed a “an” to “a” in a post yesterday! Good grief! HAHA. Well, I think you’re gorgeous, and I totally covet that hair. Seriously. Yes, we landed in Nice yesterday, and Handsome Arnold, a French cabbie, gave us a slow tour of fun stuff. The “Sabbatical in a Teacup” series on the blog has been getting a pretty good amount of buzz, and I finished the book, finally. I’m going to put chapters on the blog and see if folks like it, or it’s a total yawner.
        I miss Chris terribly, adventure travel was a total hallmark of our marriage. But it is what it is, and the girls are a blast.
        Love the humor vein! TTYL!
        Much love,

        V

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        • I’ll be able to catch up with your blog this weekend. Christmas season is always really busy for us and I’m slammed. If it weren’t for insomnia, I’d never have a moment to write! Glad you are having fun. I’m missing Old Chef too, but you’re right. It is what it is. This too shall pass.
          Have fun. TTYL2!

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  2. LOL. I hope you don’t mind me getting such a chuckle at your expense. I have all the admiration in the world for you ladies that work so hard and endure so much for appearance sake. And then to actually have to perform your job at a high level while balancing on stilts of torture. Thank God we men don’t have to do that. There is no way I could or would. I’d shut myself in and be a hermit.

    It is so great to be engulfed by your charming humor again. I am so happy for you to have emerged from such a painful chapter in your life even more sweet and witty and joyful. Thanks for once again sharing your world famous sunny side of life with us.

    Bird is back!

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    • Ahhh, that was really sweet, Lafgod! It was still a good day. And it was nice to focus on something outside of heavy crap. Thanks for this wonderful comment!!

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    • lol..All of my dress up moments have something that appalls me. I’m not a very coordinated person, so high heels are just torture for me. I compromised by buying fancy dress boots but those only look good with certain kinds of outfits. I tried flats, and they worked well for years until they literally died on my feet, and I hate the way they are designed now. And panty hose are straight from hell. Frankly, I’m amazed women haven’t risen up in protest against them. But, both of my sisters love to dress up; love high heels; love make-up; love perfumes…Total girls. So, I’m thinking I’m the weirdo… :-) My neighbors have seen me dressed up a total of two times, and both times I was so self-conscious I didn’t even make eye contact…lol. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the last time for awhile. Two days in a row…just shoot me.. :-)

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  3. Aww hun we have all had days like that in some ways I am glad we hae a uniform at work as it saves thinking about what to wear though people are nicer to you if your not in uniform, I have my christmas do this saturday and am debating attempting to wear heels for the first time in 5 years (I haven’t been able to wear them with my back problems) so that could be fun

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  4. This was so good . ..well, the way you told it was great! Not that you had to go through it! I can so relate to you and not dressing up much. And my mom is the same as yours. She’s 80 and told me the other day she was going down the road to grocery shop and realized she didn’t have her earrings in, so turned around and went back home for them. haha! Me? I remember one of my early disasters in heels, where I stumbled and started going down, nearly taking out a whole crowded room of people with me.
    God bless you and I like your plan for the Christmas picture!

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    • lol…I love hearing about other balance-challenged people!! I can trip myself up just walking across a room. What is weird about my mom is that as she aged, she got somewhat agoraphobic and even though she continued to wear makeup, she lost her desire to be “dressed up” all the time, and her clothes of preference was warm-ups that she cut the elastic out of. It was weird. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. I do say you had a day worth remembering. In my humble opinion, as an older fellow, you are a beautiful young woman and should be proud to show it off. You did great and look wonderful!
    For the record, I prefer the makeup free look. Not that it matters and I tell my wife the same. You are beautiful and don’t need to cover it up with all that stuff.

    ♥ Ed

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  6. LOL–I don’t dress up now, but there was a time I did. It happens to those who do it all the time too–they just have the opportunity to get better at it. If you absolutely were forced to do it every day, you’d get better at it. But I prefer the jeans thing too!

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    • I have always hated dressing up. Always. But I endured it before the motorcycle accident. Now, I tend to be uncomfortable in my own body, especially during the winter so the clothes just make it worse!!

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  7. Oh Bird,

    Thanks for the chuckle! I think there are many ladies out there who have had a blouse or two like yours. Mine quickly end up in the rag bin or charity box; my patience for such stuff is short now that I’ve gotten older…

    On a side note, there are actually highly paid professionals who simply meet and greet prospects at such employment conventions. They are called “Booth Babes” – I kid you not – and travel all around the US doing what you did. If your company felt it was so very important to have such perfection on show, perhaps they should have invested in hiring one. However, I think those veterans (and your company) were served far better seeing you just as you are: A REAL HONEST WOMAN! (Just think; how many vets do you think would like one of those, eh? :-)

    Seriously though, I wish you a better blouse next year…

    C. Dunamis

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    • lol..Thanks! Booth Babes, huh? How does a person even apply for a weirdo job like that? Do they stand in a booth and unbutton and rebutton their top button all day? That’s crazy.
      My company didn’t insist I dress up. Turns out, some of us dressed up a lot, and others were a little less formal. I just decided that because I’m in HR I should look like I take things very seriously. LOL! The joke was on me!!

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  8. What a day you had!…I guess most of us (women that is ) have had some issues like you did…but you managed to pack a whole lot of them into one day! No one was likely as aware of your problems as you think…at least some of them.. The ‘fishing’ for your necklace…well maybe that one lol At least you know what ‘not to wear’ in the future….Diane

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    • I’m hoping you’re right. I tend to obsess about these kinds of things, which in turn, seems to make them snowball out of control. I was so proud that I didn’t flip out about the necklace…twice…but the heels and especially that ridiculous eyelet did me in. At least I could laugh about it. I was really, really embarrassed. I don’t want to look like a hoochie!!

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  9. I nearly snorted my coffee out of my nose reading this! Seriously, I feel the same way (one nice thing about being a homeschooling mom is that my work clothes are casual almost to the extreme) — during both my teaching and insurance careers, I pushed the limits of “professional” dress just as much as you do! Makeup makes me nuts, and I can’t even put on stockings without getting big runs in places that are impossible to hide.

    I recommend Chadwicks of Boston for well-behaved blouses, by the way ;) Peace be with you! — Kelly

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    • I have the same problem with hose. I don’t know how many times I’ve torn a hole in them just pulling them up. We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t invent Bird-proof hose???

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  10. I never could understand how short skirts and high heels made a woman look professional. For which profession, I ask. A professional Babe? Hmm. Ah well. A woman can look totally lovely and quite more serious about her work in a longer skirt and sensible heels, just an inch or so, and with a wider “footprint”. And black on someone as fair as you are is a huge booboo. You’d look stunning in heathers and pale blue or green. It is natural and totally within your rights to prefer the colors that compliment your skin hair. And the well-dressed woman always wears several safety pins — pinned to the holes in the zippers of her purse. Ha. They wait there, patiently, for as long as it takes, guarding your reputation against one-of-those-days. :)
    The above photo of you is a keeper. You are so beautiful!
    Also — what Ed said. <3

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    • Nuts. I meant to add to the longer skirt: knee-high hose!!!!! You get the look for no more grief and far less expense than plain ol’ socks. And if one gets a run, just grab another, if you buy all the same brand and color.
      Oh, and our feet are larger when we weigh more — the body’s weight mashes down on them, elongating them.
      Also, it is possible to (this is really intimate, here) sew or pin a blouse bottom to your undies. They even make them that way — a body-suit kind of affair that snaps and unsnaps for the bathroom, in the same way babies’ clothing does. It is a great solution fo tucking all the time. Unless the snaps fail . . . ;-)

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      • That is fantastic advice! Do you think that is what happened to my feet???!! I wasn’t that big even before I lost the weight…or maybe I just didn’t notice!! Thanks, Katharine!

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    • lol…Thanks, Katharine. I’ve learned my lesson about pins. As God as my witness, I’ll never be pinless again!! I completely agree about the skirts and heels thing being the accepted professional look. I’ve never liked having much skin exposed. It isn’t even a Christian thing for me. I just don’t like the way it looks on me. But, as far as the black goes, I’ve been told that I look really good in it. I prefer autumn colors, but I haven’t found many business suits that are those colors. Most people just dress up in black, gray, and blue. The dark blues can make me look too pale, and gray just looks drab. I have super, super white skin — Thanks, Dad — and I have to be careful or people think I’m ill..lol. Today I am wearing a long blue jean skirt, fancy FLAT boots and a red shirt. That’s as dressed up as I can get after the disaster that was my wardrobe yesterday!
      Thanks for the compliment on my appearance. After this whole crappy year, it sure makes me feel good. I appreciate the advice. I will heed it!! <3 you too!!!

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  11. I have had this very day! Only difference was my cami was too low and I had to hike it up every few moments to keep from showing my girls to the entire board of directors. Lol that was a frustrating day, I’m sure, but your telling of it was hilarious. :)

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  12. I think that you and I share similar feelings towards dressing up- it sucks! And our mothers’ reactions to our “casualness” is similar. My mom actually wrote to the TLC show What Not To Wear to suggest me as a candidate. So I feel ya, sister. And lol on your necklace slipping past the twins at the gas station. I could really picture this one. Great post!

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  13. I am sorry, but I could not help but laugh throughout your blog. You poor thing. Being in unfamiliar clothing is not fun. When someone is catching you trying to stay put together, it is terrible, but I still had to laugh!!!

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  14. My husband used to teach Management Information Systems classes at college. He was quite surprised to find one of his previous students (now graduated,) dressed up in a Wonder Woman costume, greeting all the nerds at one of the computer conventions in the Bay Area of San Francisco. It turns out her ‘booth babe’ job pays her far more than she could ever get at a regular management desk job. Of course she’s single and good looking, so for her right now in her life, it’s perfect. The next convention she was to do? A Hot Rod car convention in Vegas. She was to welcome everyone in a two-piece bathing suit.

    Such ‘booth babes’ can easily be found in the world of conventions. Whenever the occupier of the rented booth wants to ‘catch the eye’ of future prospects, they will hire one of these. I was told that such eye candy can be shown in the male format as well…

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    • A bikini? So, she gets a lot of money for being a booth babe, but she has to wear a tiny bathing suit and has probably very little respect for her job. No thanks. Lol…I know that might be someone else’s dream job, but I’d rather wear panty hose from head to toe every day!

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  15. You look gorgeous in that photograph! Personally, I am not a fan of make-up and my religious sect advises against it and jewellery(strongly :-D ), so I think anyone who looks amazing without make- up is definitely a bombshell :-D So next time, wear some dress pants, settle for some dressy clogs or low wedge heels and go nail that cookie…..errrm booth…. ;-)

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