Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh Baby-Part 1

Generally, when I leave the house in the morning, my outfit/hair/make up seem like a good idea. I left the house that way, so it must have looked okay at 7 am. Isn't it funny how these same seemingly good choices can be startling when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a random mirror around noon. Pure horror and then "what was I thinking this morning?".

Maybe it's the swingy, choppy bob hair cut you got that you thought you blew out just like the stylist this morning. You catch a look around 2 pm, and it suddenly looks like a George Washington wig.

Or your new pants that said "mid-rise" on the tag, not so much. You find yourself doing some sort of awkward mix of lunge/crab walk to get something out of your bag during a meeting because if you bend at the waist you will give everyone a peep show.

Back to hair. The new volumizing shampoo that made your hair full just that same morning now looks like a frizzy bird's nest.

The make up that looked perfectly professional in your bathroom mirror looks very vegas show girl in the natural light.

The business like button down shirt that is all business becomes un-done at the second button, making everyone at the important meeting wonder if you are showing the top of your bra on purpose.

We've all had these wardrobe malfunctions. Perhaps the worst thing that could happen to a women, the worst calling out of a fashion error, is that horrible question: "Are you pregnant?". Gasp.

This happened to me one day when I was wearing what I thought was a trendy A-line cut top. Swingy, stylish, with all the structure and shape of a slanket/snuggie. To the poor stranger's credit, we were in the vitamin aisle and I was in the women's vitamin section, suspiciously near the pre-natals while looking for women's plus calcium.

Yep, he asked the question. I looked him right in the face and said "Nope, but I will go home and burn this sweater and eat an entire carton of ice cream, so thanks".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'll get by with a little help from my friends

When traveling, one does come to depend on the kindness of strangers. God forbid you know me, because rely is not the word for what I will do to you. Last week I attended the big meeting. I made it to the very end without incident. It was shocking. Until. Until it was time to get on the big bus to go to the airport. I get carsick and generally do not do well on these big buses. I took a Dramamine, thought I would be fine.

My friend and I (we will call her "D") get on the bus. There are no seats up front, which is where I usually try to sit, but I assume that's okay because I've medicated myself. Wrong. By the time we get to the airport I am breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth, we have a plastic bag at the ready, and I really am about to throw up. "D" is petting my arm and holding my hand, saying encouraging things like "I can see a plane, we are definitely getting close".

We finally reach the airport, where I think, "okay, okay, I'm fine, this is fine". Not fine. The car sickness lingered, then I ramped myself into a full on panic attack. Poor "D". We had to sit down before and after security, I had to sit down on the floor with the plastic bag on the tram/train thing that takes you from terminal to terminal.

We get to the gate and encounter another friend/co-worker who also helps me immensely. She gets me a sprite, hugs me while I burst into tears, shields me from other work people, and even muscles us a medical pre-board pass. I can only imagine how hard this was to convince them that I was sick enough to need to pre-board, but not too sick to fly.

She also asked the flight attendant to touch the outside of the plane as we were boarding (my superstition-I must touch the plane and certainly anyone flying with me must touch the plan, really the more people who touch the plane the better), and distracted me with a People magazine- "Well, look here, Cari Underwood is getting married, let's get to the bottom of this".

About half way through the flight it all subsided (with help from the pharmacy in my purse). A huge thank you to my friends and co-workers. Without them I'm convinced I would still be at the airport, huddled in a corner crying and dry heaving into the plastic bag. When you work with me, you wear many hats. Counselor, friend, and last week, nurse.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Annual Meeting

A lot of corporations have annual meetings. It is not uncommon to hear lots of crazy stories from these meetings as alcohol typically flows freely and vice presidents are there to witness all kinds of egregious behavior.

I could write lots of tales of embarrassing stories along those lines involving myself and others. What is more interesting though, is what happens to me personally. Though I have been 7 times, I experience anxiety over it. I'm not sure why. I think maybe it is because typically I only see most of my co-workers once a year, and I want them to think well of me. I want to be my best self, which in reality maybe doesn't even exist.

Anyone who knows me well and sees me regularly, knows that I give "low maintenance" a whole new definition. My attempts at fashion are usually a few years behind and questionable. I own a lot of make up, but rarely wear it. It is not uncommon for me to wear sweatpants lots of places they should not be worn. I think that adding a brightly colored fleece from old navy or putting on a 6 year old pair of pumas instead of my huge nikes that I work out in really snazzes up an outfit and makes it "fashion forward". I believe that if you wear a dressy watch with diamonds on it, then all else is forgiven. If you own sunglasses big enough to cover half of your face, then who needs make up?

However, there is this whole other "work me". And at the annual meeting (which I lovingly call "the pageant"), I am "work me" on steroids. As I type this, I have white strips on my teeth, and a fresh layer of sunless tanner. I will pack, un-pack, and re-pack at least 3 times. I might purchase whole new outfits. One of my favorite things is that I believe that "meeting me" would wear things that I would never wear at home. I will get to the meeting, look in my suitcase and wonder what on earth I was thinking.

I wish I could blame this on others, but it's all me. My co-workers are extremely nice people, not judgmental at all. I don't have any great aspirations to move up in our company, so I'm not trying to impress any higher-ups. What's worse is that I will tell people once I get there. I will go up to someone and say "I bought this shirt, it's crazy, look how crazy it is, why did I buy it?". I wear my neurosis on my sleeve.

So next week I will go. I will wear odd clothes, my teeth will be white(r)(my teeth are kind of a lost cause, they are a weird shade of yellow and gray, the white strips don't really do anything except make me feel better about it). My skin will not be tan, but the white glow will have been knocked off by the sunless tanner.

I will have a good time in spite of all of this dread. My co-workers will still like me, even though they will secretly wonder how someone so crazy still has a job. Maybe some day I will get a handle on this annual freak out and figure out what it's all about. Until then, let's be thankful for the drug store, where hope is sold in the form of lotions, creams, teeth bleach, and false advertising!