I'm a t-shirt and shorts kind of woman. If pushed, I could wear a pair of jeans or slacks. I have hair hair and eye colored eyes and that's pretty much who I am. My feminine side is expressed with brightly colored cotton granny panties and bras and wild socks in every color in the rainbow. Life was good.
Then I signed up to go to a convention.
While I can't be sure exactly what women wear to this convention, I'm pretty sure it isn't ratty t-shirts and shorts. I tried to pin several veteran attendees down, but they wiggled free without sharing any helpful information. The answers more or less consisted of "Wear whatever is comfortable." I'm guessing that my idea of comfort is probably different than their idea of comfort.
Preparing for this shindig has pretty much given me a flash back to the future when I was in high school and it was worth your life to be dressed differently than the rest of the girls. There was nothing more mortifying than to be so totally out of step with the rest of the young ladies that you were completely shunned. I was never one of the "popular" girls and that didn't bother me because quite frankly most of them were dumber than a box of rocks. However, there is a point when you can blend into the hodgepodge of humanity and that's what I was perfectly happy to do.
Suddenly, I'm back where I started. How much is too much? How much is too little? I'm striving for some kind of middle ground. To that end, I dragged my friend Jane to the Rite-Aide to buy make-up. I don't wear the stuff. Never have but I suspect that a minimum lick and promise might be an improvement. We discussed foundation, blusher, lipstick... lipstick? Okay, okay. No eye stuff because I can't see my eyes without my glasses and... glasses get in the way when you're trying to put that stuff on. While I was at it, I tossed in nail polish for good measure.
Next on the agenda is a pedicure. Never ever, ever had a pedicure in my life so this is something I'm looking forward to--maybe. The thing is I don't want to show anybody my ugly feet if it's warm enough for sandals so the pedicure.
When that's taken care of, it will be time for a hair cut and eyebrow wax. That eyebrow wax is so not fun which makes me wonder how in the world people endure bikini waxes. I bet there a tad of masochism there, even if they don't acknowledge it. It just makes me shudder when I think about it.
Then of course after I've been buffed and polished and tweaked, I'll have to dress. Sigh. With all the detailed helpful information I received I've devised a middle of the road strategy. Dark chinos with pretty tops for the workshops. Slacks with a dainty sweater for the book signings. And glittering tops with black slinky pants for the dress-up stuff. Sparkly shoes and bag. Done. Oh yeah, jewelry. Geez, this stuff is so girly.
I remember when I received my first pair of nylon stockings...and they really were nylon stockings--the kind that you had to wear with a garter belt. They ran like mad and cost a fortune. I thought I was the height of fashion. I was a woman! Well, I can be forgiven for the idiocy as I was only sixteen. My mom commented about how I should enjoy it while I could because the time would come when I did not delight in dressing up. And she was certainly correct.
That and defoliating my legs and underarms was my big concession to dressing like a woman. I don't count menstruation and wearing a bra because just about every girl deals with those one way or another. The other feminine rituals like learning to wear make-up and choosing your own shampoo were things that didn't happen in my home. Those items required money. Money was in short supply at my house. Shampoo was purchased by my parents for the family. Saturday afternoon my mom lined us up and washed our hair in the kitchen sink. We didn't have a shower so that's the way that problem was dealt with.
When I received my first paycheck (when I was gainfully employed after graduation) one of the first things I bought was my own shampoo and cream rinse--that was what the conditioner was called back in the dark ages. I also bought my own rollers and a bonnet shaped hair dryer. That was before blow dryers. That hair dryer was state of the art. I think I had it twenty years before it finally died. By then, you couldn't even buy them anymore.
Well, I'll pack my blow dryer, though I use it so seldom that it's still in the box. And the novelty of buying my own shampoo and conditioner has long worn off. Funny how your perspective changes when you get older. In one week, I'll be there meeting up with friends, getting to know my internet buddies face-to-face. In the meantime...let the makeover begin.
Check out the ladies-- Amarinda, Kelly, and OhGetAGrip!