Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Anny Makeover

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!


  1. Jeeze - why can't you go casual? I would - I'd be jeans and t-shirting it. The only make-up I ever wear is lipstick as for a pedicure - you get that close to my feet and I'd want to know why and what you want...be yourself Anny - don't give in and conform. Be a rebel.

  2. Ah but what will you wear when socializing after the evening's fancy events? You neglected a category Anny. Back to the shops with you.

  3. I used to love sitting under a bonnet dryer! Being cold-natured, it always made me deliciously warm, plus I could read without anyone interrupting me!

    I went through the what-should-I-wear angst last year; after two weeks of worrying, I opted for simple and found out that the people attending wore everything from suits to casual dresses to blue jeans with dress shirts. And no one judged me in my black jeans and long-sleeved shirts. In fact, I had a blast and ended up being on a first-name basis with several editors and other authors. Don't worry about what you're wearing; your personality will shine through and you'll have the time of your life!

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  5. Sorry; accidentally posted it twice!

  6. Anny, you are so cute, so natural, I'm sure you will be pretty anyway. I have been to six of these conferences, three Nationals and three local conferences. It's always the same.

    I wear pants, slacks, whatever you want to call them. During the day I wear a sweater and a serious blazer on top (as I'm always cold in the over-air- conditioned hotels) and at night, I change into a silk blouse or anything fancier than a sweater. I still keep my blazer, always cold.

    No need for pedicure. You don't wear sandals at a conference. Besides it will probably be too cold in Pittsburg. But go ahead and do the pedicure. It's so relaxing, you'll enjoy it a lot. I never had waxing of eyebrows in my whole life.

    As for shoes, I’ll be wearing those booties I kept from the time I lived in Cincinnati. They are so comfy and don’t show under my pants. I’m taking a pair of low heels black shoes for the fancy nights, just to be on the safe side, although I’m not sure I’ll wear them.

    I’ve been told that at RT people are more casual in the morning and more extravagant at night. Who cares. We are there to have fun. Watching will be part of the fun. I can’t wait to meet you.

  7. I'm in the same situation. Working at home means extensive pj collection, jeans and tees. I have to go shopping for stuff this coming week.

    Just be glad no one is looking for that bikini wax.

  8. Anny, you are going to look great. And speaking of nylons, do you remember when panty hose came on the scene? Women were trying to figure out whether to wear them over or under undies or wear undies with them at all. grin.
    You'll love the pedicure.
    Have all kinds of fun. And tell us all about it.