Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vanity: My Shameful Motivator

Every year, my company hosts a big fundraising gala, and every year I agonize over what to wear. You know me; I'm not a dress-up-pretty kind of girl. I enjoy being girly, but there aren't a whole lot of options for us women of a certain size, which makes the whole process a pain in the arse. And I really hate high-heeled shoes. So, it was with much dread that I watched the event date approach closer and closer.

Finally, on Thursday, I took out one of the two black dresses I own and tried it on. I HATED it. I couldn't have looked frumpier if I'd been wearing a floral print mu mu and fuzzy slippers. Plus, it was positively funereal. What made me purchase this dress in the first place? And why didn't I hate it this much the last time I wore it (two years ago at the big fundraising gala)? My friend Criss had suggested that perhaps I just needed to accessorize. No amount of accessories could improve this dress. I had to do it. Budget be damned, I needed a new dress...and accessories, or course.

I woke up early Saturday morning to get my nails done first thing. One perfect mani/pedi later (in a beautiful royal purple), I was off to the Westside Pavilion to visit my old friend Lane Bryant. Lane and I don't see much of each other on account of her prices being kind of high. I usually only visit when I need a new bra (which, by the way, I do in a desperate way). I scanned the racks, found two suitable black dresses, grabbed a black bra in my size (miracles) and headed to the fitting room. Black bra? A-mazing. No, honestly, this thing should have it's own fan club. It lifts. It separates. It pulls puppies from burning buildings. It has this super Lycra back band that smooths you out. Of the two dresses, one had long sleeves and a funky off center v-neck; one had no sleeves and a flattering cowl. I chose the cowl, even though it would expose my tattoo. Yikes! No one really looks at the people at the registration table anyway.

The lovely gal helping me at LB, Empriss, led me to the Spanx rack, then helped me choose some gorgeous costume jewelry with purple stones. Perfect. I even grabbed an extra bra in nude because the girls need support in two colors. As she began scanning my items a wonderful thing happened--they were all 40% off! Everything!! Is that a choir of angels I hear?

I skipped across the floor to Payless and found a lovely pair of purple suede pumps with a medium heel--in size 11! Damn! They would have been perfect. Instead, I got a comfortable pair of black pumps with a strap and a stockier medium heel (to hold all this beauty). Done! My entire outfit complete and it was only 11:30am. Let me just interject that we're talking less than one hour between the time I left the nail salon and the time I walked out of Payless! I know!! I even had time for lunch and a little window shopping. I'd forgotten how much I like the Westside Pavilion.

Sadly, I do not have any photos of myself in said outfit of wonderfulness. I'm hoping our staff photographer caught a few and if so, I'll share them with you. You'll have to trust me--I was gorgeous, even if my feet were staging a revolt by the end of the night.

One last word about the event--one of the food stations was a mashed potato bar. Think Cold Stone Creamery, but with taters and things like bacon, mushrooms, roasted garlic, salsa, curry, grilled onions, cheese....I could go on. And they served them in martini glasses. It was the most inspired food station I'd ever seen. The mini-panini station was a close second. All of the food was fantastic, I must say.


Annika said...


MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Really. Pix or it didn't happen. It's just that simple. Purple nails? I know a particular recently-turned-TWELVE-year-old that would give her eye teeth for that mani-pedi!!