Wednesday, July 13, 2011

too chic to be here

One day, maybe six months ago now, I was wearing a dress I'd worn plenty of times before--just a plain black work dress.  I think I had on red shoes and my favorite long necklace (it was a gift from my parents, and has a beautiful chain with a tiny charm of the Eiffel Tower).  Nothing special, right?

see? not too cliche, just, well, cute!

I ran in to a coworker in the bathroom, and she complimented the ensemble.  "What are you doing here?" she asked me.  Confused (I mean, wouldn't you be? Isn't it a bit obvious...?), I just looked at her.  "You're just too chic to be here!" she exclaimed.  I don't think she meant just the bathroom. 

It was a very sweet sentiment, and I appreciated it, but it just made me laugh.  Sure, I've had plenty of what am I doing here? no really, WHAT AM I DOING HERE? moments at my various DC jobs, but none of them were incited by my wardrobe.  

Usually those moments were the result of a scathing conversation with a boss or a particularly menial task.  They usually led to slight concern that Wake Forest would soon send me a letter asking me for my business degree back.  They nearly always led to stress baking.

Today was one of those days where there were one too many hold the phone, how did I end up here? moments, and not one was because I looked chic.  

No, they were all because of little mistakes I kept making.  Mistakes I know better than to make.  Mistakes that are my job to avoid.  Mistakes that, in turn, made a few coworkers' days harder, too.  Mistakes that I'm sure many people have made before, but that I am particularly hard on myself for. 

And I feel terribly about it.  So I am stress baking.  Tomorrow, those coworkers will arrive to chocolate chip cookies, which I hope will reinforce the litany of apologies I subjected them to today. 

But as I was cooking, I was reminded of what that coworker said months ago about my outfit.  

I looked down and realized my apron, and many of the pretty/fancy things in my kitchen, must feel way too chic to be here.  And by here, I mean covering up my paint spattered, hole-y jeans and old sorority t-shirt.

kinda funny, right? the apron would totally be judging the jeans if they were, you know, animate objects.  the top of the apron is really the chicest part of all, which you might remember from here.

Not that I don't love my bumming around jeans--quite the opposite (how do you think they got so hole-y?)--they are my first pair of "designer" jeans, and I've had them since I was about 14.  I'm just amused by the juxtaposition of beat up old jeans and pretty little apron (another birthday gift from my sister). I'm also amused by the contrast of my mediocre culinary skills and my fairly well-stocked kitchen.  

I'm glad it's well-stocked, though, because I imagine that, until I settle in to this new job a little more gracefully, there's going to be a lot of stress baking and cooking in the near future. 

ps-in the spirit of being an informative blogger, I taste tested two cookies.  they're sinful if I do say so myself.  (hey, I deserve a touch of self-congratulations after such a spectacularly terrible day!)   

pps-Mom was the only participant in the "help me name the KitchenAid" game.  Therefore I want you all to meet Kitty.  (And while my mom was slightly concerned it sounds stripper-ish, it stuck the minute I read it.  So stripper associations or otherwise, I'm going with it.)

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