The Rick Perry Luncheon Part One: The Business Professional Suit and Shoes
February 4, 2012 17 Comments
My company nominated me among a small group to attend a fancy luncheon in Austin. We were to meet at a white van at 7:30 in the morning for the three-hour drive. The dress code was business professional and it was casually mentioned that Rick Perry was at the event last year.
Okay. All I have to do is show up at 7:30 in some sort of suit for a Rick Perry luncheon. You would think that is simple enough, right? Well, you would be wrong. Dead wrong. This experience is going to take way much longer to explain than the time that guy brought up milkshakes from the past at McDonald’s, so I am going to break it into sections. This section is mostly clothes related, and Rick Perry does not appear. If you are mainly reading this for the Rick Perry experience, you may want to skip ahead to the part I haven’t written yet.
First thing to do is take care of the business professional end of things. Blazer, skirt, impractical shoes… I have all that stuff around somewhere. I dig through the closet and find two skirts, one brown and one black. There is also a blazer. The blazer is black. I thought I had a brown one too, but a brief tour of the rest of the closet fails to produce one. Okay, fair enough. I can still make this work. I put on the black skirt. It is way too tight. Fail. I put on the brown skirt. It fits nicely. Win.
Skirt, check. Now I just need a blazer. You know what? I HATE the word ‘blazer.’ ‘Blazer’ is a stupid word. Let’s use the term ‘jacket’ from here on. I notice there is a layer of dust on the ‘jacket.’ No biggie. Brush it off. There. Then, I try it on. Something is odd about the way it fits. I look at myself in the mirror and see…. shoulder pads. This jacket has shoulder pads. Those are still in style, right?
Just then my husband walks in to find me wearing a brown skirt with a black jacket and shoulder pads. He politely requests to know what the hell is going on. When I tell him about my Rick Perry lunch, he immediately places a call to our mutual friend, and, apparently, the owner of my other closet. She has been my emergency clothes person for years. For the sake of anonymity, I will call her ECP. If you see someone who is dressed impeccability and is a little taller than I am, it is probably her, so be nice.
The next morning I have an appointment with ECP to try on suits for my Rick Perry lunch. ECP has a closet that is organized and amazing. Within thirty seconds of walking into the closet, I am holding four suits and four very silky shirts, all settled perfectly into their wooden hangers. I decide not to mention I had crammed my brown skirt into my purse just to ask if she had something to match with it. “Try these on,” she says and leaves the room. I was happy with the first one. It fit and I looked normal. But, about three iterations later, I had a perfect combination of suit with matching shoes. Very, very tall matching shoes that were a little too large.
ECP told me I could go to the store and buy some gel things for the back of the heel and also, if I planned to be walking, some for the bottom of the shoe as well. Since I naturally assumed I would be walking in the shoes at some point during the Rick Perry luncheon, I headed to the store. I also got some backup shoes in case there might be some sort of eminent disaster, or zombie attack. You do NOT want to be running around from zombies in heels. It puts you at a huge disadvantage. Plus, @plumsauce10 told me that spiky heels make the best zombie defense.
So, now I have my suit, my tall shoes, and things that will allow me to walk in my tall shoes, and back up shoes for the zombie attack. I am ready for my Rick Perry luncheon. ECP told me to practice walking in the shoes once all the gel inserts are in to make sure they fit, but I’m sure they will be fine. Dr. Scholl knows what he is doing with the gel inserts. He is a doctor.
The day of the Rick Perry lunch, I put on my suit, and outfit my shoes with the gel inserts. The heel is still slipping. The shoes are also a bit difficult to walk in. It is like I can’t use my entire foot anymore. I’m unsure if this is because of the height of the shoe, or the fact that it doesn’t fit. Confusing. Also, the gel pads keep slipping out. Another problem is the suit is making me feel strange. I have never worn a skirt to the office. Not even for the interview. I have underestimated the weight of having luncheon with Rick Perry. Panic sets in. I can’t do this.
Then, I take a deep breath and remember watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s with @lucysfootball. Holly Golightly taught me that if you look cute, you can be a mess and no one will care. This will be my theme for the day. Look out world, I am in my fancy suit and ill-fitting shoes, and you are going to love me even if I can’t remember your name!
Suit accomplished, I get in the car to drive to the office. I soon realize I can’t possibly drive in these heels without potentially killing someone, so the shoes come off. This is actually a larger setback than it seems because they were nearly impossible to get on in the first place. I don’t know how shoes so damn hard to get my feet into can still be slippy at the heel. It doesn’t make any sense. I arrive at the office with ten minutes to spare. Trying to get the shoes back on in the car is impossible. I’ll have to get to the lobby.
I practically fall out of the car holding my shoes, a bottle of water, and a cereal bar. Ordinarily, all of these items would fit in my purse. However, I have a fancy purse now that matches the suit because I don’t want to look like a bag lady in front of Rick Perry. I somehow manage to make it to the lobby where I sit and examine my shoes. I haven’t even successfully worn the shoes from my car to the building. This does not bode well.
Suddenly, I realize I have never seen anyone in this lobby sitting in a chair holding their shoes. This is most likely NOT normal behavior. I take a deep breath and channel Holly Golightly…. Yes, I am slightly ridiculous, but I have a very fancy suit and the world absolutely loves me. A man walks into the lobby and pushes the elevator button. He glances over. I hold my shoes in defiance. “Ha, Ha,” he says, “It looks like a shoe store in here.” Yes it does, elevator man. You have no idea.
Once elevator man is gone, I manage to the all the gel pads in the proper place in the shoes and somehow get them back on my feet. Now that I look like a normal person wearing shoes and sitting on a chair, I wait for my co-workers to arrive.
Check back soon for my next installment… walking to the van.