The Rick Perry Luncheon Part One: The Business Professional Suit and Shoes

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.

Stuff I bought so I can walk at the Rick Perry luncheon

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.

Zombies are People Too!

Today’s righteous indignation is brought to you by @jwlucasnc who was kind enough to forward me the very best of her spam messages.

At first, I was pleased when I saw the title of the email in my inbox, “Zombies Make Over $5 Billion in the US.” I thought it was nice that zombies can be financially successful. I am not sure how many zombies there are in the United States, but even if there were a billion, that would pencil out nicely. I was a little surprised the luxury car market wasn’t targeting them more.

Then, my pride in Zombie accomplishment fell quickly into distain. This was not a message about helping zombies, or rejoicing in their success. This was a marketing ploy implemented by GoGo Training, taking advantage of zombies to sell Android Programming Classes. Calling zombies stupid and brainless, the GoGo Training specialists encourage you to become a Master Android Programmer solely for the purpose of deteriorating fragile zombie-human relations. The ad links to games showing zombies slouching across the screens of various phone platforms with vacant eyes. Do you know how hard it must be to walk around craving brains all the time with your limbs falling off? Zombism is a real issue, NOT a marketing tool.

A shirt to help Zombies keep up with their limbs… because I’m altruistic.

We should be promoting zombie tolerance rather than hatred. I encourage you, this Halloween, to rejoice in our diversity. Do NOT take advantage of the “Zombie Eating Halloween Special” at GoGo Training. Why would you want to save $100 off Android Programming classes when you will end up stuck in a room with a bunch of dickheads waiting to kill you if your arm happens to fall off? You wouldn’t.

I am sure you now all recognize there absolutely no need to make lives of the local zombies more difficult by pummeling them with bullets, grenades, and buckshot. However, I must admit that I did stop being indignant enough to consider calling the GoGo Training “Zombie Hot Line.” Not to sign up for a course catalog, as recommended, but to report zombie sightings. My guess is the people running that phone line have had a hell of a day.

Halloween Costume Series: Robot Zombie Killer

This costume is based on my new Pulitzer prize-winning novel about the future and robot zombies.  I’ve been the future you see, and the phones that we created to drive our cars have turned against us.  They are now zombies that must be taken out by any means necessary.  This book will probably win for the best non-fiction since it is about facts in the future and I don’t think anyone has written a book yet about facts in the future.  Therefore, being the one and only book in the category, it HAS to win.

Actually, I am writing the book in the future as we speak.  The best thing about this method is that I am not procrastinating. I am waiting for future self to deliver the book via time machine, or by UPS.  I am not exactly sure how these things work.

Everyone who wears this shirt will be promoting my future book and you will be well compensated when I hit the bestseller list any day now.  I will also be famous, so bonus points to you for knowing someone famous.

Your Conference Survival Kit

As some of you may be aware, based on my vociferous complaints on Twitter, I recently attended a conference. To be honest, I thought it would be more fun. If you are attending a conference in the near future, I want you to be prepared. Here is a list of things you will need with a picture below for reference.

Please do NOT place this picture into a PowerPoint presentation and force people to listen to you drone on about it for forty-five minutes. I will find out about it and hurt you.
1. Johnny Depp Pirate
While most items crucial for maintaining sanity are located within the conference itself, you will need to bring your own tiny Johnny Depp pirate.  According to @Debihen, a tiny Johnny Depp pirate is essential for “sending out periodically to pilfer and plunder bags of Cheetos.” Also, you can talk to him when you discover that everyone at your lunch table will be discussing the keynote speaker and the operating systems of their phones.
2. Name Tag
The name tag is your key for obtaining snacks and free pens. You can take the name tag off to operate under the radar when skipping the keynote speakers. You can also use the rope around your name tag as a noose for strangling people who cut in the lunch line or presenters who go ahead and take questions even after their time limit is over.
3. Duck with a Computer
You should try to pick up as much free stuff as possible. Pens will be prevalent, but if you can get a rubber duck with a computer, that is ideal. I like that this duck not only has a computer, but is also is giving me the ‘thumbs up’ sign. Ducks with computers generally approve of me. I rate highly among plastic ducks, especially ones with computers.
4. Perrier Bottle
You should be aware that the conference will most likely be filled with grown-ups. Some of them will be wearing suits, while others will have tiny phones in their ears. Absolutely none of them will think you are funny. If they do not think you are funny, you can cover by pretending you are insane. Do this by repeatedly muttering a prepared catch phrase. @lahikmajoe recommends, “Bee in my bonnet.”
In case you get tired of muttering
You can also try to blend in with the grown-ups by carrying around a bottle of Perrier. This is what grown-ups drink. I carried a bottle while muttering, just to be safe.
5. Zombie Defense
People at the conference will be talking in monotone voices and shuffling around with dazed expressions, making it impossible for you to tell whether they are actually zombies.Therefore, you will need to be on high alert and ready to defend yourself from likely attacks.
For zombie defense weaponry, @heinakroon recommends a katana since “those things will split any zombie’s head.” If you fail to find any Japanese samurai swords over at the SWAG table, try surrounding yourself with extra chairs you can use as weapons. The stockpile of chairs will also keep away people who want to hand you their business cards and chat once the presentation is over.
Regarding zombie defense strategies, @jetts21 states strongly that you must “wait till they are undead.” However, I recommend you start flinging chairs out during the question and answer session, just to be safe.
Please feel free to contribute below with your own zombie defense recommendations for the corporate conference environment.
Next post… Surviving the PowerPoint Presentation.
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