Sunday, July 23, 2006

Battle preparations

Okay, so I'm getting ready to go to the RWA conference.

It always seems like a good idea when I sign up. It's my professional conference. I can afford a couple of days.

What I forget is that it doesn't take a couple of days. It takes about two weeks - at least three days to recover when I get back, from too little sleep, bad food, and a touch more alcohol than I would normally ingest.

Plus at least a solid week beforehand to get myself in shape to go. (That's not counting the diet panic, which starts a couple of months in advance.)

I suppose, if I kept myself together better, it might not be so much work to get ready. But one of the great advantages of writing is nobody sees me work. Which means the makeup doesn't get hauled out for months at a time, I live in flip-flops, and as to a bra? Forget it.

So I've got to try on all the "professional" clothes in my closet, which rarely get worn, and see what still fits/what still looks remotely fashionable/what needs fixing. The appropriate undergarments and shoes are even more of a trick. (When did slips go out of fashion? I had to go to five stores to find one, but the thigh cling on a flippy little flowered silk skirt was too much to unleash on an unsuspecting public.) Sniff the makeup - has it gone bad? Do I remember how to use an eyelash curler?

Appointments for a haircut, highlights, manicure, pedicure. And heavens, what is one to do about spider veins now that pantyhose are only worn by those who haven't opened a Vogue in ten years. (Hey, I had to have something to read while I was getting my hair highlighted.)

My husband thinks it's the one great difference between men and women: men couldn't care less what other men think about how they look. But, going off to a conference that is 99% women, here I am putting more thought into my appearance than I do the rest of the entire year put together.

But it's not because of the other women there. It's because it's the one time I'm supposed to look like a grown-up, professional working woman. The clothes are tricky - you have to look professional, but creative at the same time, so uniform-y suits won't do it.

Yeah, a real working writer looks like a slob, most of the time. But not this week. I just wish it wasn't quite so much work! Ten pages are easier than looking good any day. I don't know how those of you who have to put on shoes to go to work everyday do it.



Helen Brenna said...

Susie, you could go to conference in your slippers and pjs and still look good!!

Hey, now there's an idea!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, dear. I haven't opened a VOGUE in at least 20 years. I started my nylons life (my mother said "hose") in a garter belt and thought pantyhose were a godsend. I can't believe I'm well into the new PROJECT RUNWAY season and don't know what replaced pantyhose.

anne frasier said...

oh my god. i though i was the only one who had these thoughts.

1. that it really takes two weeks.
2. what's a bra? and can i ever wear one again? seems highly unlikely and a frightening idea. i'm sure i'll be hyperaware of it just like i was when i got my first training bra. BRA! BRA! I'M WEARING A BRA!

3. no suitable clothes. nothing but jeans and t shirts. will that work? but to buy clothes? when i know they'll be out of style by the next time i decide to venture out. i swore i'd never do that again.

4. alcohol. i don't drink, but i think i'd better start practicing for a fall conference. why did i sign up?????

Candace said...

Spanx has replaced panty hose. Basically, they're panty hose minus the hose part and plus lots of spandex. (I love spandex!)You can get them to mid-thigh or about mid-calf to wear under short or long dresses. They also have an all-in-one kind of thing. It smoothes you from bust to knees. Great under clingy jersey dresses. There's super Spanx, too, with extra spandex in the tummy area. Most department stores carry them or you can get them online.

anne frasier said...

oh my god, candace. and i was worrying about wearing a bra. :D