Like Ripping Off A Band-Aid

Sunday, July 4, 2010
Today is the big day for the museum: it’s the grand opening. After weeks of penning how-to manuals and setting up gift shop inventory (that’s on my part) and years (five to be exact) of dreaming, planning, and doing on everyone else’s part, we’re all both shocked and thrilled that the big day is finally here. Today’s event is complete with door prizes, cake, ribbon cuttings, the whole shebang. Did I mention that we have a flash flood warning in affect for the area?

Although the sky is growing a deep, ominous shade of grey over the lake as I type, we’re hoping for a very happy day, come rain or shine. If you’re interested in this museum, I casually refer to on occasion, it actually is kind of a big deal in the area. The Duluth News-Tribune did a great article and the local radio station has given us some very nice coverage as well. Check out the links if you’d like more info.
Yesterday afternoon we had a social gathering in conjunction with all the festivities which required a certain amount of gussying up. My junior year of college, I bought a dress to wear to dressier summer occasions. Since the dress is a halter top and white (a no go for any weddings), I have worn the dress a whopping four times. Not only is the dress largely unsuitable for the Northwoods, I just don’t have that many occasions to wear it.

Still, I like dressing up, I do, and whether or not that means I’m yet another young girl claimed by the influence of Sex and the City and its pro-consumer message, I’m not sure. Because when you really examine what dressing up entails, it’s kind of odd: we put on uncomfortable shoes that limit our mobility, we wear dresses that run the risk of offering an unintended peep show, we subject ourselves to all sorts of bizarre beauty procedures.

I don’t know when people decided plucking eyebrows was a good idea and I’m not sure why I subscribed to this train of thought, but every time I’m intended to head off to a social gathering, I find myself in the bathroom, sneezing away as I pluck my eyebrows. (Pulling out these fine hairs seems to trigger a nerve that makes me sneeze.) I keep hoping I will wear out this nerve someday, but it keeps going strong, even after 12 years of tweezing. They say “pain is beauty” and “truth is beauty”: plucking eyebrows seems proof that the former is a more accurate description of the world we live in!

At the gathering, I attempted the well-intended advice spelled out in Bridget Jones for such social events: “Circulate, oozing intelligence. Introduce people with thoughtful details.”

Bridget and I had similar success following that advice. Unfortunately, it was about 90 degrees inside the museum with about 99% humidity. The only thing oozing last night were all the attendees. Intelligence, at least on my end, was limited to gasping at passersby: “It’s HOT!”

Today the (good) madness continues. And then tomorrow, we figure out what a normal day at work looks like. I told someone: “I just want to rip off the band-aid.” It’s time to be open, to offer ourselves up to the world and show everyone what we’re made of. And it’s time to run around in jeans and t-shirts and let our eyebrows enter into an unkempt state until the next time we pull out our party dresses.

Happy Independence Day to all!

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