Dressing to Impress

Monday, May 23, 2011
I believe in the power of fashion. I believe looking nice and together and wearing clothes that fit and flatter will help your case in getting ahead in life. I also believe in comfort, which is why occasionally you'll still find me dressed like a college freshman on laundry day.

Take this weekend for instance. It's been a drizzly string of days with nothing but bad internet so I saw no reason not to pull on my ratty sweatpants with the words "Alpha Chi" (the name of a dorm wing I lived in during college) emblazoned on the hiney, a loose-fitting t-shirt, and a Hard Rock Cafe Dublin sweatshirt I bought in 2005 when it started snowing on me in Ireland. (You can take the girl out of Minnesota but you can't take the snow out of . . . wait, I never did figure out how to make that saying clever and applicable for this setting.)

The sweatshirt in its infancy
But remember how it's been rainy around here? Over the weekend, I ran out of indoor tasks and without being able to work in the gardens, I felt a little lost. So I decided to pop over to work for a minute yesterday to deliver some boxes.

When I pulled up to the gate at work, I discovered I'd been locked out. (Yes, I drove all by myself!) Because the museum leases the property from a federal agency, both the feds and the museum peeps have separate locks on the gate. (The feds use a universal key system, so if they gave us the key to their gate padlock, they'd give us the key to a whole lot of other things too.) So there's one padlock for each end of the chain . . . not exactly rocket science. Except when there are new employees, or if another agency is working in collaboration with our feds, sometimes they get confused by this complex lock system and end up locking us out. Which is exactly what happened.

I spent the first half hour minutes of the three hours I'd planned to spend at the museum, on the phone, trying to get someone over to unlock the gate.While I cradled the phone between my shoulder and chin, I looked around to see what creature was making such a ruckus in the other room. Which is when I spied a squirrel dancing across the rafters.

After forty minutes the gate was open and the squirrel had gone on his merry little way. With the gate open, I hauled my load into the museum and started working away. Which is when all the people started showing up.

First a family with artifacts they wanted to donated. Then some volunteers dropping off more boxes. And another volunteer who wanted to test the alarm system and troubleshoot some electrical problems.

"Man, I better get out of here before anyone else shows up," I thought to myself. But I really wanted to finish the project I was working on. Which is when two separate groups of community members showed up to wander the grounds. Since one of the said individuals helped get the museum a large grant without which the museum would not exist, I was in no position to kick them out. And besides, remember the gate? I can't leave and lock up until everyone's cleared out of the parking lot anyway.

Once everyone had cleared out, the agency who'd locked us out and who had been using our parking lot, pulled up to the dock in their boats. For the next half hour, they worked to load their boats on trailers, effectively blocking the driveway and cutting off my escape route!

5 and a half hours later, it was after 4 p.m. and I'd only had a granola bar for lunch. Could it get any worse?

I looked down.

I'd been wearing my ratty sweats the entire time.


  1. Haha! Never fails when you just run a quick errand in your grubs and then you run into people you know or a situation you'd rather be dressed differently!

  2. I've done this too- thought "I'll just pop down the street" for something... and then one thing leads to another and I'm in a weird layered combo of workout clothes, dressy sweaters, leggings... argh!

  3. Awww yes, it does sound so familiar. And that is when I say "You must be mistaken me for my Twin Sister" or "I'm just filling in for my twin sister".

  4. That'll teach you! :) Funny! I am very much a comfortable/sweats and a t-shirt person.

  5. Thanks for the smile this morning! I love to dress up but the best outfit for me is a toss up between yoga pants and sweatshirt or faded blue jeans and sweatshirt. I have a job interview on Wed. and it's a fussy environment which means a dress to impress outfit is required. This gives me an idea for a blog post....

  6. You impressed without being dressed! Love this. Have a wonderful start into week.

  7. i so feel you! the other day, had a super important meeting, then after saw that i totally had deodorant marks. thanks, people, for telling me before hand!

  8. Hahah I love your writing, your thoughts, everything about this blog! (Just surfed here by way of another...) "the name of a dorm wing I lived in during college..." LOL. On that note, I too haven't worn my letters in.. AGES! (Not the same letters as yours, but a fellow sorority girl.)

  9. I almost for got about the ratty sweat pants until then end!!!!
    My husband always makes fun of me because I can't leave the house less than put together. And the few times I have it has exploded in my face. So I've learned my lesson. After all-- you never know who you may see!!!

  10. I hate it when that happens! My husband always like company when he runs errands and it's always when I am out gardening and look like I have been dragged through the bush backwards. "Don't worry..no one's going to see you"...sure enough he runs into a highschool friend or co-worker. Now I refuse to go out unless I am presentable...or not wearing soil and weeds.
    Hope your weekend got better!

  11. It ALWAYS happens like that! It's like dressing down is an open invitation to run into someone you know or something. Ugh! But I bet you were comfy :)

  12. this made me giggle... I have been there, every time. No matter how nice i look for days on end- the one day I'm in grubby yoga pants and a stained tshirt (likely scrubbing something) is the day I'll have to run to my hubby's work, or meet someone at the ER or a million other "in public" things. Ugh.


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