I had to go to a Nice Work Dinner with Tom tonight. I imagine there are people out there (maybe some of you are among them) who can get ready for a similar type of event without thinking twice about it, who make it all look effortless because it is in fact not an effort.
For me, EFFORT.
See, the thing is, I'm not great at this part of being an adult. I never made all the classic hair and makeup mistakes in high school because I just never bothered with it. I never cared much about clothing. In short, I never practiced. But now, sometimes, I need to bother.
It surprises no one more than me that I am, in fact, Someone's Wife. That that is my job, in fact, on these occasions. My role is to be pleasant and look presentable and say nice things to people I don't know well. Fortunately, the people at these events are really wonderful and I genuinely look forward to talking to them. So that part isn't bad at all. The presentable part? Well.
This afternoon I sent Sarah off for her first! ever! sleepover! and I got ready for the evening. I showered and shampooed and shaved (see? I take this seriously) and used the hair dryer and found the stockings with the fewest snags and runs and pulled on my big girl pants (I'm not wholly unprepared) and stared at the four black and two grey dresses hanging in the closet, much as I often stare into the refrigerator, hoping just the right thing will miraculously be found lurking in the depths.
Here's how I get dressed, every damn time: I try on this dress with those boots (my only pair), and then with these flats, and then I change dresses and put on one flat and one heel (my only pair) and this cardigan and then I give up on the heels, as I always do, and pull on yet another dress with yet another cardigan and the other flats and turn with a sigh to the jewelry box that Sarah delights in, paltry though the contents are, and try that one long necklace and put it back, as I always do, and grab one of the simpler ones Tom gave me and hope for the best.
And then I find my ID and bank card and car keys and phone and remember yet again that I still don't have a small receptacle for those little things, which is a bummer since the Giant Mom Bag is not at all wieldy for an evening out. So I make Tom stick it all in his pockets, which he usually does with a good grace. And off I go, having made a lot of effort to look, at best, just presentable.
I hope one day to find the secret to effortlessness. I think it may be lurking in the back of my closet, right beside just the right thing.