Undressed to Impress

There was a huge work presentation in Kentucky last Friday. It was a big deal, and there was a lot riding on it, and we even showed up bearing cupcakes. So, naturally I wore a homemade dress with uneven seams, a mildly dirty black cardigan (keep your distance) and my favorite belt, pictured here. It’s gray and yellow and may or may not be held flat with a yellow ponytail holder; I bought it for $1.99 at Goodwill a couple of years ago. It’s become my Presentation Belt, and I wear it when I have to stand up and talk about/ explain/ sell my work and put some reasoning behind what I do for a living. It’s not a superstition, exactly, but it is kind of a thing.

After this last presentation, I was apparently so worn out by being all prepared and scrutinized and looked at and listened to in general that I inconspicuously took off my special Presentation Belt in the back seat of the CEO’s car for the ride back to Tennessee. I came into the office this morning and guess what was sitting in a neat bundle on my desk, along with some other forgotten items including my sunglasses and fancy notebook full of weird meeting-induced doodles? I am exposed for what I am: a grubby, distracted, concentric circle-obsessed cheapskate who has no hesitation about undressing in dark backseats in Kentucky. It’s a bit freeing, actually.

Moving Right Along
Today, I interviewed a bright and talented writer who is very interested in having my job and my desk and my phone extension. And as I prepare to make this big shift I think he’s probably the one I want to give it all to, but it is so strange to be letting go of something you’re okay with losing when you’re watching someone else trying to win it. It’s like every yard sale in the history of the world– the moment when you’re sitting in your lawn chair with your little Home Depot apron pockets bulging with change and you look over to the card table at the edge of the yard and see some weird old lady picking up the nun-and-priest salt and pepper shaker set your Aunt Linda gave you as a wedding gift. You’re not sure who you pictured paying 25 cents for them but you’re not completely sure it’s supposed to be this woman– she has taken you by surprise, somehow, even though your precise aim was to draw strangers to your castoffs– and you really consider the salt and pepper shakers for the first time probably ever and you think to yourself, but is she worthy?


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