The night before my birthday celebration (this past Saturday), I was looking through pictures from college, reminiscing as usual. I’ve moved on from the whole college thing, but the pictures conjured up all sorts of fuzzy feelings just a same. There was also a nagging voice in the back of my mind, which I ignored for as long as I could, but just couldn’t anymore.
Voice: Cindie, you used to look so nice when you actually put some effort into going out.
Why thank you, voice. I think that was half compliment, half disappointment. Craft beer bars in Brooklyn don’t require me to straighten my hair or to pick out shoes that compliment my dress just so. One of my favorite outfits back in college was a bright blue dress with equally bright yellow heels. I don’t take risks like that anymore. I pull my hair back every day for work because it’s easy. I wear black, brown or grey slacks with black, brown or grey heels. Boring!
So I decided that for my birthday (a classy but casual wine and cheese gathering at my apartment), I was going to try, really try, to look my best. I consulted my friend Clare (over at Recipes and Musings) about what nail polish I should wear, and went with it. I bought a kitschy gold locket from the thrift store. I never wear gold, that alone was enough to scream, “look! she’s trying!”
Of course, I didn’t pull this off without some luck. I had received those teal shoes from Seychelles as a thank you gift for participating in the High-Heel-A-Thon this past autumn. Without remembering this, I’d bought a dress of a similar color for New Years, and then decided to wear something else instead. The perfect teal storm was to be my outfit. Orange nail polish courtesy of Target, and my locket and pearl earrings.
I even did my hair, which turned into a frizzy mess somewhere around hour four, but that’s okay. I felt great. I got a bunch of compliments that weren’t even fueled by the copious amounts of wine consumed. As I told Clare, I felt as if I’d been a subject on What Not To Wear, and my birthday was the big reveal at the end, when everyone just gasps and can’t believe that could come out of that.
Of course, I know I still have a long way to go. But I think this weekend was a big step towards the fresh new me. Maybe next time I won’t even need a once-a-year celebration to convince me to break out the teal heels.