Friday, February 26, 2010


Today, all faculty in the state college system were required to attend an all day professional festival at a local college.

The fun part is where you get to eat synthetic material masquerading as food that you didn't have to prepare while kidding yourself that this was nutritious--and the other fun part is talking to your colleagues. The second thing is better and won't give you a high fructose hangover (unless you're talking to people who teach English).

The not so fun part is the Zombie-like slog through various panel presentations: the good ones actually make you wake up long enough for the ice to melt from your eyelashes and in others the ice starts spreads to your heart which stops beating.

Not that she had an opinion on today's events.

But here's her take-away, friends, for everyone who ever doubted the psychological power of a nice heel or tailored skirt.

The Matron woke to a 6:15-7:15 am dribble of Satan's Familiar (food, outdoor elimination in theory), Stryker (food, indoor elimination, lots of conversation about today's science exam, his broken computer, the ways in which religion will kill you and that's his own special understanding, trust her), green tea, oatmeal, early morning email and the newspaper. When the bus rolled away with her eldest and she went upstairs to wake the rest of the sleeping family, the Matron was confronted by: What To Wear.

It is 7:22 and she needs to be across town and surrounded by colleagues at 8:00 (and still navigate two children). She has been awake since 6 and is still in her pajamas and wearing glasses. Her hairdresser promises that there is an afterlife (sorry Stryker) if only you wash your hair every FOUR DAYS instead of every other.

She is on day four and not seeing Eternity.

With a few minutes to go, the Matron was all 'what the hell because I am going there' and rolled on a pair of jeans THAT EXACTLY MATCHED HER HAIR. After all, this was just nearly anonymous panel skulking, right?

But as she was gathering her belongings at the front door, she was possessed by a vague, sense of unrest and then a distant, blurry memory surfaced to shake a finger: you went to this conference last year, dummy. A dim postcard picture of the event popped into her mind. And nobody looked like they were at the gym on Saturday morning.

She scuttled upstairs and exchanged the jeans for gray pants with brass buttons, a good blouse and big earrings. Casual but crisp and professional enough to carry the hair.

At the end of the day, what does she have to say about that decision, right before she pours that Friday afternoon-time-to-make-dinner glass of wine?

Thank God.


Rima said...

My hairdresser routinely admonishes me for washing too often (I've cut back to every fourth day). The trick is a little bit of baby powder at the roots.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I could not survive without a daily hair washing.

I totally believe in the power of a decent outfit.

Deb said...

I'm with Jenn...I don't even wake up till I've had my shower and washed my hair.

Not just a decent outfit, but nice underwear that only I know about. It kick starts the whole day.

I just told my students doing presentations, you have about 12 seconds to make an impression on someone. Who do you think they will assume is more prepared and has better ideas? The one who dresses the part, not the ones who look like they can't be bothered.

Anonymous said...

Power outfits work. I feel schlubby when I wear my pajamas all day. I feel victorious when I make it into clothes.