And Another Thing …
In addition to the importance of sticking with what works on a big day, I also learned another big lesson last weekend. In the past, as soon as an invitation to a black-tie event was received, I began to visualize myself on a star-studded red carpet. A long, magnificent gown, perfect towering heels, an intricate hairstyle and a handsome tuxedo-clad date. After all, how often do we mere mortals get the chance to dress like a celebrity? It’s kind of like a grown-up prom.
As I mentioned before, each time we attended a formal event, I got a new dress. It was always stressful and expensive but I always got something new. I had a vision in my mind of how I should look then I would pound the pavement until I found exactly what I had pictured. Even if I found a perfect dress, strangely on the day of the event, I almost always felt uncomfortable. Formal gowns can be tricky to wear, and especially tricky to walk in. Unlike the ladies on the real red carpet, I never seemed to have a team with me arranging my dress and protecting me from potential hazards like someone stepping on my dress or the dress being caught beneath a chair. I would get caught up standing just so or sitting just right. I came to realize that it was nice to have an evening out, but these formal events really were not fun.
Since purchasing a dress was not an option for me this year, and none of my gowns felt quite right, I referred back to my research on what is acceptable wear to a “black tie optional event”. I decided to wear a red cocktail dress. In the past, I would NEVER have opted for a cocktail dress. There was no option in my mind. Black tie = gown. This called for a change in mind set; instead of red carpet movie star, I was going for “flirty night out with my husband”. Despite the preparation missteps that led us to the ball, once we arrived I felt really comfortable. I wear dresses often and it was no big deal. I could walk, could sit, and here’s the best part—I could dance! It is darn hard to dance like a sexy date in a gown, but not in a red cocktail dress!
As I become wiser (not older, wiser) I am realizing that life is short, too short for stumbling over a gown. There certainly are occasions when a gown would be the only choice, but not every occasion (although, for the record, the ladies in gowns did look amazing!). My tuxedo-clad date thought I looked amazing and we had a wonderful, fun-filled evening. You may wonder why I haven’t posted a photo of us at that event. Here’s the thing- I felt fabulous. Too many times I have seen a photo of myself after the fact and thought, “yuck!” I look that bad??? I am most own worst critic. I no longer care about the photos, I care about my memory of the evening. In my mind, I was thin, sexy, and exciting … let’s just leave it that way!