I headed to my favorite destination the other evening… the shopping center where the arts/crafts store A.C.Moore and Borders Books are located. I was hunting some cool new products to slather paint upon… terracotta flower pots, anyone? … and passed a clothing store hosting a clearance sale. Now normally I would keep walking. Although like most females, I rate clothes-shopping only two points higher on the Happy Meter than shoe-shopping.
Unlike most females, I rate shoe-shopping the same as a trip to the dentist. 😛

Lately, however, I’ve been attempting to view myself as an entrepreneur/business woman rather than a tired housewife who paints on occasion. Knowing that first impressions can make or break you, I want to take each opportunity to dress and act professionally in my rare public appearances. No more trips to the post office wearing a banana-stained T-shirt and wrinkled drawstring sweatpants. hehe

Immediately, I noticed the racks of “career” clothes.. the suit jackets, pleated pants and silky blouses, camisoles, and A-line skirts… and drooled, envious that my former job in retail management had excluded me from the white-collared suits and briefcase-toting population. My closet consists of khaki pants and polo shirts in navy and white, some of which even have embroidered store logos on them, keeping company with maternity outfits that were too expensive to give away, and my large collection of decade-old sweaters.

I knew it was time to “spring clean” my wardrobe, and what better excuse is there than a career change? I grabbed a handful of blouses and slacks, and one jacket (my first!), and told myself that “the clothes make the woman”. Perhaps my professional appearance will boost my confidence when I am forced to describe “what I do”. I’m not a Stay-at-Home mother who sells art as a hobby anymore; I am a full-fledged business owner of a sole-proprietorship, a company licensed and acknowledged by the government. I need to start dressing the part.

TaraFly standing at the window

Modeling the new jacket

 

I stepped into the fitting room, and was shocked to find that my waist no longer fit loosely into a Size 4 and my blouses were stretched a bit too tightly across the chest. I returned to the salesfloor and exchanged them for the next size up. … Another realization, this day was full of discoveries! I am officially a Size 6 in Misses apparel. Now most people would feel disheartened to see their body growing larger, but I can proudly say that I am NOT one of them. This growth represents maturity to me; I am finally an adult woman!

I know I’m odd. LOL I turned 30 this year… but I’ve always been a petite and rather curveless creature, even after my first daughter’s birth. As puberty blessed everyone except me, I’ve suffered the torment of my peers … all the time telling myself, “They’re just jealous” and “I’m lucky to have such a high metabolism: look at all the ice-cream I can eat!” but my assurances sounded hollow when I stared at my twig-like figure in the mirror. I wore push-up bras and flared skirts to give myself the appearance of a real body. LOL
Even my friends called me “Skinny Minny”, “Hey, Scrawny”, and Patrick’s observation – after I announced my fleeting desire to attend Minnesota University – that I was “flat and cold, just like Minnesota”.
A former boss of mine made an inappropriate comment, several years ago, about my lack of endowments. Fortunately for him, I liked his dry sense of humor and didn’t report him for harassment.

As a divorced woman in her mid-twenties, I was physically mistaken for an unwed teenage mother on several occasions… and my supervisory role didn’t help to boost my self-esteem. Heck, after I stepped down, they hired an 18-year-old boy to replace me! Since “Experts” say that your closet is a reflection of self-perception, that “you are how you dress”, it would explain why I feel so insecure in the adult world… I’m still clinging onto clothing that I wore in high-school, defending that it’s wasteful to part with garments in fair condition that still fit. But who will take me seriously, when I look and dress like an adolescent?

TaraFly modeling the new suit jacket

This picture was Joe's favorite... I wonder why?

Although having three children has made me feel like a responsible parent, it wasn’t until I experienced the literal transformation of my body – in the dressing-room, trying on attire from the women’s dept. – that I felt like a true Grown-Up! And I was ecstatic!
I wanted to prance down the street, singing “I have hips! And boobs! Real ones, that sag and everything! Isn’t it great?!”

And people would have jumped out of my way, and whispered “Lunatic” to each other. But at least they wouldn’t call me a Scrawny Lunatic!

I’ll look forward to signing up for local business seminars, shaking hands with other suit-wearing adults in the bank lobby, pretending to hold teleconferences on Joe’s Blackberry, and anticipating the first grey hairs which will mark my wisdom. Hmmm, if I dip a few strands in bleach….
But you won’t catch me making any appointments for shoe fittings in the near future… c’mon, those black pumps I bought for Homecoming ’94 still fit!!

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