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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Prep Work

Now that I am moving forward in some regard related to my next career, I’ve arrived at the place I hate. All right—too strong a word--I’ve been delivered to the place in which a bit of angst develops. (Can’t you hear that sentence in a clipped, British accent?) With one appointment scheduled per week for the last two months, the rest of the time I’ve built my own agenda

Today, though, I have a real appointment at 12:30 and it demands preparation. There are no positions open, so it is informational only but requires up-front planning. The mental prep is complete. I’ve looked on the website, explored what an available position would entail and spoken to a former staff member who is currently in the role. I powered up LinkedIn and investigated the man that I’ll be meeting. The leather portfolio is stacked with a new pad of paper and my questions are scripted on the top sheet. The next step requires a trip to the closet. Ugh.

Here we go. How to outfit the outside so it matches the stellar attributes residing on the inside? That’s never been a talent of mine. To make it worse, it’s April. I have professed here in Middle Passages that I know nothing about fashion but I lied. After 23 years working for an apparel retailer, I know that April is transition month—the time when we slough off the itchy wools of winter and evolve the wardrobe into lighter, more breathable clothing. That’s as much as I can write because it is a progression I never managed to embrace. As I look out my window right now, the thermometer reads ugly, wet and 40. With my cold blooded propensities; anything less than wool, and I’ll be shivering through the interview and I promise you the shaking won’t be from nerves.

So after dropping my daughter at school today, I dragged my feet to the closet and peered in. Boiled wool jacket? Looks too wintry and not structured enough. Black flannel blazer? Nice on the hanger, but out of fashion on me. Pink no-iron blouse underneath a navy suit coat? I can’t move my arms. Long grey sweater over a white cotton top? It’s an interview—tradition dictates a blazer. I don’t profess to know fashion, but the former 40% discount spawned a certain, um, obligatation to keep trying, so it wasn't long before a tsunami of discards littered our bed. Just before a truckload of panic joined the clothes in the pile, I discovered a beige wool-blend blazer shoved in the back of the closet that will marry well with grey flannel pants. Done and done.

I’m ending here though. There is still an iron to heat up and about 20 pairs of shoes to try on.

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