I as I previously mentioned in my Adventures in Nakedness post, my new job is centered smack-dab in the middle of one of the most disgustingly-snobby areas of the entire world: Fashion Island. There is something sinister about how addictive the lifestyle is. After less than a month of working there I found myself looking at Nordstrom ads and sighing after $175 pair of jeans. I wanted those jeans. I needed those jeans. My butt wasn’t complete without them.
And then I went up to visit my family near the Bakersfield area and realized that no, no I did not NEED a $175 pair of jeans. What I needed was a swift kick in the rear for being sucked into the stupidity in less than a month.
I returned to my work, marching proudly in my worn store-brand penny-loafers and my clearance-rack skirts.
Today, about ten minutes before I was supposed to be done for the day, my boss called me up and asked me to pick up a package from the receptionist at a local legal firm.
I was vaguely annoyed at this request as it meant that I would probably going to miss my “Turbo Kick” class at 24 Hour Fitness (see? see? I went back! Aren’t you proud of me?). On the other hand, I figured if I hurried, with a little luck I just might make the class. I got into my vintage 1986 vehicle and drove over to the building. As I walked up to the front of the building, just like a cliche scene from a B movie, a huge gust of wind came up and blew my post-it note right out of my hand. Rather than float daintily about on the breeze, that little note took off like a ratdog out a front door. I’m sure if I listened really closely I might have heard the little, tiny sonic boom it made as it disappeared into the distance. I didn’t even have time to contemplate chasing it.
Oh, by the way, in case I didn’t mention it, the post-it note had which law firm and suite number jotted down in front of it. I was now standing in front of a building with no idea where I was supposed to go.
Oh, did I also forget to mention that the building was 18 stories tall? An 18 story tall building with about a BAZILLION lawyers working in it?
Too embarrassed to call my new boss up and ask him to repeat himself, I decided to try and figure it out. After all, I kind of remembered that the lawyer’s name was Wayne (names changed to protect my a**).
I walked into the building and looked at the directory. There were 4 Waynes. I picked one randomly off the “list”, took the elevator up to his floor, marched up to the receptionist and asked if they had a package waiting.
“No, was I supposed to?” she looked at me, panicky.
“No, no. You weren’t. I was just checking to see if you did. It’s okay, don’t worry about it.” I turned on my heel and strode out, mentally adding the fourth floor of the Gigantic Building of Lawyers to the list of “Places I Will Never Show My Face Again”. I took the elevator back down to the lobby, looked up the next “Wayne”, and repeated the process.
I can also no longer go to the ninth floor, in case you were wondering.
On the fourteenth floor I struck gold. Package secured firmly under my armpit (isn’t that where important, million-dollar deals are supposed to be carried?) I strode to the crowded elevator. I had persevered! I had conquered! I am Woman! HEAR ME ROAR!
Realizing that I was the last person in on the extremely crowded elevator dampened my spirits slightly. Wedging myself between an annoyed looking man in a suit and an extremely well-dressed, classy-looking woman, I stared straight ahead. I hate being in an elevator when there are other people on there. I always feel so cliche. I feel like I should say something to them, just to not fall into the stereotype that Hollywood always portrays. Unfortunately, if you don’t come up with something witty immediately, you’ve lost your window of opportunity. If you start talking halfway through a silent elevator ride, people start edging away and getting off at the wrong floor to take the stairs instead.
Like I said, I hate crowded elevators.
Do you know what I hate even worse than crowded elevators? I hate it when the doors are made of that really shiny metal and you have to sit there and the grainy reflection of yourself.
And do you know what’s even worse than that? Staring into that grainy reflection and realizing in horror that the gust of wind had not only blown your post it note away, it had also turned your pert little pony tail into a crazy, medusa-look-alike.
Staring at my reflection, standing next to that well-dressed, uber-classy woman, I had to resist the urge to lick my palms and flatten the snarls and straight-up strands that were poking out in every direction.
I am White Trash. Hear me Belch.
It was a long ride down from the forteenth floor, and that darned woman was beside me the whole time. It was a long enough ride that I had enough time to ponder my circumstance. Had discovering that my hair was all over the place made me any less of a person? I had entered that elevator brimming with confidence. Why would I allow a simple, grainy reflection to take that away from me?
Squaring my shoulders in their Target turtleneck, I tugged discreetly at my Kohl’s skirt. I stood tall in my Walmart shoes. I am confident. I am proud. I am a strong, alpha woman! The bell signalled that we had arrived, and the doors slid open. I grabbed my package with both hands, took a firm, long, powerful stride out into the lobby…
And nearly fell on my face. Only the guy behind me darting out to catch my arm kept me from sprawling.
I forgot I was wearing a skirt.
You can’t stride powerfully in a knee-length business skirt.
If you do, the skirt will trap your legs before you hit full-stride, slamming your knees into a locked position and you will probably fall. Please believe me. Please? I need this experience to benefit someone so I can feel like it was all worth it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go drown my sorrows in one of the TWELVE boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that are currently in this house. Let this experience also be a lesson to you: Communication in marriage is important. You can’t both decide to “surprise” the other person with a box (or six) of Girl Scout Cookies. Some things need to be planned in advance.