After nearly a week of feeling crummy, I am thrilled to finally feel well again. The pain in my back, which was actually my kidneys, has gone away. I feel energetic, happy and, according to Robby, not grumpy.
With the conference date approaching, I am beginning to pull everything together for the trip to California. My booth attire, along with my toiletries and makeup, are already packed. Typically I stress out trying to remember everything. For this trip, so far, everything seems to be under control. Except, of course, for one nagging detail.
I have been invited, and am expected to attend, a relatively fancy dinner on the Saturday after the conference. Although not uncultured, I am relatively green when it comes to expensive corporate dinner parties. Googling the restaurant increased my anxiety. Yikes! I doubt I'll see our family coveted "kids eat free" sign in their window.
My wardrobe now consists of jeans, sweat pants and the occasional unstained shirt. My closet is bursting with my "teacher clothes" that were worn before Robby was born, but most of the styles are now outdated. I have a black dress for funerals and a pretty gray dress for weddings. My "business dress," which is reserved for court hearings and meetings, is too stiff for this event. The bridesmaid dress which I wore in my cousin's wedding, although she swore it could be worn again, is probably not my best option. As it turns out, there is nothing suitable in my closet for a restaurant of this caliber.
Most women jump at the opportunity to go shopping for a new dress. I found myself frustrated and worried. "Fancy" dresses are costly. Honestly, we just don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on a dress that will, in all likelihood, be worn only once. I am going to have to find a classy, versatile, yet budget friendly party dress. This was not going to be easy!
Despite my weight loss, I continue to struggle with body image issues. Although I have not been obese for several years, I still view myself through "fat glasses." I am becoming more comfortable with my body, but I do not particularly feel very pretty, especially when I am out of my comfort zone. I want to find a dress to boost my confidence. I don't want to feel like the frumpy stay at home Mommy. I want to feel like I belong at the ritzy restaurant. For one night, wouldn't it be fun to be a knock out!
So, the hunt begins for a dress that is both inexpensive and ravishing. The hem line needs to be just below my knee so that the muffin top thigh that forms above my socket is masked. Flirty cleavage would be welcome, but I am too old to be trashy.
I am on a budget, but I don't want to look like it. I am going to have to be both creative and lucky if I am going to make this work. Let the great dress search begin!