Today at work I bumped into a teacher from High school. I knew moving back to the area and working at the local mall would run me the risk of these types of situations, but honestly I thought I’d handle them a lot differently. I recognized her immediately and asked her name. I excitedly nailed fact about her, class she taught, when, etc. Mid exclamation I remembered, I hated her class. I slowly turned away from her, her daughter and her grandkids and tried to figure out where and how long I could hide in the stock room before my boss would give me that look. Realizing she’d be the ball buster I remember her to be, she trailed about the store with me behind, flipping stacks of shirts as if she could hear nothing but her own voice, and the sound of mine asking, no… demanding, “Let me get that for you” was merely a whisper. She asked me all the class reunion questions that every graduate fears and causes them to send their regrets as an RSVP. What are you doing now? Where do you live? Each one like a knife. I started to exaggerate about my love for my full-time job and how rewarding and satisfying it is. I went off into my college info and post grad activities detailing a year and a half at Parson, which she recognized and gave me the high-pitched “Oh ok” as a response. ” So you’ve got some experience with fashion…” she said. It was the schpeel I went into here that I am most ashamed of. I went off into how at the time of my graduation from Parsons I was interning at Marc By Marc and they liked me but were firing people. How the shows were even lighter that year because of the recession. I apologized for my love for fashion by saying something I’d thought up a few years ago ” …I wanted to be in fashion, and for girls, that’s like the NBA. ” I used this as an excuse against friends who ask me why I don’t work at Chanel or as a buyer for Saks. Explaining to them the intricacies of a trade and the experience that is required to reach such positions was taxing, they simply thought you applied and that was that. My NBA analogy helped them understand my goal’s unicorn like qualities. I blamed the fact that I am dissatisfied with where I am in my own life and with my own skills as the reason why I was here trying to say all the right words to get her to not only spend, but open up a line of credit to do so. In Uncle Sams name I prayed each time I started my soliloquies about percentage off and whatever else I thought would get those 9 digits. But now it mattered so much more. I wanted to show that I was good at what I do, even if I wasn’t a doctor or a lawyer or fresh off my 10th missionary trip. I gave them room to shop as I like to do for all my clients and skulked to the stock room to pull my self together.
She may as well have been the VP of my company, the way I performed. If she was a secret shopper my manager would later praise for the perfect score I would have achieved and if she wasn’t a secret shopper, I behaved like her shopping experience was for a grade and I wanted that A+ .
Weeks later, still ashamed at my buffoonery, I decided that it was ok for me to be the creative person that I am, and that because I am in essence a starving -fashion- artist, that’s nothing at all to be ashamed of. It is perfectly fine that my creative little spirit would have rather been in sewing class learning to embroider, than in her AP Gov class reading about policies and other crap. Yes, crap. Mrs. Harmon your class was awful and for a right brainer like myself I consider my self lucky to be here today, because I was sure I would die in that class room of yours.
Mrs. Harmon you aren’t the only one to thank. I have tons of friends, and even family members that join you in your subliminal contempt. I’ve been told I act like a “rich bitch”, asked “Who do you think you are? Paris Hilton?” (really? no one else beside her to suggest?), or simply given that adoring look that equates to a pat on the head. I learn to cope daily and though each day is different and sometimes difficult, I know I’m making the right decision when my heart palpitates with each pin on Pinterest, when images from style.com keep me up at night, and when those very same friends and family members seek me as their first resource for fashion, entertaining, eating, and décor.
I’m good at what I do. I respect fashion as an art form. I am not fashion’s groupie. I let my love for all things beautiful extend to my home and from there to the culinary experience and anywhere else it takes me. I love who I am and with this blog I declare that I will not apologize for it.
Join me in my birth, or scoff with despising eyes. Either way this is happening.