Monday, September 21, 2015

In the Pink

I had an EVENT to go to Saturday night.  It was a fundraiser for Grace Mission, which feeds and clothes the homeless and/or disadvantaged and also offers tutoring and mentoring to at-risk children.

I was home Friday night moaning over a sore belly when a friend facebook-chatted me asking if I'd like to go - she had a spare ticket.  I've been to a couple before, so gave her an enthusiastic YES.  Saturday was a quiet day, and I decided to start getting ready around 4.  Then I looked at the invitation - Cocktail Attire.

What?  Cocktail Attire? 

I only have one dress that might qualify, but I had no shoes!  My shoe wardrobe consists of my running shoes and a pair of "hippie" sandals.  Neither are new, and the sandals tended to smell like feet when it was warm out (it was in the 80s).  That left my running shoes.  If I had any other shoes, I couldn't find them (having rearranged my closet and room a few months ago).

So.  Running shoes.

What could I wear that would work for this fundraiser AND my running shoes?

Finally, I settled on a pink t-shirt with a crazy purple and pink and white skirt.  The trim on my shoes is pink, so that actually worked! 

As I approached the party, I saw lots of people in slinky black and high heels, floaty chiffon tops over sleek black pants.  Everyone looked so beautiful and dressy!  I felt a bit under-dressed in my t-shirt and running shoes.  While I was standing there, taking it all in, a car pulled up and a woman jumped out, came around and handed out a tiny old woman and her rolling walker.  The woman asked if she'd be okay to wait there while she parked the car.  It was hot.  The sun was still hot on the skin, so I offered to walk the tiny woman towards the party while her daughter parked the car. 

We walked slowly, chatting - and found a bench in the shade just before the table where you turn in your tickets.  We sat and I learned her name was Jerry and that she ran a pharmacy.  At 90 years old, she still goes every day.  I was thoroughly enjoying our talk when her daughter came to claim her.  We said goodbye and I realized that how I was dressed wasn't going to affect how much I enjoyed talking to the people I'd be with.

As it turns out, the men in their suits and the women in their heels weren't as comfortable as I was.  There was a silent group sigh of relief when it was time to go in and sit down for dinner.  Pastor Amanda, who heads up Grace Mission had actually ditched her shoes altogether by then and spent the rest of the evening walking around in her lovely dress barefoot.

It was a very good night.

4 comments:

Ann Ward said...

I love this story! "Free to be me" is so much easier said than done and you did it with class!! I've passed on cocktail attire events because I wasn't brave enough to be me but you've inspired me. The next event that rolls around I'm going and I'm not going to spend money on an outfit I won't wear again or shove my feet into a pair of heels from the 80s (last time I bought heels lol) You rock!

joanygee said...

Didn't you do well! I went to a lunch the other week where the ladies were all in those uncomfortable shoes. (not me) I'd driven there and forgot to change my shoes, so I was wearing trainers. Like you, it meant I was comfortable.

Anonymous said...

There is an old English saw that says, "Manner maketh man." Not clothes, not money, what your great grandmother called "breeding." You have it, I'd rather talk to you in a jumpsuit than some chippy in a "little black dress."
dad

Jan said...

Good for you! I'm glad you had a great time.