Although it started out as a normal day, it soon turned into a frenzy of action and hilarity. Several times I have had to ask myself why I cannot be a person of less drama. I guess that would make this boring blog all that more uninteresting, now wouldn’t it? Nevermind. Bring on the crazy.
I have done my homework and I know what the experts say. It is a good idea to try on your interview outfit a couple of days before you go. You can ensure that you have thought of undergarments, chosen accessories, cleaned your shoes, and considered how you will carry your belongings (purse+carry vs. briefcase type thing). Go ahead and run through your grooming regimen as well; ladies should not let their hair and/or make-up be a distraction.
There might have been tears and an hours worth of crunches when I discovered that I could not zip the black suit pants. The zipper worked fine on the hanger, but when I put them on, my body got in the way. Furthermore, the brown suit is too big. Linebacker big. Good news and bad news, but what am I going to wear on Thursday?! It’s a little too chilly to go naked, that’s not really the type of job I was trying to get, and since the pants didn’t fit–maybe not so enjoyable for them either… I thought all of this extra walking would have been great for my waistline, but it seems that I ate the benefits plus some. Being on a budget can result in a lot of pasta and maybe I should re-think our dinner menus.
So I took a break for a pep talk. “Ok, muster some productive thoughts… Get dressed without crying and we (when I am really upset talking to myself there’s two of us) can fix this. We need a suit. While we are at it, we should get a make-up foundation that matches our return-to-winter-season-white skin. Gathering stuff is fun and we can laugh at people who look silly because it will make us feel so much better–and well, they are everywhere.”
I went to Debenham’s to solve the world’s problems (ok, ok, just mine). I must admit that the window displays did me quite a bit of good. When you stand there looking at them and the crowds they attract, you notice that they inspire smiles on the faces of adults and children alike. There is yet hope in the world.
I don’t know if all of the displays throughout the year are like these, but the Christmas ones are like fantastic puppet shows that make happy. I didn’t leave out a word; they might actually manufacture happy.
Debenham’s in London is very similar to a department store in the states, except there are five floors and two cafes–one serving five course meals and the other serving gourmet tea and scones. Maybe this is what department stores are like in New York City and Chicago. Standing in front of the escalator and blinking dumbly at the directory is a very dangerous place to be. While I was trying to decide where I would find ladies’ suits, an energetic employee offered to match my skin to a make-up foundation. I immediately thought “no”–until I remembered that this was one item to be collected on the mission, so I hesitantly explained that I was shopping for make-up without animal products. It just so happened that she was peddling Urban Decay products (more about them in a moment) in celebration of their debut in this Debenham’s store. I jumped on the adventure train, telling her that I was preparing for an interview and needed a new foundation for my lighter winter skin tone. She happily agreed to remove my make-up and match me for the perfect shade. Of course, she also promised to “put me back right” for my shopping the rest of the day. All of the ladies know what this means. These girls put one of everything in their drawer on your face hoping that you will decide you cannot live without it all. (I am normally a huge pushover. She stopped the right girl.)
As I was sitting there allowing her to put layers of powdery, magical, colored fairy dust all over me, I kept trying to think of an animal species in which the female was more ornately colored or decorated than the male. What is wrong with this scenario? All I really needed today was foundation. What I got was a circus on my face.
Much due to the incredible improvement in my mood at the sight of my own face in the mirror, I was able to request a different shade of lipstick that I might actually wear in my daily life and confidently bought only the things I wanted. Maybe when I said “interview” she heard “interview for a hostess job at a strip joint”.
Urban Decay seems to be a line of make-up marketed to young adults and hippies, especially those into the rock star and glam (maybe even goth) looks. What makes them special to me is the long list of products they sell that are animal and cruelty free. This is the first time I have purchased Urban Decay products; I was surprised that they are no more expensive than other department store brands and only slightly more expensive than the drug store brands. I have no idea, though, how it shakes up in the states.
With one purchase down, I stood once more in front of the escalators and the directory. What the heck else do you call a suit–or work clothes for that matter?! Someone offered to style my hair and when I explained that I was trying to get a suit for an interview her colleague stepped over to offer me a spray tan at a greatly discounted winter season price. (After all, a tan helps you to look your best for an interview.) I don’t know where it came from, but giggling (slightly like a mad woman on a mission interrupted) I spoke.
Me: I appreciate your offers, I really do. I have to get a suit for an interview and I’ve already been talked into having a circus painted on my face. I am on a serious mission and I can’t seem to get past this point in the store.
Flat Iron Girl: Good luck shopping and with your interview! (she gets it, 3 points for Flat Iron Girl)
Spray Tan Girl: When you’ve found your suit, come back for your tan. I’ll be the one doing the spraying and now we’ve already met. (Dang Gina, this one is thick! She thinks that’s comforting. -10 points for Spray Tan Girl.)
Me: I can’t get naked with you, you’d pass out and I don’t know how to call you an ambulance. (She’s laughing, but I am not sure she gets it. Quick, make a run for it.)
I turned for the escalators and got on one going up. It didn’t matter that I had not yet learned where I was going–I just had to get out of the quicksand.
I was relieved to find that choosing a suit, once I found the right department, was much more uneventful. The pleasant employee that sold it to me happened to notice that I had a passport and eventually prompted me to explain that I had just relocated and was preparing for an interview. She shot me a strange and giggly-faced look before she asked where we had lived previously. There I was, back to listing names of Tennesseans I thought she might recognize, when I remembered my face and laughed.
Me: Not everyone from Tennessee does their eyes like Dolly Parton; I got accosted downstairs.
Suit Hanging Girl: Ah, it looks… very nice. (I have no idea what she means, but I don’t care; she is smiling and maybe this brightens her day somehow.)
Maybe everyone I passed on my way home also enjoyed a little laugh as the circus made its way through town, or maybe it was just my imagination. It’s what I get for giggling at their neon yellow, 1980s-style, Reebok hi tops. Shows what I know–apparently they’re making a righteous comeback.
P.S. I thought it would be fun to put a number at the end of posts representing the number of times my attempts to publish a blog entry failed before finally appearing on the site, if that number is greater than 0. This will allow you to share in the fun I am having (and appreciate what I go through for my adoring public).