Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Ordinary Angel

I reach my hand into the gift bag with a level of excitement not felt since Santa and God answered my Christmas-time prayers with a Cabbage Patch doll.

Long before my fingers touch the sculpted plastic skirt, I just instinctively know it will be a most unnatural shade of yellow. Oh my niece has outdone herself this year.

Yes! This is THE one.

I fondle the eighteen inch molded figurine like an actress does her first Oscar. Running my thumb over her synthetic hair and admiring the carefully applied blue eyeshadow, I am teary eyed with gratitude.

Her arms are locked in what appears to be the "open for hugs" position and my heart skips a beat. This is no ordinary angel. My day-glow doll has a purpose.

My niece shyly produces a roll of toilet paper, carefully lacing it between my angels arms.

"Auntie, now pull the toilet paper. Pull it!" She giggles.

My wildest imagination could not have envisioned a more perfect gift. I lean closer to my husband, who is watching the toilet paper unravel with envy.

"Top this one, pally."

I look up at my niece with sincerity, clinging to my toilet paper wielding angel. "This is the Best. Gift. Ever. I have just the place for it."

"Your niece gave that to you. You wouldn't dare." TK whispers in my ear, envy seeping into every word.

"It's my gift."

"But your niece gave it to you. You shouldn't re-gift it. That's just wrong."

"Look, clearly this is a set up. She gave it to me knowing it's final home would not be with me."

"In that case I don't think it qualifies."

"Qualifies? Oh there are rules now?"

"The whole point of the after Christmas swap is to bring your worst gift. It's not the same if it's a gift given with the intent of re-gifting."

"Bring your worst gift swap. Not bring-your-worst-gift-that-the-giver-thought-was-awesome swap. And hey, it's my party." I nudge him. "What about when we bought the Nascar coffee mugs because all our real gifts rocked that Christmas? Or the year I gave you the leopard print thong and you swapped it?"

"That was different. Besides, I think you actually wanted me to wear the thong."


"Those gifts were different. This is just... well, it's just different. In a bad way. You need to keep that angel. It's only fair."

I stood, careful not to unravel the toilet paper as I lovingly placed my gift on the mantle.

I leaned in close, my cheek brushing the waving cascades of yellow hair as I smiled and whispered to my Christmas Angel.

"Don't you listen to him, angel baby. He's just upset about the leopard thong."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Ultimate Gift

I was dreading the call as much as I was anticipating it.

My angel of Christmas, in the voice of my social worker, gave me the only gift I had hoped for this year.

"The judge has terminated parental rights."

She reviewed the finer points of the decision. The parents' right to appeal. The process. The timeline. DCF's involvement. We discussed post-termination, post-adoption.

Both bio parents currently missing. Neither one successfully rehabbed off of the heroin they poisoned my babies' system with during pregnancy. One possibly in jail, the other who knows where this time. The court's leniency in future visitation. The likelihood of the appeal, and the certainty of the outcome.

We talked about the case in a factual, intelligent manner as if we were discussing politics and not the future of the little people who were waiting at home for me.

The two not-quite-toddlers we met for the first time a year ago November. Who have taken over our house with their toys and diapers and crayons.

Who have taken over our lives with their runny noses and nighttime fevers and tantrums in airports.

Who had taken over our hearts with their hugs and kisses, their cuddles and their sleepy-faced smiles first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

We covered every aspect of the thirty page ruling while I drove, barely noticing the highway as it sped past.

"I'll get these pages faxed over shortly and we'll talk again soon in the coming month. I think that's everything, any other questions?"

I thought about all the information I had just heard. The legal aspects, our responsibilities going forward, the adoption that can finally take place this coming spring.

And I asked the only question that really mattered.

"So they're ours now. Forever?"

"They're yours forever. Merry Christmas."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh hey, Christmas.

Oh hey, Christmas.

How long have you been standing there?

I mean, I knew you were coming but you didn't have to creep up on me like that or anything.

I sort of wish you would've, you know, called first.

Or texted maybe.

Sorry the place isn't quite ready. I really meant to clean up those leaves before you got here. Did you bring any snow?

What's that behind your back? A light up inflatable Mickey Mouse in a Santa Suit? Um, right over there is good. Just nudge those rotting pumpkins aside.

You know you're always welcome here, right? But we haven't even polished off the Halloween candy and now I'm expected to go all candy cane and fruitcake. Don't even get me started on those sugar plums dancing in my head.

I'm not using a tone. No, I don't have an attitude. Maybe you're the one with the attitude.

I mean technically you're a whole month after Thanksgiving but we both know you expect us to roll out the red carpet the second the turkey is out of the oven. Sooner even.

Like a whole flippin' season of Christmas.

No, no, don't go! I'm sorry, of course we're excited to see you! That's crazy talk. Just a little unprepared, is all. Holiday moodiness and all. I'll be into the Christmas Spirit in no time! You'll see.

Tinsel? For me? Hey, you really shouldn't have!

I did! I did get you something too! Wait, it's right, um, here... I picked it up along with four thousand other things on Black Friday. You know me though, it won't be wrapped til just shy of six a.m. Christmas morning.

Well listen, you make yourself at home while I run around for the next 21 days or so.

Just throw your things on every available surface, wall and window.

I'll clean it all up sometime in January.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Post

The holidays have officially arrived and though I didn't post a pre-Thanksgiving blog I had actually started one.

Then I edited it.

Then I deleted it.

So instead here's my post-Thanksgiving post.

Aside from my incredible life and awesome family, I am very thankful for my friends.

And right now I can't think of any one that may have had more reasons to be thankful this year than this one -

< Ms J's Thanksgiving >

(The post was so beautiful I forgot to ask why her turkey is black)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Over.

My cold is like the last date of a short term relationship.

It’s lingering.

It knows I want it to go.

It knows this relationship lasted far longer than either one of us would have expected.

Ice cubes have turned to water in his glass.

The check is on the table.

He's gathered up his things and said all there is to say.

One foot is out the door.

So why can't you just let me go?

Ok cold, this is it.

For real.

It's over.

You go your way.

I'll go mine.

This was never meant to be more than a weekend thing anyway.

So good luck with... you know, everything.

And hey, seriously?

Let's not stay in touch.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Man. On a Mission.

It's not always easy being married to this guy.

Oh wait, wrong guy.

There he is, that's my husband.

Like any married couple we have our ups.

We have our downs.

Some ups are up for weeks.

Months even.

Some downs are down for well... like the internet, down is down and no matter how long it's down for it really just sucks, right?

And sometimes the ups are just a "what-ever, dear" away from the downs.

But with the grace of God and a lot of love, we always find our way back up again.

Three years ago today we were together on an island, surrounded by the Carribean Sea.

We said our "I do"s with sand between our toes as the sun set in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

We watched the sun rise from a secluded hammock on the beach. 

We sipped cocktails by candlelight.

And now TK is once again on an island surrounded by the Carribean Sea.

Only this time I'm not there.

He's traded the sand between his toes for the blisters on his hands.

Soreness in every bone in his body and showers from rainwater have replaced cocktails and candlelight.

But there's a smile on his face and more love in his heart than he had on the day we were married.

And I couldn't have imagined a more perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.

TK - I am so proud of you and the work you are doing in Haiti. I love you and look forward to being your wife for the rest of my life.
And then some.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Granny Panties No More

Friends have a way of creeping into your life and settling in where you least expect them.

Kind of like a wedgie.

But in a good way.

And what wedgies are to thongs, friends are to me.

Many years ago, before Hanes invented the "no-ride-up" panties, we had wedgies.




Of global proportion. And don't even get me started on panty lines.

An embarrassing, uncomfortable pandemic among women, the wedgie was one more obstacle we suffered through.

For generations.

In silence.

Until one brave woman tossed aside her granny panties and declared "As God as my witness, I shall pick my bum no more!"

The thong was born.

From adversity is born brilliance. The thong is the preferred panty of wedgie-less women everywhere, overshadowing granny panties 3 to 1.

Thongs have set the standard for my friendships.

Does the friendship fit well?

Is it there when you need it?

Does it provide adequate coverage and complement your life?

Are you sensitive to its care?

Do you wear it well?

And treat it with the delicacy it requires?

Well then, that's a friendship worth wearing.

- sk

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Rope

Ever think about what kind of an employee you have working for you?

Give them some rope.

From my point of view, there are four types of employees.

1 - The Interpreter.

This employee will rise to the challenge. They will do things to this rope you didn't think humanly possible.

None of which remotely resemble what you'd like them to do with the rope.

2 - The Hanger

Enough said?

3 - The OverAchiever

A true star among employees, not only will this employee tie the rope, she will weave it into a hammock. She will purchase more rope, creating a desk, a fax machine and a life-sized portrait of your dog. She will implement a rope-tying seminar for those less fortunate.

She'll write books entitled "Rope Tying for Dummies", "Who Moved My Rope?" and "Me, Myself and The Rope: A Candid Portrayal of Mysteries in the Workplace".

She will win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. She will dedicate the award to you.

4 - The Evaluator. This employee will gaze at the rope for hours. With hostility. Why is this rope on my desk? Stupid rope. Is this supposed to be my rope? After much rope-staring, he'll inventory nearby other cubicles. Who else has rope? Is their rope bigger?

e'll review his job description. Visit HR. Email counterparts in other departments. Other companies.
He'll start a spreadsheet evaluating the time it will take to tie this rope. How he wouldn't necessarily object to rope-tying. If in fact he is compensated more for it. Assuming of course that there is also a title change.

orporate counsel advises you to remove the rope from his desk.

He'll feel singled out, ostracized from his cubicle counterparts. Mocked and abandoned.
Ultimately he will require paid time off due to rope-stress.

Which type of employee do you have?

What would you do with the rope?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I've always hated goodbyes

I have not blogged for a very long time. I know the blog is supposed to be about us....but I've been lazy and have let Sharon take over and it really is not fair to claim that it's about "us" when it's mostly her who is doing the writing. So we've decided that this will be my farewell blog.

So much has happened for me in the past year, all great things and I'm the happiest I've been in my whole life. A little over a year ago I met Batman. Things were good, and eventually I fell in love. We just recently moved in together, which was a HUGE, I'm talking GINORMOUS (yes I know it's not a word but just go with it) step for me. I'll admit I was a little nervous about the move, and weeks before "D" day I was very anxious. Being the commitment phobic that I am, this was a big step for me. But this is it, this is the man that I am madly in love with. This guy who I love with my whole heart, who treats me with kindness, respect, and love is everything I've ever wanted in a man.

My boy is doing fantastic, school will be starting up again and he is actually looking forward to it. He was accepted into the the Graphic Communications program that he wanted. We did have a bit of a tough time when we lost Bob the wonder cat. It was tough on the boy, and I have to admit I was a bit sad too...but we're in negotiations for getting a new pet soon.

So while I've been busy spending time with batman and mourning the loss of our family pet...Sharon has been entertaining you with her sometimes witty, sometimes thought provoking, but always entertaining blogs. I've always said, she is the writer in this relationship and so I'm going to let her continue writting while I fade off into the sunset.

Farewell followers - I must warn you thought - I'll still be lurking, as I will now have more time to devote to my cyberstalking - enjoy the blog - I know I always do!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One of Those Days

I have a feeling it's going to be one of those days.

It's unseasonably muggy and sticky.

One of the little kids has been producing her weight in boogers.

I'm still not back to normal yet after my surgery (insert your own joke here).

I've had all of one day back to work since being out and am lost in a forest of issues, problems, and havoc, oh my.

In my need to lighten and brighten my day, I'm going to share with you things that make me smile, chuckle or laugh so hard I'm the one sporting boogers on my face.


What do you do when you know it's going to be one of those days?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paging Dr. Fudge

My first official surgery is now under my belt.

Well, technicially not "under my belt" but slightly above it.

Let me just say this about surgery - I don't dig it.

Prior to any semi-important undertaking in my life, whether it's a presentation to a client, an early morning flight or Ziggy's first day of school, I am anxious.

can't sleep.

I toss. I turn.

I watch the clock all night.

So one would think I was restless and sleep-deprived prior to this procedure. And yet...

I slept great.

No worries.

No bad dreams.

Just sleep.

And then I woke up.


What if I have an asthma attack while under anesthesia? And they don't realize it, because clearly I can't tell them, so I choke to death?

What if Dr. Fudge (I kid you not) fudges my surgery and removes the wrong body part, leaving me to poop in a bag for the rest of my adult life? I really don't want to poop in a bag, Dr. Fudge.

Hey nurse, you sure that's my name on the top of that chart?

You there, Dr. whats-your-name-with-the-anesthesia, did you hear what the nurse said about the IV line? Ok, just checking.

10 - 9 - 8 - zzzzz

Fast forward to the recovery room where I am up to my elbows in discomfort.

There's the vomit that's threatening to come up and out.

And the mind-numbing pain in my abdomen. Man, that flippin' hurts.

But what's even worse is the fact that I'm too hoarse to yell to the guy on the other side of the curtain.

"Hey! As much as I'd love to know if holding it in because you won't poop at K-mart because the bathrooms are gross, even though your wife will poop at K-mart because those things don't bother her, is causing the sore anus you're talking about VERY LOUDLY I'm a little preoccupied with other things right now so be quiet!"




ore pain.


So I'm laid up for another day or two with nothing but time on my hands and some little white pills that gives the pain tolerably fuzzy edges.

Frustrated with my inability to tackle my "to do while recuperating" list I had created. Laughing at myself for creating it. Frustrated at my lack of motivation.

I don't do nothing very well.


My mind wanders. The story teller in me refuses to walk away from an uneventful gall bladder surgery without even a twinkle of a drama. No I-woke-up-during-surgery stories. No removal of the wrong organ.


My first surgery and no tale to tell. In a few short weeks there will be nothing left behind except for the four angry scars on my once unmarred stomach and a no-drama gallbladder removal.

But look at those incisions, would you?


They're kind of round-ish.

Nasty looking things, aren't they?

Two on the side.

One above my rib cage. Another one by my belly button.

Hmmm... you know what they look like?

on't you?

Listen, should it happen to come up in conversation, I mean if anyone asks you...

Scratch your head, glance around like you're not supposed to tell, lean in uncomfortably close and whisper...

"Gunshot wounds."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

See You at Arno's

May 2009.

Backspace Conference.


Four aspiring writers arrive in the city, exhausted but hopeful.

A bar.

A kilt.

An Italian love song.

A cat named Felicity.

Little did they know their lives were about to change forever.

Join me as a new blog chronicles this fateful day and follows them on their path to literary-world dominion.

See You At Arno's

- SK

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Life Story

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my life.

I think about where I came from.

I think about the instability I had growing up.

And the stability it eventually created in my life.

I think about the awesomeness that is my life now.

My children.

My husband.

My self-appointed family.

My God.

I think about the people I know.

And the ones I have known.

I think about the people I've lost.

And the ones I haven't found yet.

I think about how I'm so very lucky to have what I have.

And I have so much.

I think about how lucky I am to not have some of the things I shouldn't have.

I think about how far I have come from where I have been.

And how much further I still have to go.

I think about more things than I could ever fill this page with.

When I'm alone with my thoughts,

and the night is quiet and still,

I think about

every moment that has passed me by.

I think about

every moment that is yet to come.

But mostly,

I think about

who's going to play me in the made-for-TV movie.

Friday, August 20, 2010

More Things I Wish I Could Say

Last summer I wrote this post - Things I Wish I Could Say.

I'll admit, it was somewhat therapeutic to get some of that off my chest.

However it was also somewhat frustrating.

So many people called, texted and emailed with a variation of the same question - "Was that about whats-her-name???"

Some, like Ziggy, knew exactly which one was intended for them (see number 8) and now when I look at her for more than 2.7 seconds I get an earful of "Mom! Stop staring at me! You are SO creeping me out!"

Some, like Doreen, went down the list and knew exactly who I was talking about.

And then there were others who knew I could never ever possibly say any of those things to them. Especially the statement they liked the least.

For those people, see number 4 below.

More Things I Wish I Could Say

  1. Thank you so much for opening up. It made you more you.
  2. I've been there, done that and survived. You will too.
  3. Jesus loves you. The rest of us.... well, let's just say we're not Jesus.
  4. Read it again. Slowly. Recognize yourself? You should.
  5. Stop talking. No just stop talking. Yes you are. See how your mouth moves and words come out? That's still talking. So don't.
  6. Swearing doesn't make you cool.
  7. I didn't mean to appear rude but was distracted and never had a chance to apologize for that. I'm sorry.
  8. It would be super awesome if you paid closer attention.
  9. I know how much you are hurting and wish there was something I could do to make it better.
  10. You make food noises when you eat. No one likes food noises.
  11. How about, just for kicks, you stop doing what's politically correct and just do what's right?
  12. You are such a sweet kid and I am so glad to know you. I'd tell you that in person but Ziggy would be mortified.
  13. Stop. Making. Excuses.
  14. Your blank stare when I ask you to do something is kind of annoying.
  15. I didn't become a Christian to forget my past. I became one so that I can look forward to my future.
  16. Making the same mistake twice is making the same mistake. Twice.
  17. Letting them go would be the best thing you've ever done for them.
  18. Lighten up, you're bringing us all down.
  19. Don't do it for credit or acknowledgement. Do it just because.
  20. I worry that sometimes I don't measure up to your standards.

Are there things you wish you could say? Post them in the comment section below.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Regret...


It's true.

I have lived a lot of life in my 40 years (shut up. I am.) and even if I think really, really hard about it...

I regret nothing.

Don't misunderstand. There are things I have done or contributed to that I am vastly embarrassed about.

My hair, for example.

From 1986 until about 1992.

My choice in men.

From, uh, 1985 until perhaps 2001.

The thank you notes that I didn't send.

The time Doreen and I sent spoons to a couple of guys in a restaurant, so they could share our dessert with us.

Which um, they didn't.

The snots I blew all over my pants when I sneezed. In a very public place.

The ice cream-Doritos-leftover-Mexican-Snickers-bars-oreos-frozen-pizza feast I gorged on while watching back to back Meg Ryan flicks.

Believing that this time Spendy really would pay me back the allowance she borrowed.

Decisions I made that weren't appropriate, smart or sane.






Well, no.

Of course there are people I may have offended in some way or another but trust me when I say I never offend people with intent or malice.

And if I have offended you in any way you need to know it really wasn't you.

It was me.

I am quite adept at getting those flipper feet of mine lodged firmly in my mouth. And do it with some regularity.

But do I regret it?

Not exactly.

Everything I've done, all the mistakes - big and small (and there were some BIG ones) - have brought me to where I am.

And I like where I am.

Having said that...

If you ever, ever, and I mean ever catch me with mousse in one hand and hot rollers in the other, slap me.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Paco's New Friends

Once again, I Paco Suave, am a guest blogger here on the Reality Covered in the Chocolate.

I like chocolate.

Is very good on bananas.

Reality, not so much.

Some of my amigos invite me to a lobster fiesta. We no have lobster where I come from.

So I go.

My English no much good so instead of the talk, I share with you the photos.

Of course I no feed lobster.

Paco eat lobster.

Stupido sign.

Make room in the jacuzzi for Paco!

Good thing I bring my Speedo today.

No! No big lobsters in the jacuzzi!

Okay, Paco come out to play with you, big lobster guy.

This is fun!

Now you be King Kong, I be the lady with the dress.

Hee hee, that tickles. Stop big lobster guy!

Don't eat me! Please lobster guy, don't eat me!!

You no want to eat Paco? Ah, that good.

Then what you doing?

No wait, don't kiss me!

Please big lobster guy, don't kiss Paco!!!

Big lobster guy needs a breath mint.

Now Paco know why we no have lobsters in my town.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Big Kids

I've been a bad blogger. I know I have.

And I'm sorry.

I'm not trying to make excuses but...

I have excuses.

Four of them actually.

As life has transitioned and settled in with the Little Kids - as much as life can "settle in" with two pre-schoolers - the Big Kids are moving on and moving out.

I can't believe how fast it's gone by. Wasn't it just yesterday that Moose was doing the chicken dance in kindergarten? And when did Ziggy get longer legs than me???

Three weeks ago Ziggy graduated eighth grade and all of a sudden, she's a freshman.

Two weeks ago four hulking boys, no men, came to my house, loaded a truck with 23 years worth of Moose stuff and just like that, my boy was out in the world.

In the time it took to say "momma, look!!!" we've gone from this

to this

to this

to this

to this

to this

to this

and just a few weeks ago

to this

I blinked.

I blinked and suddenly Ziggy wasn't rushing to the door, screaming "mommy!!!" and wrapping her arms around my legs as if she hadn't just seen me an hour ago.

I blinked and Moose went from an unassuming boy who preferred video games over people to a man with a firm handshake, an easygoing manner and a cocky "I know things" expression.

Where did the time go?

Did we enjoy every moment to the fullest? Did I tell them I loved them enough? Did they learn what they needed to learn to be good, upright, respectful adults? Did we have fun?

Before I know it there will be another graduation for Ziggy. A promotion for Moose. Disappointments. Love. Heartaches. Engagements. Weddings. Grandchildren.

I don't want to miss any of it.

I don't think I'll ever blink again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where's Alice?

Dear Alice,

When Carol and Mike made the life changing decision to blend their families and create the happy chaos that became their world, you were there for them.Thick and thin. Good times and bad.

You were the glue that held that family together and you know it.

Every time Carol was in the kitchen, whether she was preparing a snack for the cheerleaders after practice or a gourmet meal of pork chops and applesauce for her family, there you were.

When Marcia's date for the school dance canceled, you rallied to find a substitute better than the original. When the kids came down with measles, you were their Florence Nightengale. Whatever Mike and Carol needed to make their lives easier, you did it - and Carol didn't even work outside the home!

All day every day, you were there for them. Even your relationship with Sam the Butcher was put on hold for "your family".

And what did you get in return?

Really Alice, take a moment.

Remember this? Yeah, you may have been smiling but who were you kidding?

What kind of people were they that they would let this happen to you? I shudder to even think about it.

So where are they now?

Alice look, the kids are grown and gone. Greg is too busy with his career to return your calls. Cindy doesn't even send you Christmas cards since she's gone all new age or whatever. And don't even get me started on Peter. I know it sounds hurtful but I'm telling you this in love.

They just don't need you anymore.

But here's the thing - I do. We do!

Just imagine all the fun we could have chasing around the rug rats, cheering Ziggy on at competitions, helping Moose decorate his new house and hey, TK loves pork chops and applesauce!

I may not have the groovy clothes and blonde flip that Carol sported back in the day but maybe you'll come to love me anyway. C'mon at least give it a try. What do you have to lose???

Listen - I've never had to share my kitchen, but I will. The menu planning, the meal prep and the boundless joy I experience from cleaning up meal after meal after meal will all be yours.

I will selflessly give it over to your capable hands. My gift to you, Alice.

And even though laundry duty is my personal source of happiness I will gladly cede the immense pleasure I get from sorting, washing, drying and folding so that you can do what you do best. There's a glow about you that can only be achieved when you're carrying a full basket of clean clothes.

I bet you miss that. I can help you get it back.

Mopping, scrubbing, vacuuming - hey, it will be a sacrifice for me to give these things up but for
you? I would give these things up for nobody.

Nobody but
you, Alice.

We both know relinquishing the abundant delight I receive from managing this household will be a challenge for me. But knowing you will be by my side as I leaf through magazines and pull out new recipes for you to prepare will make it all worthwhile.

The next chapter in your life is starting Alice - be bold!

Don't settle for humdrum when you can have it all, right here, right now!

Embrace a new adventure!

Live a life worth living once again!

Your room and uniform are waiting, Alice. You deserve it. Now come get it!

- Sharon

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Black Suits No More

Smart Business Casual.

Business-y, but in a smart, casual sense.

Why not call it Dumb Business Formal?

Business-y, dumbed down.

Not that many years ago getting dressed for work was a no-brainer.

I could close my eyes, reach my hand into my tiny little closet and pull out the first thing I touched.

Two piece suits lined my closet. Depending on my mood I would grab a short, black skirt with a fitted jacket (I was really into that whole Ally McBeal look) or a gangster - not to be confused with gangsta - striped pant suit or for a blah day with a blah client, a square cut, no shape, conservative Talbot-esque suit.

As recently as ten years ago we wore stockings too. Every day, even in the summer.Then came the easy part - Black shoes or oh I don't know, maybe um, black shoes?

Oh how I miss those days.

Somehow dressing down has made getting dressed more challenging than ever before.

Jeans today?

Can I dress them up with a sweater or should I just throw on a company logo-ed polo shirt?

What if I already wore a company polo three days this week?

If I wear black slacks with a blouse will I appear too serious? Intimidating? Too dressed-up in my dressed-down world?

Wait, if I bend over how far down my backside will these jeans travel?

Banana Republic t-shirts are ok but baseball t-shirts are not... or is it the other way around?

Is the difference between business casual, smart casual and casual whether or not you wear a belt?

If I shouldn't wear flip flops to a meeting and my flip flops are made of leather, does that make them sandals and therefore acceptable?

If I leave on the pants I slept in, will anyone figure out they're not cotton pants but actually pajama bottoms? Will anyone actually care?

I wonder if the company name was spelled out in letters across my bum if that would be considered company logo-ed attire?

And since when did muffin tops become fashionable? I've noticed all the ladies at work are sporting one - now there's a trend I'm not going to follow... I hope.

Alright, I've stared at my closet long enough. It's time to bite the bullet, push aside my coffee cup and anxiety and just get dressed for work.

I'll be back in just a second.

Amuse yourself for a few minutes... visualize what you wore on your very first day at your very first "grown up" job. Now there's a picture I'd like to see.

Ok, I'm back.

Whew! That took a little longer than I thought but I feel I've finally pulled together an outfit with just the right combination of smart and casual. Something that speaks to the level of my experience and status without intimidating the staff or clients. An outfit that truly is me.

Let me know what you think.