There are moments when I privately think I am wasted as an administrative assistant.
These moments typically occur while I am curled up in bed after sunset, hugging a container of gelato and listening to my dog snore while I watch an episode of Criminal Minds. Clearly I am destined for finer things.
The rest of the time, said moments strike me around noon on Wednesdays as the men for our local sex offenders group are filing past my desk on their way to our board room, which they rent every week for their counsel session.
I am perfectly content at my job, don’t get me wrong. (Though I have doubts on Wednesdays.) While the pay could do with an improvement, I am appreciated, doing something with immediate evidence for making the world a better place, and blessed with tasks I understand and can perform well. Also, my need for Words of Affirmation is regularly satisfied by a diligent manager.
All the same, my mind often drifts through daydream images of me behind a table, signing copies of my latest best-seller for a line of adoring readers; or of me elbow deep in garden dirt and tomato plants while horses graze in the background and a perfectly ordinary dog lazes in the shade. Occasionally I picture myself backpacking through Asia, until I remember that I am weak and highly susceptible to the elements, namely fresh air and bugs.
So what do I do to chase away the doldrums drummed up by a quiet afternoon in the office or a lonely evening in bed?
I plan out my work outfits for the week, of course. Which, thanks to the warming weather and far too many containers of gelato over the last year, are getting smarter because of a necessary wardrobe update.
When I first started this job, I invested in a lightly-worn gray pinstriped blazer from Salvation Army to go with my new pencil skirts. I quickly learned that this particular color and style did not match much else in my closet, so it got retired. After some searching, I came across a cute black blazer with polka-dot material inside the sleeves. It also was the perfect cut – at the time.
Please refer to my last mention of gelato.
During the winter, my lack of a blazer wasn’t an issue because I had some button-downs and cardigans, and a couple of sweaters for the really bleak days. Back then, I was more concerned with how quickly I was going through leggings and tights*.
But now summer is here and a trip to Florida revealed how little I had in my closet that was season-appropriate. In an effort to spice things up and make my key pieces more versatile, I went back on the hunt for a blazer.
Ok. I pretended to be hunting for a while, during which time I acquired a couple of shirts and a beautiful new dress or two. My marvelous attempts at a capsule wardrobe have crumbled over the past year. I care more about people exclaiming “You look so professional!” than I do about how many hangers are weighing down the rod in my closet.
But then I stopped by the trusty thrift store across the road from my work and, in addition to that second dress, I found not one, but two blazers.
This same thrift store is also where I finally found a pair of teal high heels a while back, which I have wanted to own since I passed them up in a Maurice’s when I was still a team member at the smoothie shop. (For those of you in the audience who can’t math too well, that’s half-a-decade ago.
Hold on a second….)
So back to the blazers. One is a light denim-type material with the Target brand on the tag (yes!) and actual pockets (though I’ll have to cut the thread that holds them closed). The second, which cries “I am an adult and wish to be treated as such”, has 3/4 sleeves and is navy blue.
The next day being Wednesday and myself wanting to continue a streak of great outfits thanks to that new dress, I immediately added the navy blazer to my rotation.
And let me tell you, I was on point on Wednesday. It was the perfect pick-me-up. I even went serious with my new purple lipstick, courtesy of my mother. (Lipsense, kids. I’ve never liked lipstick simply because it gets all over my tea mugs, but the Senegence folks are darling geniuses.) If anyone ever doubted my legitimacy as the best administrative assistant ever, that showed them otherwise.
I wasn’t in the mood for heels then, but next time, I’ll be too cool for words.
Heels are my last tool for feeling like there is order in my life. I own more pairs of heels now than practical 12-year-old me ever thought I would and, though I don’t often bring them out because – let’s be honest – they can hurt, whenever I do it’s an instant mood lift. (Heh. See what I did there?) I’m like a different person (or a slightly-more mature version of myself) when I wear heels.
One time when Jo and I met at a store to get paint for her room, she remarked that she knew I was coming because of my heels clacking across the pavement as I marched toward her car. I’ll admit it: I walk differently when I’m in heels. Not only do they set off my genetically-blessed calves to the best advantage (you have to appreciate the good things, kids), but people take you seriously when you wear heels.
It’s a weird law of the universe, but it’s still a law. Especially when those heels are paired with a pencil skirt. Throw a blazer into the mix (especially navy blue) and it’s like Wonder Woman charging across No-Man’s Land: those who aren’t frozen in some mix of terror and awe are getting out of the way post-haste.
I still have visions of me signing those books, but lately they include me in a sharp blazer with my ankles crossed like a princess, for all the world like a cool, collected author who doesn’t ever slam down her container of gelato in frustration and declare that outlines are stupid and these rebellious characters aren’t worth the trouble.
In the meantime, I’ll wear my administrative title – and my office-appropriate blazer – with pride.
Movie images/gifs featured: The Mummy, Roman Holiday, Wonder Woman, and The Princess Diaries. All are excellent. I wasn’t able to fit in a Penelope reference, but I did try.
*If you really want to know the issue (and honestly, you probably don’t), it’s my toenails. Sure, my nails grow quick and strong like a child on a diet of spinach, but this also applies to the layers of keratin on each digit of my feet. This translates into me regularly ripping holes in my socks and leggings and nylons and tights, because my nail clippers always go dull too quickly and I am lazy. You’re welcome.