Thursday, May 29, 2014

Booty In the Black Dress

Life is hilarious at times.

I have a penchant for Little Black Dresses, or LBDs, as they're called by my female brethren. I like them because they are appropriate for dates, weddings, funerals, job interviews, galas, auctions, awards dinners, horse racing (well, the viewing part), conferences, family functions, church, traveling, and pretty much any other occasion you can consider.

My closet has maybe 12 LBDs - some for summer months, some for winter. Some are dressier than others. These dresses are my go-to body armor when I need to look my best.

This morning I chose a cute sleeveless version. It has a peplum that conceals my shrinking tummy and a grosgrain bow at the side of my waist. I love this dress. It fits like a glove and looks like dynamite.

I can channel my mojo with this dress.

Accessorized with one of my favorite Murphee scarves, I feel like I am polished and ready to deal with the highs and lows of Cincinnati humidity and blasting air conditioning.

My recent running jag and related FitBit obsession has encouraged me to add steps to my day whenever possible, and that means stepping away from the desk at least once an hour to fill my Tervis tumbler with water, run to the restroom or check my mailbox in the office.

All of the little trips add up to about 1,500 steps a day, or about 10 percent of my daily goal.

While in the restroom I checked my side profile, as most ladies do, and noticed something most unfortunate.

I had a hole in my dress - in the seam right around my bum.

The fabric puckered out a bit on my behind, and I knew that beyond standing stick straight, there was a good chance this niggling hole could gape open into a great game of peek-a-boo.

Does this happen in real life? Yes, why, yes it does.

I thought about running home, walking to Walgreen's - a number of solutions to mend this situation. None of them were speedy and all of them were an opportunity to give someone a sneak peek of my posterior.

A colleague of mine and I scrounged around the receptionist desk and found one needle and a tiny spool of white thread. I grabbed a Sharpie and headed back to the restroom-cum-seamstress shop and stitched up the hole, drawing marker on any noticeable white stitches.

LBD back in fighting form and ready for whatever the day serves up.

Tomorrow evening marks the start of Summerfair and the always enjoyable ladies-only Little Black Dress event. Tickets are going quickly; click here if you'd like to join Molly Wellman, Ginger Watson and me for a night of fun and fashion with some of your favorite ladies. See you there!

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Kate's Random Musings by Katy Crossen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Long Run

Ever get the sense the universe is talking to you?

No gentle nudges, no hushed whispers. I'm talking shoulder-grabbing, ardent and arresting conversation.

The universe gave me a talking to these past few weeks, and it prompted a long pause.

The first agenda item involved my lifestyle - the one without a family and kids. A casual comment by a stranger reared up some hard feelings I'd buried in the wet and mealy sand covering my forgotten hopes and dreams.

The fact I do not have children is a census data point I wrestle with at every GYN appointment and during each new introduction. Yes, I am a 37-year-old singleton. No, I am not a member of one of Peter Pan's Lost Boys. Yes, I am a fully grown grown-up.

I make money and pay bills and manage a bunch of responsibilities like everyone else.

For some reason, this is a popular inquiry when women meet other women; I can't be certain but I don't think it's something men lead with. I suppose women ask in attempt to find an olive branch of commonality or commiseration, but sometimes my reply makes me feel less than adequate and, dare I say, less of a woman.

While so many women are quick to ask about my procreation history, I am painfully apprehensive about asking another woman about her profession. I worry about appearing dismissive or superior because I have a career; I know plenty of stay-at-home moms (my amazing sister Brigid is one of them) and am impressed by their ability to handle what may be the hardest job on the planet.

Moms werk.

And so, when in the company of a bunch of women I've never met, I tend to rely on the vaguely generic and hopefully benign, "How do you spend your time?"

Sometimes working women and SAHMs don't even mention their daily vocations, and instead lead with tales of wild athletic adventures, fascinating investment opportunities and Martha Stewart-worthy crafting talents.

And that kicks ass.

Because at the pith, we are a hell of a lot more than how we spend our days. I am not a marketer/PR pro. I am a world traveler. I am a fervent urbanist. I am a champion of the less fortunate.

That's how I hope people describe me long after I've turned back to dust.

Which brings me to the second agenda item for my deep conversation with the universe.

Our time on this rock is a long game.

I have the propensity for anxiousness and eagerness. I worry now about what will happen later, and sometimes I want now what I deserve later.

The universe offered up a few occasions recently that reminded me that life is a game with a long lead time; easy pay-offs prove to be fool's gold or uninformed disappointments.

Sometimes I have a running monologue in my brain that is peppered with a bunch of trite expressions like this one and this one and this one. They're strings of words I use to remind me to pace myself.

At 37, I'm in the middle of the second quarter of life. I can see half time, but there's plenty more to play before I get there.

My life might take the same path as my sisters, friends and neighbors. Or maybe not. But I am certain this journey is unique and will give rise to amazing adventure, unique opportunities and plenty of rich memories.

No better, no worse. Just different.

I'm ready.

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Kate's Random Musings by Katy Crossen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Enemy of Good

I like getting my own way.

Most people, save for the martyrs, the masochists and the most sacrificial among us, probably feel the same way.

When things go as we expect or plan, we are prepared for the consequences. The road map takes us on a journey and to a destination we've chosen.

But in many ways, life rarely goes as planned. Instead, we're called upon to roll with calamity and divergent actions. We're forced to deal with someone else's preference.

And sometimes that sucks.

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing a German diplomat talk a bit about the narcissism of minor differences. The premise, coined by Sigmund Freud, says that people sometimes let the smallest of nuances act as a barrier between developing partnerships.

Germany's Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Fischer discussed the concept and how it sometimes acts as a barrier between Europe and the United States; it's a concept that sometimes acts as a barrier right here in Cincinnati, too.

With the narcissism of minor differences, it's possible to be blinded by our own plans, our own ideas, our own priorities. That blindness conceals the bigger picture and hides from us the many other angles and facets at play.

We fail to realize that another solution is a worthy one, even if it isn't ours.

I, for one, have been guilty of letting subjective preferences lead my drive.

On a few of those occasions, I've had to step back and let my passion subside so that I could look at an issue objectively and rationally. Those moments usually led to the admission that compromise was the best way to move forward.

I won't say it didn't sting, but it did feel good to commit to a decision the entire team could celebrate.

In politics, in our communities, in our work and in family - ego has a way of thwarting a connection. A strong person champions an idea or effort, but reason stands an even stronger person has the capacity to relinquish a bit of pride and lead a compromise that serves the cause over the person.

"Perfect is the enemy of good," is one of my favorite expressions for endeavors involving team work.

So often a group can get sidetracked by minutia when they should be focused on the end result. In many cases, the finished product is all that really counts, not the process that led the team there.

Fischer's talk reminded me that my own personal agenda can sometimes serve as a road block, when instead I should commit to looking at the bigger picture and the commonality I can find with others.


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Kate's Random Musings by Katy Crossen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.