After a humid and brisk five mile run, this is how we walked out the door, July 13, 2023.
Time to see my stylist!
After Dana finished with me, I went to two libraries, CVS, the bank and a Nike outlet store, yes looking like this. Never thought for a moment about it. Yes, I am well aware I looked like crap before and after.
I returned home, took care of a number of things and then got ready for the evening, the first live annual meeting of The Cleveland Foundation, a huge philanthropic organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Cleveland. A fabulous organization in an awesome space. The meeting was held at Severance Hall, the home of the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Here you can see the grandeur of the space and a wonderful performance of students from the local community college along with many from a local youth group.
It was just so great to sit among hundreds of people, many of the other women very well dressed and me….one of them. After the meeting, there was food and drinks to enjoy while networking and socializing. As I told my wife that morning, I knew I would be noticed and I was.
There were a handful of memorable encounters. Many (actual quite a few) identify me with The Cleveland Museum of Art (across the street from Severance Hall and you can see me in front of it in the the photo that opens this post). There were probably five different people that came up to me to say hello because they know me from the museum. One gentleman, who has not been to our monthly Mix event since before the pandemic, remembered me. That’s over three years! And he remembered me and came up to say hello and we chatted at length. Wow! I believe I have found a way to not be labeled by how I am presenting myself, I allow my personality to show through and as a result, people just remember me for their encounter with me.
I will say, quite a few of the people that said hello I knew we clearly had some type of history, but I had no idea who they were. Yes, I knew I knew them, but where and how and most importantly what their name is, all impossible for me to recall. I’ve said this before in my defense, beside my advanced age, at any one event, I could engage with a few thousand people. Almost every single one of them will remember me (honestly, how often do you see a sister out in the wild and we of course, have a radar for that kind of thing?) and me……..overwhelmed by all the faces, all the personalities, all the conversations.
A young lady remembered me from the recent End of Pride Soiree. We did not interact at that event, but she came over to chat. And finally, there is the absolute living proof that (1) I do not “pass” and (2) that I am admired for how I present and hold myself in public. A woman whose daughter is a they/them (you can probably hear my audible scream at this inane term) came over and we immediately talked like old friends and had a great conversation. I was in awe of how effortlessly she used those (ridiculous) pronouns. She wanted to pick my brain a bit. The whole afternoon/evening was so affirming for me. I know I am doing the right things in how I present myself and doing so in highly visible (but smart and safe) situations. I am proud to be who I am.
Oh yeah, how about this dress! Outfit perfection! I saw it hanging in the clearance section at Burlington. It’s a Calvin Klein. It was outside of my price range (anything in double figures is outside my price range), but I immediately made the connection with the type of event I would wear it to, which necklace and shoes. The whole ensemble worked so well. To paraphrase a catch phrase of quite some time ago, I love it when an outfit comes together!
Did we enjoy the last eight days without me? You won’t hurt my feelings! My ability to get out is dwindling. Work and life have sucked up a lot of my ability to get out frequently. Priorities for me remain providing for our home, family and athletic endeavors. That hasn’t changed and is the compass that guides my life. Three days a week has turned into once+ a week. I remain a very lucky lady!