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Total Immersion

Sometimes being selfish is the most unselfish thing you can do.

I have nothing to complain about, I get out often and do so generally in interesting ways. But life is taking over and before the outing that I am about to write about, I had only been out three times in the past 30 days. That used to be a bad week. Now, while I still thrill about walking out the door dressed, when I do so, I dread the whole process of being able to do so. That means finding a time window that works for me, getting whatever obligations done and then finally getting ready and out the door. Everything is work any more……nothing is ever easy, even the easy things.

September 14, 2023, a grey, rainy Saturday, the end of a two week marathon for me, travelling back and forth to Nashville, Chicago and Pittsburgh. The days in between in the truck and the on-going frustrations of growing a business I adore with zero time and resources to do so. On top of everything else, the door going into our garage, a fire door with spring hinges which was about 30 years old, broke upon our return from Chicago. Just what I needed, something else to do. An “easy” thing that was not at all easy given my less-than functional hands, available tools and the fact that the door required me to basically do all the repairs lefthanded (I am a righty).

I had agreed to work the fall fund raiser for The North Coast Men’s Chorus, so I decided to make an extended Kandi day of things. My outfit was meant to be classic and comfortable, despite the fact that the event had an ’80’s theme (I never do shticky things). I was rewarded with my effort and decisions this day.

Out the door and stop number one, the bank. Stop number two, Hobby Lobby. I acquired a mint condition “Get The Knack” album in Chicago for $5, so it had to be hung! This album has meaning to me because it contains the fabulous song, one that never gets old, My Sharona. This song was the song of the year in 1979, bridging the end of my high school career and the beginning of my college one. Both schools, to this day, have had a dramatic positive impact on my life. I pick up the album frame and two cute frames for two 33’s I have (Me and Mrs. Jones and The Everly Brothers, Bye Bye Love). The highlight: I waited patiently in line to check out and when the woman in front of me finished, the cheerful young lady said “Can I help you Ma’am!” That never gets old. I smiled broadly and thanked her for her kindness.

Next stop, Walgreens for a few things including picking up some Always pads. I frequently wear them for two reasons. One, it really helps with a comfortable tuck. Also, being a bit pudgy, I was wearing panties, Spanx and hose, so the pads had a functional purpose as it was layer upon layer to be able to relieve myself. I also carry something in case someone needs one and before you say, yeah right, I recently provided a tampon to a woman who could not have been more grateful to me. Okay, TMI…….

Then ULTA time. You certainly can notice my rough chin and despite great attention to trying to smooth it out, I am unsuccessful time after time. So I wanted some expertise. The specialist, ironically wearing a white lab coat, set me up with a new foundation and a few other items. She was very sweet. Again, while waiting in line to check out, I was behind a woman and her young daughter. I smiled back and forth with the little girl when her mother said “I was admiring how great your makeup looks!”. Turn on the water works. I thanked her and told her not to make me cry… The kindness of strangers.

Then over to a mall across town but first I saw a David’s Bridal, not out of business. So I stopped and tried on a GORGEOUS full length red halter top gown, with a slit down the right leg. OMG!!! Perfection. But even on clearance it was $100 and I could not think of where to wear it given that I already have a backlog of gowns picked up, ironically, at a few David’s liquidation sales. I may circle back for it, but that is quite an investment of time. If I do that and it is still there, then it was meant to be.

I then went to the mall and enjoyed just poking around, happy to be out, happy to look nice, happy to relax. I grabbed a bite to eat and then had to report to work for the evening.

The event was a murder mystery. I almost never pay any attention to what the chorus is doing (I’ve been helping them for probably eight years, at almost every event). I focus on the people and I received nothing but love all evening, understanding it was a favorable crowd (LGBT and allies).

The highlight of my evening was an amazing conversation with a woman I love. Early on in my Kandi life, I met one of the chorus’ major benefactors (her son is gay and a part of the chorus). She has been a part of my life ever since. She is 87 and Jewish. She told me how much she has enjoyed watching me evolve. We talked about a lot of personal things, including recent events in Israel. I wouldn’t have traded that conversation for anything. It was just lovely, I wish I could properly articulate how meaningful it was.

A great day! I cancelled some plans the following day to finish that damn door, get a real good workout in and watch the Browns play the first game in the last 30 years (literally) that left me proud to be a Browns fan. And I watched the game laying on the couch, something I never, ever do and my batteries have been recharged and I am ready to go!


13 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    I love your complete outfit, extremely stylish. And the shoes are perfect. I’d give anything for a pair like that.
    Love you a ton.

  2. Kandi ,
    Practical note first , don’t domestic fire doors drive you crazy ? I understand the need but eventually I had to remove the autoclosure as I got tired of needing three hands , the times I’ve dropped precious items through the door closing on me . I never keep it open anyway epecially in the winter because of the cold draft from the garage .

    It must be so rewarding when you have a Kandi day , those lovely conversations with old friends and new aquaintancies , your comments again support my thoughts about people being so supportive , the majority really do want you to succeed .

    1. It’s funny, when the hinge broke, the door worked but we had to close it manually. After 25+ years of using my hip to prop the door open or simply let the door shut on it’s own, I cannot tell you the number of times until I got it fixed that I almost fell over hip checking a door that didn’t push back or I left the door wide open. I’m a creature of habit, I guess!

  3. Good Morning Kandi,
    This is a delightful blog post! It is an interesting and uplifting account of a busy, full day. Your outfit? OMG, it is perfect in every regard. The color palette, the textures, the shapes and proportions are just excellent. Those eyeglasses are beautiful too. Your total look is just gorgeous, really….REALLY!
    You often write about the trials and tribulations that run with you through life. Your accounts (from the aches, pains, and injuries from sports/physical workouts, to the outrages and irritations that happen in the work world) resonate with me, and I am sure with many, many others as well.
    Your life and the way you share it with us, your readers/friends, is important, meaningful, and does create and support a strong sense of community.
    Have a good Monday!
    Best to you,
    Marissa in Ohio

    1. Love you Marissa, when you comment, it’s like a gift to me because I know you see or notice something I am hoping shines through. You all are my therapy couch or the place I go to blow off steam because I often don’t want my wife to have to listen to it after she has just finished a real work day, dealing with the general public.

  4. Such a lovely outfit, that color looks so good on you
    I love that color myself
    Your encounters with the general public are always so inspiring I love hearing about them

  5. I stopped in a David’s bridal store last month and tried on a handful of evening gowns. The dressing room area had about a dozen rooms in an enclosed oval area with every door and wall space covered in mirrors. I put on this one floor-length black strapless gown, satin on top and satin/chiffon on the bottom, walked out and was surrounded by multiple images of myself. Let me tell you I was very far gone in “pink fog” heaven, I couldn’t stop walking around and posing. At one point, the SA said “You look so happy” and I replied that I really wished I could find the words to explain how I felt but mere words would be so inadequate. Unfortunately the gown was somewhat uncomfortable so I didn’t buy it.

    1. Fi, your story is exactly my experience the prior weekend. The dress haunted me so much that…well, keep coming back and you will find out if I landed that dress!

    2. Fiona,
      Sometimes we have days when we think we’re in heaven .

      I knew two lovely ladies who ran a bridal shop , finally at the age of 90 the older one decided to retire . I’d popped in to see if they could alter a dress , sadly they couldn’t but in compensation they let me try on anything in the shop . I really wanted an evening ballgown style , it was like being in heaven when I tried one after another . As I was about to leave the younger partner popped a dress in a bag along with several items like hats and shoes , when I said I couldn’t possibly pay for all that stuff she said that’s OK accept them as a closing down gift for being such a good friend .

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