Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Most Nothing To Wear I've Ever Had

aka, Part One of Things Going on in My Life

I apologize for the pseudo-cliffhanger I posted last. I didn't mean to ruffle feathers or leave you dangling or anything. I am afraid my news hardly warrants THAT much excitement...

Essentially, my job will be changing a bit. (And by "a bit" I mean "a whole lot.") It's official, but won't be officially "announced" until Monday, and so I can't divulge more until then.

Now, I am sure you're thinking, Uh, K, we don't care about your job. I thought you were going to post about something interesting.

And I know. I'm sorry. But I will do my best to make it at least a little interesting and even maybe kinda juicy. Just bear with me until Monday.

In the meantime, I have to tell you about last week's vacation kick-off...

* * * *

Last Wednesday, I had dinner plans with a certain well known blogger. The kind of blogger who is practically a celebrity (if not actually one, I don't know where the distinction is) and the kind of woman who is chic and stylish.

The kind of woman who doesn't, as a rule, shop at Old Navy.

The kind of woman who has a purse nice enough that it warrants its own blog post.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen of She Walks*, I actually got to have dinner with Stephanie Klein.

(Life is crazy.)

Okay. So I know I have spoken of her before through a green-hued mask of jealousy. But even then, I think we all know it's not exactly HER that I'm jealous of, or even that "jealous" is the right word. It's that she is a blogger and a writer and my age and has a gorgeous site and style and life. It's that her writing (and her life) warranted a following, which in turn warranted publicity, publishers, proposals, and eventually the book-plus deal she landed. And it's that I want that, too.

And while it's easy and childish to be envious, the fact that she has found success really has no bearing on whether I do. Or could. Or will. (And it turns out that grousing about someone else's life instead of actually doing something about your own is not maybe so productive. Ahem.)

Anyway, so when I mentioned that I was working on a book proposal, the illustrious SK offered to talk to me about it, for no reason other than just to be nice.

Just to be nice.

I was blown away, you know?

And you damn well better believe I took her up on it, because, well, for two reasons.

First, I am grateful to get any advice from someone who knows. Of course I am. And even though I really am not ready to try and get something published, talking to her made me feel like it is, someday, possible.

But second, I just wanted to meet her! I mean, maybe to some people she's "just a blogger" or maybe she's "just an author" but to me, that's huge. In my blogtastic world, she's a megastar, and she's accomplished so much...

* * * * *

Dinner with Stephanie was pretty cool, except um, also horribly awkward. Because I am lame.

It was kind of like an Internet date, except worse because I have no idea how to be nervous around women. With men, it's different. With men, either there's chemistry or there isn't. Either it's going to work, or it's not.

With women, well. You're not trying to date...you're just meeting to meet, to get to know each other. So it should be comfortable. Add to that the fact that I know sooooo much about her (through her book and blog), and I feel like we should just ease into conversation and be fast friends.

Right?

No.

No, because -- ohthatsright -- just because I know so much about her does not mean she knows anything about me. I mean, of course she knows some, but I can't expect her to blog stalk the way I do, and so I ended up spending the entire meal arguing with myself in my head to SHUTUPSHUTUP so that I'd stop sounding like a star-struck fan and sound more like, I dunno, a normal human being.

In the end, I think I came across as fairly...

...weird.

I mean, I would start asking her a gazillion questions, and then stop because I didn't want to sound like I was interviewing her. So then I would try and just be me and funny, but mostly my version of funny is very, very dry sarcasm that (let's face it) gets lost when the listener is in no way expecting it. So to make up for the questions and the not-so-funny, I would try and be "normal" by talking about something, anything, and go on and on and on and not be able to stop despite watching her eyes glaze over. (Why are you still talking, I'd hear the sane side of my brain ask the crazy chatty side as I droned on about paint drying and grass growing and bellybutton lint.) So then I'd just abruptly stop talking.

Sigh. "Weird" is perhaps being generous.

Now, in addition to my verbal/social interaction lame-i-tude, we add the fact that I realized, the day before we were to meet, that I had nothing to wear. No, no. Not just sort of nothing to wear. The most nothing to wear I've ever had.

Because here was Stephanie, whose taste and clothes and aesthetic we all know, who's used to the glitz and glam of the fanciest, schmantziest bars and restaurants and clothiers and and and.

And of course I am me and whatever. I know my limitations, and make fun of them all the time. I have grown to be fairly comfortable in my own skin. I know that there is more to life than labels. You know that, too. But sometimes? Sometimes blah blah blah. Sometimes I want nothing more than to look elegant and be graceful and attire myself in something uber-chic. I don't always want to feel like a bull in a china shop, or a messy, dowdy slob who can't get it together.

Which is how I couldn't help but feel. Self-conscious, and annoyed at myself for feeling so.

But what are you going to do?

Dinner itself was lovely. We ate at The Grand Cafe (in the bar) and I had a Manhattan and she a fancy club soda. She looked beautiful and striking and just like her photos. And despite what she says, she does look like one of those pregnant women you hate, who are glowy and beautiful and who don't look pregnant except for their adorable belly bump you almost didn't notice.

So I learned a little of her process and life and of other writers she knows and felt in awe.

Maybe someday.

For now, though, I will simply be impressed by Stephanie, and continue to think of her as a certain kind of pioneer.

And I will look around at my life and wardrobe and writing and relationships and all of my me that is still very much in progress, and work on accepting the fact that I have a lot of work to do.

It's worth it.

DSC00621.JPG

Stephanie Klein @ the Grand Cafe with me (behind the camera**)






*and She Trips and Spills and Wears Green Sneakers because she Falls in Heels and also Shops at Old Navy.

**for now. :)

16 comments:

  1. Oh, am I sad that that is the big surprise person. I am sad because, well..I hate her. And I am sad that you look up to her. She is so utterly self-centered and shallow. Don't beleive me - ask the many women at Barnard who could not stand her before she was a blogger. you are better than her any day, even falling at Old Navy ;)

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  2. OOOooh! That WAS exciting, kristy! I'm sure that it wasn't as bad as you said it was. I'm glad to hear she is such a nice person. She seems that way to me.

    I get a little nervous when bloggers are called self centered and shallow, because essentially, aren't we all? Isn't blogging all about the navel gazing?

    Not trying to sar with you, kirin. It's all good. :)

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  3. Be what you do, not what you own.

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  4. I totally know what you mean about being tongue-tied around a woman and not really knowing how to deal, as opposed to being on a date w/ a guy.

    And really, I don't think you were that weird from what you described, just nervous.

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  5. SK? oh, just, yawn. nice that the get together was a positive experience for you, though, but it's time to get over that "i'm a lame, poorly dressed, inferior person" stuff.

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  6. hi anon,

    i totally agree with you, that i need to get over that stuff, except i don't know how.

    i mean, i didn't even really know i still felt that way -- the lame, awkward, feeling-socially-inadequate way -- until suddenly i was in this situation. and didn't do myself proud at all.

    i'm still learning, and still have a long way to go.

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  7. Well, I can't wait to hear about the job thing. And, I had *never* heard about SK until I read this post and I spend a lot of time on the internets, just so you know, she's not approaching celebrity status in all circles.

    Anyways, don't change anything. I love you just the way you are.

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  8. I think we all feel like an insecure idiot sometimes. I know I do! Found you through my sis, Surrender, Dorthy.

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  9. I've been following your blog for a few months now and it's enormously enjoyable so I took a look at the other blog - SK's but it didn't do much for me maybe because I don't do the Sex and the City New York thingy. You shouldn't compare them because they're quite different in style and content and
    I think yours travels, hers doesn't.
    (I find it hard to take anyone seriously who has dozens of photos of themselves on display even if they are very photogenic.)

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  10. Yeah...I've been reading your site for a long time, and have never commented before because, well, YOU intimidate ME! Ha!

    OK, so you don't intimidate me in that, "Oh my God, she'll think I'm a jackass" sense, but more because you are so open, hilarious, talented and REAL. I love your ability to write such raw posts. You rip yourself open for everyone to see, and to me, that's so completely awe-inspiring.

    I've read SK's site before on several occasions, and frankly feel a little sad for her. Not because I pity her (um, HELLO? She's got quite the life), but because it seems she really only allows herself to experience life in a slighty numb, first-layer-only way. I'm not judging her, and I don't think badly of her, I just don't see her as someone I'd want to emanate, or follow.

    But you? You and your damn green sneakers? You're someone I could see myself first meeting with a big hug, drinking copious amounts of beer with, and laughing so hard that said beer would shoot out of my nose-I-hate.

    So chew on that. And then go meet with yet another publisher, because I can’t WAIT to read your book.

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  11. I'm going to quote Mr Darcy from Bridget Jones:

    "...I like you very much. Just as you are."

    I totally understand where you were coming from in your post, but I really do think that you are just awesome as is.

    The book deal is coming, I just know it!

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  12. I agree with Amy!!! I've been reading you for a while now, and never knew of this Klein person until your post above, but since reading it, not only have I read her blog from top to bottom, inside and out, but have purcahsed AND finished her book.

    thoughts:
    BLog -- icky. Self absorbed, shallow, as the first poster said.

    Book -- amazing. real, raw. emotional. had me in tears many many times. I am inclined to write her a letter telling her just how awesome I think her book was.

    YOU -- funny, real, relatable... you're a nice, smart, funny, articulate, successful, pretty girl -- who si not at all intimidating, rather somebody I'd like to get drunk with and go shopping and buy shoes and then eat a lot of pasta. And I love that you know yourself really well, and you know that you're human. I loved these things about SK's book -- but not about her blog. She didn't come across as "real" at all in her blog.

    Anyway.

    But you know what, shame on "anonymous" who posted abotu disliking SK so much. even if she's awful (which I don't think she is), she has made an impact in your life, and nobody can ever take that away from you.

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  13. Wow...tough comment section! :) Just wanted to say that I agree with many of the above posters - you are great just the way you are. As SK is, I'm sure. I really enjoy reading you both - different style, and I can relate to both. Neither one "better" than another, just different - as people should be. And I hope you both stay that way too! :)

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  14. Add my name to the list of people who didn't know of SK before your post. But, I get it. Meeting someone you really admire is a trip, and it's not always the most inviting experience for a million reasons.

    And, for what it's worth, the far-off look in her eye while you were talking? I call it "the famous-person glaze", and you see all the time here in LA. Doesn't matter who's talking to them... they're just not really interested. Or, I should say, they're just more interested in their own thoughts. Not hating on them. Just an observation.

    I will say nothing of the "nothing to wear" dilemma, other than this: the part I where I have to get dressed is easily the worst part of my day.

    You rock. That is all.

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  15. Well. She does have very pretty hair, I will give her that.
    Girly, you are two very different women and two very different writers. I hope you realize how talented you are - we keep coming back, don't we? - and you will enjoy just as much success, if not more.

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  16. Just remember everyone's some sort of celebrity in their own right. Yes, you, too.
    Isn't it fun meeting iif in real life? whether they're way high up on the everyone knows them scale or not?!

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