Monday, May 20, 2013

Semi Underdressed

Last week was a whirlwind of evening affairs.  Chuck's company was hosting a conference in town and there were 3 evening functions that he wanted me to attend with him.  I said, "Pick one."  He said, "I need you at all three."  I immediately get tired thinking about being out past my bedtime 3 nights in a row.  Not to mention that I already know I will overeat because there will be 4 courses served along with trays of wine coming around the corner every time I look up.  If you are thinking that I could just not eat it all, you clearly don't know me well. I have never, ever been one to turn down dessert.  First World Problem...I know. 

The first evening affair was a wonderful dinner hosted by Chuck's company for the Chairman of the Board at The Houstonian Hotel. Business Casual.  I'm not really sure what that means but I was dressed least as well as the others. 

The second evening was a Texas themed Gala hosted by the Conference Board of Directors. "Western Wear" if you have it.  I had it. Well, I have boots.

The third evening was a Reception and Awards Dinner...Chuck would be wearing a suit because he was being awarded an award.  I would wear a maxi dress with a sweater with beading on it. Beads mean dressy, right?   And heels!  I.  Never.  Wear.  Heels.  So that makes it dressy in my book.

I take off early from work each day to race home, get freshened up and change clothes...then make the 50 minute trek to downtown Houston.  By Thursday, I am feeling worn out.  I wash my face, put on new make-up, get dressed and head out.  I am 5 minutes down the road when the dinging starts...the dinging that is accompanied by LOW FUEL flashing on the dashboard. Grrrrr.  I'll never make it downtown and back home again without stopping for gas now.

I pull in to the next station I see....rushing, rushing, rushing.  I put in $40...which is just about a half of a tank these days... take the nozzle out of the tank...but don't let go of the handle.  Gas spews everywhere.  I jump back and avoid getting it all over me....except for my arm and beaded sweater.  I run over to the window to tell the attendant that I spilled gasoline...wait, wait, wait while she finishes whatever she was doing behind the window...she rolls her eyes and comes over to look.  I apologize and tell her I am so sorry...I've never done that before...guess I'm in a hurry and wasn't thinking.....blah, blah...she says "okay well I'll clean it up...thanks for telling me... most people wouldn't."

I jump back in the car reeking of gasoline, so I have to turn around and head back home.  I run in, pull off the sweater, wash my arm with soap and water, dripping water down my dress...oh, well...and put on a denim jacket.   I breathe deep, telling myself to slow down and relax... and head back out for the long drive downtown.

Chuck meets me at the door of the hotel and we head up the elevator and go in to the Reception area.

And all I see are women in black sequined dresses.  You know...COCKTAIL DRESSES!

I look at Chuck and say, "I'm clearly underdressed!" 

He says, "Well, maybe take this blue jean thing off."  (Meaning my denim jacket) So even he knows I'm underdressed. 

I say, "NO!  I have bra straps showing under here. Not to mention upper arms."  Has a man ever had to worry about their upper arms?

So I ask him what exactly was the "dress" for this evening.  He says "Well, I'm wearing a suit.  I told you I was wearing a suit." Like the word suit has ever been put on an invitation describing the "attire" for the event.

A few minutes later, our daughter arrives and she is wearing something very dressy.  I ask her, "what was the dress for tonight?" She says, "It said SEMI FORMAL on the invitation."

Yeah.  The invitation I never saw. 

Evening wear for me is Old Navy pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. Semi Formal would be throwing on a robe.  I'm back to my real life this week and it feels so good. 

P.S.  Congratulations Chuck!  I love you and am so proud of you.  Next time you see the words "Semi Formal" on an invitation for a function you want me to attend with sure and say those words out loud to my face. 


  1.'s often hard for the wife to actually SEE the invitation to a business function. I totally understand. But you are so pretty.... I'm sure everyone couldn't get past THAT FACT! And...the shot of downtown Houston.... not it's best side.

  2. Isn't it crazy how messed up we get over these things but in the bigger scheme of things we can look back and laugh! So glad you share your mistakes with us and let us know we are just human after all. I just love you, Hahahah

  3. Worrying about going out? Ha!!!!! Great dinners? Not cooking? Taking off sweats/house dress? Are you crazy??? You look great in your western outfit. I would be the exact same way; wouldn't have a clue what to wear to a dressy thing. And people who use the term "business casual" should be put in timeout. A definite shopping trip with someone who knows what that means. But not knowing? Ugh, I feel your pain. Congrats to Chuck and to you for getting through it all.