My trip to the RWA National Conference in Anaheim is less than three weeks away, and I don’t think I’m ready. It seemed like such a long time off when I signed up at the end of March, and here it is staring me in the face.
Last year when I was getting ready to go the the conference in New York City, I shopped every Saturday for weeks, pretty much starting from scratch. Business Casual around the Scorekeeper means a shirt, jeans, and sneakers, and I wanted to be a little more upscale than that. After all, we go to writers’ conferences to meet people, and I didn’t want to look like an aging ragamuffin. So I bought some good slacks, a pair of comfortable heels, and a couple of shirts.
The only luggage I had was old, heavy, and up in the attic. I left it there, and bought an inexpensive three-piece set of light-weight canvas, two rollers and a tote. I used the larger roller for the trip, and this year I may use both rollers. They haven’t been out of the closet for anything else.
I had absolutely nothing formal to wear to the Awards Ceremony, and as a Golden Heart finalist I would be up at the front of the room. Where people might see me. I finally found a nice black and gold top and a pair of dressy pants. Many of the women at the awards ceremony will be wearing evening gowns, but I’ve never owned a floor-length skirt in my life, and I’m not going to start now.
I’ve made a stab or three at shopping over the last few weekends, but my heart hasn’t really been in it. I made passes through Dillard’s and Macy’s, thinking I might find a different, more colorful top to wear with the black pants, but nothing caught my eye, and I decided to stick with the black and gold. I’ll be up at a front table again, but no one will remember, or care, that I’m wearing the same outfit. I won’t be the only one.
This morning I headed over to the mall with the feeling that if I was going to shop for the trip at all, I’d better get moving. I was surprisingly successful. I found a black leather purse, bigger than the very small one I bought last year, smaller than what I use everyday. This one will hold my wallet and my Kindle, my new phone, plane tickets and notes. It might even inspire me to pare down the amount of junk I carry around everyday and never use.
Is it just me, or is it really hard to find a plain white shirt these days? I see people wearing them. Where do they buy them? At a uniform store? I was about ready to give up when I stumbled across the only rack of solid color (well, mostly) shirts in the store. I found two white ones (one plain, one with pleats down the front) and one with grey and white stripes. Grabbed them all. A pass through the jewelry department even netted me a new pair of earrings to go with my black and gold top, long dangly ones, perfect for dress up.
So I’m covered. I’ve done my shopping. I have enough to wear and suitcases to put it in. Now I have to go through the seventeen-page list (I am not kidding) of workshops that I downloaded from the RWA site this afternoon and figure out which ones I really want to cram into those three short days in California, in between the reception and rehearsal and appointments, dinners with friends, and hanging out in the bar stalking agents.
I can’t believe I’m leaving in seventeen days. I’m not ready.