Playing Dress-Up


That’s what the gurus say.

See yourself as you wish to be,not as you are, and you can achieve…

Sounds good. Probably works for some people. But, I’ve been picturing myself as a skinny girl for years… and I am not that person.  That doesn’t mean the entire concept is bogus – I just might need more than visualize-ing.

You see, for a long time, I daydreamed about being a writer. I used to ‘write’ essays in my head as I walked the dog and compose character dialogue while I pulled weeds. Most of my mental musings would be almost instantly forgotten, but others would be turned over, re-examined, expounded on for a week or two before giving up on them. Nothing was ever written down, it was just a brain game.Then came blogs. “Pretty cool,” I thought as I read some of them. My son wrote one for his senior project. “I could do that,” I thought. Almost a year went by before I asked him to help me set up my own – follow-through is not my forté. I figure if I can keep this up for a year, I might be ready to try something longer.

Which brings me to my latest experiment (or, if you prefer, hare-brained idea). I used to be a halfway-decent actress, so why not act like  the writer I imagine myself to be? Get out of my sweats and into some real clothes, set some goals, bang out an imaginary column while an imaginary editor breathes down my neck and rants about deadlines… maybe that last bit is overkill, but you get the picture. I’d been thinking about this for a while, and finally decided that ” If you can’t be crazy in your own home, where can you?” and put the scheme in motion a couple of weeks ago.

 I call it, Let’s Pretend.

Sitting at my dressing table that first morning, I considered going full Felicia Gallant. Felicia, for those who don’t know, was a character on the long-running soap opera Another World, played by the remarkable Linda Dano. She was a romance novelist who never sat down to write without a feather boa ’round her neck and a glass of champagne in her hand. Not wanting to frighten my family too much, I didn’t go quite that far. The sight of me in lipstick on a weekday was, I presume, enough of a shock.

I dressed in slacks and a nice sweater, put on makeup, and did my hair. Put on the new low-heeled suede boots I had bought the week before – they do need to be broken in before we go on vacation. (some member of my family is currently laughing themselves silly over the idea of me wearing shoes in the house without being forced. Hey, people can change!) Grabbed a soda from the fridge and went to “work”.

When John came back from his run that morning, I was already at the computer. He looked at me quizzically.

 “Are you going somewhere today?” He asked.

“Umm, no,” I responded cautiously. I chose my words carefully, hoping I didn’t sound insane. “It’s my new plan. I’m pretending I’m a writer. You know, get dressed, go to work… On days when I’m not pretending I’m a farmer…” I gave him a bright, no-crazy-people-here smile. At least I think I did.

“Oh,” he said. ” Good. You look nice.” And off he went to the Bow-Flex.

Anyway, he didn’t ship me off to the booby-hatch, and I have met my thousand-word per week goal for the last few weeks, so maybe it works just a little. Time will tell. Bonus – I’m not embarrassed to go to the door when UPS comes.

But if a year from now I decide to write a romance, I’m getting a boa!


One thought on “Playing Dress-Up

  1. That giggling about you in shoes in the house…. well, it sort of did come from here. Strangely enough, I went out early and kept my shoes on all day. My feet feel better when I have worn ugly supporting old lady shoes. Oh, well….. Good lucy with the writing a la Felicia.

    I’ll be on the road on Wednesday headed East and Saturday coming home…. at least that is the plan. Weather looks good now, but time will tell.


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