Saturday, August 15, 2015

Being a Girl

Angel Smits

            In my day job, I work in a large manufacturing plant.  I took the job nine years ago when I was pondering a career change from social work and hadn’t yet sold my first book.  Somehow, I ended up staying.  It’s not a bad place to work and I’m up in the front office, not working the machines making parts.  I mainly shuffle paper. 
            It’s a male-driven environment, with probably eighty percent of the population men.  Between uniforms, and the safety requirements that such environments inspire the government to make, there’ve been some things that over time, I’ve given up. 
            I didn’t realize until recently, though, just how much that giving up had become a sacrifice.
            Nearly every year, I attend the Harlequin party at the Romance Writer’s Conference.  I’ve gone four times now, and every time it’s more magical.  This year it was held at the famous New York Waldorf Astoria.  This time it called for something special. 
            While it’s a formal ball, this is the first time I’ve worn a dress.  It’s the first time the idea even crossed my mind.  I’ve worn some very fancy, very beautiful pant suits, flowing, bright colors, comfortable expensive slacks.  Flats that are quickly replaced by Harlequin embossed socks. 
            This year, I saw the dress a few weeks before I was to head to New York and fell in love.  I knew I only had the one place to wear it, and hesitated at the expense.  I used to wear dresses to work all the time, I had several in my closet at home that I hardly ever wore.  Frivolous, right?  But—
            I bought it.  And wore it to the Harlequin Party.  I loved it.

(Here I am on the right, with two of my favorite Super authors, Pamela Hearon
 and Cathryn Parry at this year's Harlequin Party)  

            When I got back home from New York, and returned to work, I was surprised to find that some policies had changed.  It had been something they’d been discussing—and now it was a done deal.  No more uniforms.   Regular clothes in the front office…and get this…steel-toe safety shoes only on the manufacturing floor.  Not while sitting at my desk. 
            It’s hard to explain the thrill. 
            Party dresses?  Normal people clothes on a daily basis?  Dare I hope…cute shoes with…gasp…heels? 
            Okay, we’re not there yet but I’m hopeful it’s coming. 
            Standing in front of my closet, that was suddenly half empty since I didn’t have the uniforms filling it, looking at my few clothes, I realized something. 
            I like being a girl.  I always have. 
            I wear my hair long.  Guess I’m something of a rebel as I’ve gotten older.  Recently, I had my first pedicure.  And manicures have become time to sit, relax and do nothing.  Not like you can do much of anything with your fingers buried in a bowl of water.  To regroup.  To breathe after some incredibly hectic days. 
            Girl things. 
            Like romance novels? 
            Yes, like romance novels.  Where women can be and do whatever they want.  (Or what we writers want to give them.)  Where they can be pretty, and appreciate a good looking man.  Or lounge around in yoga pants and eat chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream (something I also like to do.)  No man necessary—but a nice option.

            Yep, I like being a girl.               


Renaissance Women said...

I could hear your voice as I read this. It is fun being a girl, and glad you get the chance to bring out the party dress. It looked great. Doris

Nan Dixon said...

What a fun post! It is fun being a girl. And I'm so glad you now have that freedom to dress how you want to dress! So fun meeting you in NYC!

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