Brenda’s Blog – March 4, 2014
“Just don’t take your jacket off – you’ll be fine!”
As college student newly-weds, our schedules were chaotic. Good friends invited us to their apartment for dinner, and this was one of our first married couple outings. Only problem – I was behind on my ironing. In those days, shirts were button-down oxford cloth which definitely weren’t “wash and wear.” They required starch, much elbow grease… and time. On that Saturday night, I was fresh out of all three!
“I will iron the collar and the front of the shirt – they will never know and you will look fine.” Famous last words. Out he went in his faux-ironed shirt under a wool sport coat, even though it was a balmy fall evening.
They kept urging him to “make yourself comfortable and take off your jacket .” To his credit, my husband braved the hot, un-air-conditioned apartment with a smile, while wiping the perspiration from his forehead, and ignoring their offers.
I don’t remember if we ever told Ted and Kathy what lay behind the crisp shirt front.
For years I was in a sales world which espoused the “fake it ‘til you make it” philosophy. “Don’t ever let them see you sweat” was taken as reasonable truth. How foolish! We need to be willing to let others see that beneath the wool sport coat are lots of wrinkles. We need to acknowledge we don’t have all the answers.
A female associate of mine years ago was known for her painstaking efforts on her hair – at least the front of it. One day the comment was made, “Doesn’t she know she has to eventually leave the room? Why doesn’t she brush the back?” All of us have to leave the room, don’t we? When we are tempted to put up a front, let’s remember that.
Life is messy; life is wrinkled. Authenticity has a high price tag… but it pays high dividends, as well.