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Stuff N Nonsense - New York Or Bust
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It hardly seems possible that time has flown so quickly but I’m staring at the dates circled on my calendar for New York thinking, there’s no way it’s already down to the nitty gritty and I don’t have a dress yet.
Yes, that’s right.
It’s two weeks from the biggest event of my professional career and I’m at a loss of what to wear.
But here’s the funny thing — I’ve decided to stop stressing about it. The solution is obvious: I simply won’t wear a dress. Maybe when everyone else is wearing sequined floor-length gowns, I’ll be the first to wear jeans and a T-shirt. Remember when Sharon Stone went to the Oscars wearing a simple off-the-rack Gap turtleneck ensemble, throwing the celebrity world into a tizzy because she dared to go simple and affordable? Yeah, maybe that’s what I’ll do … I’ll just throw something ordinary into my suitcase and leave it at that because although dressing up is fun, it’s also a pain and I’m (sort of) lazy. I’m already committed to new make up and hair curlers, why throw a new dress in the mix that I’m likely only going to wear once?
You could go nuts from all the prep that seems to lend itself to one awards night celebration.
Initially, I had imagined a flurry of shopping for dresses and conference clothing, including a new purse and shoes; appointments for hair and make up at the conference hotel (only because I’m really not talented when it comes to fancy hair); and a fresh cut and color hair with toes newly pampered and painted.
But as a series of financial set backs knocked us down, I realized my vision would have to be amended. Then, even as I trimmed and cut back, I realized you truly can’t squeeze water from a stone and I would have to forgo all the girly prep I’d envisioned.
I won’t lie. I had a pity party and cried.
But sometimes adversity provides the most clarity.
Getting all gussied up isn’t going to make my name magically appear on the envelope — only my writing skills will make that happen.
Am I still a little sad that I’m not going all out with the hair, make up and other stuff? Sure. I’m a girly girl at my core. But I’m not a celebrity with an endless budget so I have to prioritize. My younger son needed new cleats for his football camp (strike the new hair cut and color); my daughter needed to see the doctor for some persistent pain in her tummy (there went my pedicure); and frankly, the endless demands of everyday living pretty much sucked up any pocket of extra cash I had socked away for this trip. It is what it is. And, at first I was terribly depressed because I envisioned something wholly different for this milestone in my life but I had to do a gut check and put things into perspective. My talent put me where I am in this contest — not my cute, painted toes. Nothing can take this accomplishment from me, even if I’m the only one wearing a regular blouse and slacks; and honestly, at the end of the day, it’s just a moment in my life, not the end-all-be-all of moments.
So, here I am. Staring at the calendar, reflecting on the myriad of emotions I’ve gone through for this one trip, this one amazing moment.
In spite of sounding trite, the sentiment is real — it is a huge honor to be nominated.
Nothing can tarnish that.
And you know, no matter what … it’s still pretty awesome.

Kim Van Meter is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.