Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Afraid Our Hour Is Up...

I don't know if you want to listen to this.  I'm not sure I'm making sense.

When you're wrapped up in one of life's riddles, do you ever realize that maybe you're missing the big picture?  That you're losing perspective?  That may be happening to me.  You be the judge.

I am excited about my party.  SUPER-excited.  So excited that the outfit I'll wear is a daily obsession.  I want it to be perfect.  Not merely adequate, but perfect.  But perhaps striving for perfection isn't the right attitude to have.

My obsessing over this issue was initially joyful but now it seems to be descending into anxiety.  I'm begining to think if I don't have the perfect outfit, I ruin my One And Only Chance of ever being happy in the presence of other people.  I've been assuming -- and this is where I lose sight of the big picture -- that this particular party is the One And Only Time I'll ever be granted the privilege of dressing up around others.  Viewed that way, the pressure for my outfit to be perfect is taking a negative turn.

Fortunately, I just re-read something my friend Jamie wrote when we first talked about the party.  Jamie said this could be a new beginning for me -- that it could be the first of many social occasions.  Her statement jolts me into realizing that maybe people will let me do this again.  Maybe this isn't my ONLY shot at happiness.  Maybe, maybe...

The focuses of my obsession are, first, my clothes and, second, my hair.

I have nothing to wear!!  Now, I really understand what that means.

Of course I have ordinary outfits but nothing really special.  Nothing fit for The Most Wonderful Evening Of My Life.  Thinking this is my One And Only Shot made me worry that whatever I choose won't be good enough.  But... if this is merely the first of several opportunities, that pressure dissipates.  Perhaps I should view the party that way.  I want it to be purely joyful and keep out any negative thinking, so maybe I should hope that someone will allow me to do this again.

Second, my hair.  For the first two years of blogging, I had medium-length brown hair in a style that is often seen on older women.  Just yesterday on a news show, I saw a 70-year old woman with the exact same style.  Not an encouraging sight.

Recently, since my birthday last November, I've been sporting a new look -- much longer hair with noticeable color variation.  It's certainly a younger style and I've grown accustomed to it.

I've been agonizing over which style to wear.  In public, should I look old (which I actually am) or try to create my ideal appearance (which is younger).  Will I seem foolish to attempt the latter?  Of course, I don't want to embarrass myself.  Then, again, nobody is unaware that I'm really an average-looking old guy beneath it all.  Since they are overlooking that elephant, can I shoot for the Moon?

What do you think?  And since you're being my therapist, feel free to send a bill.  :)


  1. I really like the shorter brown hair on you. I think it really suits you and seems very much 'age appropriate' and definitely not like a 70 year old lady. That said if you want to wear the rocking red wig you totally should.
    One thing I think you DEFINITELY need to do is show off your awesome legs with some super tall heels and a short skirt.

  2. I think your new wig is way better and not too young for you, its a suitable style for all ages. I wear my hair super long, its often considered a very youngish style to wear hair longer than your shoulders, but even in my thirties that is what I like. It isn't even the most flattering style on me, but I love it!

    You will have many more of these parties! Many of my friends are transgendered and they come to lots of parties, I would never imagine them not! Let this be the first of MANY parties and wear something that you like. Hey at my 30th birthday party I did a Lady Gaga theme and I changed outfits five times at least! Everyone was waiting to see what I would don next :)

  3. wear whichever makes you feel the best! youll look great!

  4. I really like the old hair a lot more. There was something about the color and the cut that just worked. I see people of all ages with that hairstyle, and I've debated getting it myself (I'm not going to because I don't have the right face shape for it). Agreed about showing off some leg. DOO IITTT! Also, there was an outfit post of yours I saw a long time ago that absolutely took my breath away. I'll try and find it and show you. If there was an outfit you presented on here that got a ton of positive feedback, consider bringing it back again and modifying it!

    1. Ok, I've been stalking through your posts for about 25 minutes, but I can't find it. These two are just as fabulous, though. I think the blue dress in the second post would be freaking PERFECT.

  5. You absolutely need to view this as just the first step in your social evolution - this will not be your last party! Your anxiety about finding the Perfect Outfit reminds me very much of when I was a teen, when I was around 13-15 years old with the looming school dance. I spent weeks agonizing over my outfit, over my nails, my hair, my make-up (not that anyone would notice!). And in a sense, this is the stage you are at, Ally.

    A. Buy a new dress - it always feels good to have something new for a party. Something that fits you in a flattering way, shows your amazing legs, and some killer heels.
    B. Wear the hair that you love. Because really, that's all that matters, is that you like it. It doesn't matter what age you are - look at me, 45 with a turquoise streak in my hair, who am I fooling? I'm old! but I don't care.
    C. It's fun to feel excited. Document all your preparations. Try on outfits, play with it!

  6. Okay, first-wear the newer hair, it makes your eyes pop and you know that you like it.

    I think you should think of this as the FIRST not the LAST time you get to dress up around people. Maybe start with what you like and go from there. Or maybe get a little black dress! It's simple and classic and you can focus more on accessories and makeup? You can email me if you want!

  7. I think you already made the important realization - this is a repeatable experience. It isn't senior prom. I have wondered if you have any peer community there? I am sure there is a social scene you could become a part of. But then I wonder if you would be satisfied in a group like that.

  8. I totally agree!
    Buy a new dress, it will be fun.
    Maybe play with some outfit during the night and see what feels more comfortable for you.
    It won't be too much fun, if you feel insecure with what you are wearing.
    I really like your recent hair, very pretty :)
    I bet that wont be the last time you dress up in public

  9. Deep breath! I think you will look amazing, because this night will be such a happy one for you. I always stress out about wearing things to important events too. The funny thing is, about 20 minutes before I have to leave, I almost always come to the conclusion that I was trying too hard, and change into something unexpected and super-simple. Whatever you decide will be the right choice. This is your night. And, I also believe it's the first of many.

  10. Don't let anxiety ruin your joy. You will look absolutely fabulous, we both know that. Your "ordinary" outfits are extraordinary. I think you should go with the younger hairstyle :) This will only be your last outing if you choose for it to be, which I doubt you will. Maybe you could make it a monthly thing or bi-monthly. The sky is the limit :)

  11. Don't know that I'm a very good therapist, but I felt I could relate to your anxiety. I was the same way in my planning for my daughter's wedding last September...and afterwards, I wondered if I had tried too hard. As for the hair, I would go with the younger color and style. And start planning the second event, BEFORE the first one occurs.

  12. Stop agonising!

    Now, go out there, find something sexy, slinky, stunning, fun and a wee bit playful and have a blast. Life's too short to worry about this (I do understand though, but so many women realise they spent too much time agonising over things that in reality are trivial) and I suggest you tell Ally that this is not her one and only chance - there will be more!

    Wish I could be there!


  13. I am agreeing with Sheila all the way. Buy a new dress, wear whichever hair makes you feel the best you that you can be, and remember this will not be your end all party. I think your "younger" wig is more flattering to your coloring imo, and style is totally subjective based on the person wearing it.

    To me this post reminds me a bit of ladies when they get married. The giddy feelings of the One Big Day with The Dress. I promise it won't ruin your day if you remember to go into the party with confidence and all your bad-assitude (promise that's a word). Like a wedding day, it's not your last big party - it's a transition to a new aspect of life. One that you can share not only with one person, but many of your friends.

  14. I don't think there's ever just One Chance. If you want more parties/social occasions as your true self, you will get them. I also don't think there's ever just One Perfect Outfit. So don't get too anxious, just go with what feels right when the time is there.

  15. I also preferred the darker hair on you, it goes well with your coloring and looked very natural on you.
    Like the others said, though, look at this as a first step, not the last. I hope you have a great time at your party!


  16. This party sounds extremely important to you...maybe a little too much, if I can be sincere to you :) when we think a lot about a night or an event or a party we often imagine how will it go and if it doesn't go the way we imagined we are disappointed, because we were living that moment only for living it the way we imagined it (I don't know if this makes sense to you, hope it does). So my suggestion is: try and stop thinking too much about that night :) if you'll be yourself, you'll make an awesome first impression because you're a sweet and lovely and beautiful person. Said that, I agree with some other comments: there's nothing wrong in worrying a bit about clothes and appearance in general, so buy a dress that makes you look stunning, buy a new lipstick and eyeshadow and just rock them, ok? Have fun, that's what really matters.

  17. Now you know what it's like trying to find a prom dress. So much hope and fantasy wrapped up into one dress. I agree with the other readers, you should wear the new wig and show off those hot legs :) I think Sarah has it right, think of this as your first opportunity, not your only chance. Perspective is key :) You should go out and buy yourself something new. You deserve it :)

  18. This is what I go through Although I was much worse in high school. Like, beyond worse.
    I think I have outfit OCD.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  19. Hey babes, you are HUMAN :)
    stay out of your head.. the things our mind does.. takes us down the dark and disempowering path. I would sit down. Take a deep breath. Imagine yourself at the end of the night AFTER the party and you are thinking about what a success the party was. What would success look like? What would happen, what would you do, how would you be?
    Then, now spend your time living into that future like it already happened, and know that you get to create the reality you want for yourself. Have you ever heard that saying "What you focus on expands" ? Not sure if this helps but my 2 cents :) and I know you will LOVE the party. wish I could be there!! xoxo J

  20. I agree with Adele! We'll help.
    Also, I always find that people (men AND women) look OLDER when they try to dress in a style that is fit for someone younger. It's like the younger style accentuates their age. There are tons of ways to dress stylishly and still look your age. (None of the pictures are loading for some reason.. I'll be back later to try again - I want to see the darker hair)

  21. Lol! It's great that you feel the "I have nothing wear" syndrome...look at it this way: so many options, any one will be perfect because it is you and it is special to you.
    Btw, I sent out another email yesterday...check your inbox ;)


  22. I agree with Adele, show us what you think and we'll give you feedback!

    Wendy is right ... stop agonising. You are going to look gorgeous no matter what you wear and it is the first but certainly not the last time that Ally will go out in public and show us the results.

  23. I know it must feel like your entire life has lead up to, and will end with, this event...but take it as the first of many opportunities to be seen how you truly see yourself. I think you'll do just fine. If not, just consider that we all looked silly at our first school dance, so even if it's a complete disaster, you'll look back fondly at your first major experimentation.

    As far as the clothing/hair/make up choices go, I'm afraid I'm so anxious over similar things I could never be much help! I always strive for "perfection" and get supremely frustrated when reality doesn't meet my vision. But run some outfits past us, your loyal readers ;) I bet you want it to be a surprise but maybe something similar to get some feedback would make you more comfortable and less anxious.

    I'm so excited for you, by the way, Ally!

  24. I have been thinking about this for the past couple of days. Every girl has the first party where she worries about what she will wear and how she will look. Your first time is coming much later in life, but it really isn't any different. The butterflies and anxieties. Like others have said, it won't be your last. Let yourself enjoy this. I remember my first party and I was so scared that I would be a total dork. I probably was, but I had a good time anyway. Wear whatever makes YOU feel beautiful and wear your best accessory - a lovely smile.

  25. Hi, I've been lurking for about two months and finally decided to say something (unless I've said something before, I don't remember).
    I was just wondering if this party had a theme? If so, you could base your outfit around that. And I wouldn't decide on hair until after you have chosen the outfit, then wear whichever looks best. I personally prefer the shorter hair, and think it has nothing to do with age, but face shape.

  26. Thanks, Cassy, for the advice and uncloaking. I'm taking your suggestion and going with the shorter hair. There's no formal theme to the party other than making my dream come true.

  27. You're welcome. I'm full of advice, with no one to give it to, so expect more in the future. :)

  28. Hey Ally,
    I'm sorry to be responding to this late, as I wanted to write to you as soon as I read this post. Reading this made me really sad. Perfection is a dangerous path to go down... none of us are perfect and yet we strive for it all the time and judge ourselves harshly.

    I think that you are a beautiful person and no matter what you choose to wear, that beauty will come through in your presence and interactions with others. Also, I think that you will be given other opportunities to dress up and that putting a lot of pressure on this one event will cause more grief than happiness.

    Dealing with Body Image and building confidence is a hard thing for anyone to do. If I was to pass along advice, it would be to enjoy your self and your body. Treat yourself to things like facials, manicures or pedicures... Before the event, be sure to have your outfit and hair picked out so that you can focus all of your energy on yourself. Take time to pamper yourself, even with an "at home spa time" (i.e. put on your favourite tunes, take a long bubble bath, moisturizing massage, and manicure) before the event can make you feel great. Take the time to celebrate and nurture your body.