I hate it when I’m underdressed. Right or wrong, appearances matter. So when in doubt, like most lawyers, I tend to overdress.
Which is why I was caught completely off guard in my sweats and pony tail at a lunch cafe in Palm Beach last month.
I had just finished a conference, and Doug and I decided to get a casual bite to eat in town. It was Saturday afternoon, the most casual day of the week in our hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
But we were in Palm Beach. Anywhere else in the country, I might have been appropriately dressed. Not here. Obviously, this was my first trip.
At the local diner, the women wore suits, heals, and even a few evening gowns. (I’m not kidding about the evening gowns -- full length.) Doug was in awe of the Bentleys. I was in awe of the Botox.
I have heard about these kinds of places on TV before. I just didn’t know they actually existed. All of the women knew each other, and all of them were parading around like runway models in the restaurant.
Skinny. Blonde. Tan. Over 40. Full lips. Large bosom. Lots of plastic. Lots of glitter. High pitched, whiney voices.
All of a sudden, I wished I had at least showered. How stupid could I be? I was in Palm Beach, not the rust belt. Why didn’t I at least have the foresight to put on a little make-up and heels?
Yes, I got a few stares. When it was all said and done, I was glad to get home to the Midwest. Sure, we have our share of pretentious people, but even my hip friends look a little frumpy next to this group.
What do you prefer? Midwest frump, or Palm Beach glitz? Or maybe something in between?