Monday, December 22, 2008

What to wear...

We received an invitation in the mail 2 weeks ago.  My brother and is wife are hosting their annual holiday bash on New Year's Eve.  It is generally quite the affair- black tie optional.  While it is fun to get dressed up in formal clothes and mingle with other grown ups it is also one of those events that make me cringe. There is so much overt flashing of wealth that I feel VERY out of place.  Last year I bought new clothes to wear and I'm trying to figure out how to rework it so that I don't have to get anything new since we really can't afford it.  At least I bought a several piece outfit last year: flowy black pants that look like a full skirt with a sparkly top and jacket.  This year I think I'm going to wear the pants again but with a different shirt.  I have a lovely black spandex shirt with silver glitter swirls on it that V pulled out of a dumpster a few years ago (and yes, I do wear things that he pulls out- it's amazing what the college students throw away when they move).  
My brother, I hate to admit, is a conspicuous consumer.  He has a lovely new home (dare I say a McMansion) that is way too big for the 2 of them now that his boys have moved on.  His wife, Suzanne, is into hosting parties for visiting international faculty and students.  They entertain A LOT.  He travels a lot for his job, in fact, he will be going to Antarctica for several weeks in January on an expedition to map the thickness of the ice cap.  Not many people can say that they truly have a rocket scientist in the family- I can. My bother is a research engineer designing equipment for space exploration.  The equipment they are using in Antarctica is similar to what he designed and built to help determine the thickness of the polar ice caps on Mars. Pretty cool, huh.  
But, regardless of how fascinating his work is, the sad fact is that they are way into the consumer thing: Big house, SUV, flying off all over the world on vacations, lavish parties- things that are not at all our lifestyle.  It is fun to get to dress up once a year and play with the big kids- but I'm always glad to come home to my simpler life.  I don't have to worry what to wear.


  1. Actually, Husband gave me a good little tip when I was stressing over what to wear to some event. He asked me "what did {pretend name here} wear last year? I couldn't answer him. Exactly, he said. People don't care what YOU wear, they care what THEY wear.

    And if the event sucks, perhaps you should feign a migraine and avoid it altogether.

  2. Meadowlark- Great tip. Actually, the party is usually OK- there are enough people that we have gotten to know over the years that we have someone to talk to- the food is excellent and there is always lots of booze. Of course, I usually end up the designated driver. We have already talked about putting in our appearance for a few hours and then coming home to ring in the new year with the children.
    I think what gets to me most about the whole event is the excessive everything- it is so not where I live.

  3. I am sure you will look beautiful in whatever you choose to wear. I have to agree with you, I much prefer the simple life. It is hard when you have to try and keep up with other people. And not very much fun either. Enjoy the party!


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