They say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Apparently, I want to have the job of a stripper.
This past week, I have had the immense pleasure of being a panelist, moderator and mentor at the Atlanta Film Festival and ScreenCraft Writers Summit. My week began with a panel that I had pitched about entertainment development. We were going to be presenting in the Plaza Theatre, a movie theater with stadium seating. My panel directly followed auteur Jason Reitman, who was teaching a master class and talking about his new film, "Tully."
It was a big moment, and big moments such as these deserve new clothes.
I had gone to four stores in an effort to find an outfit that would look effortless. I wanted to look cool but accessible. I wanted to rock my hippie vibe but also appear professional. In the fourth store, I found the perfect pair of pants to convey this image. High-waisted and wide-legged, black in the center, with a bohemian design accenting the outer parts, the pants swooshed when I walked; I was in love.
As someone who has lived her life fashion-challenged, I would be, for once, dressed to impress.
On the day of the event, I walked with a strut down the sidewalk toward the massive movie theater that was hosting what would surely be one of the highlights of my career. Then the wind blew — and my cool but accessible, hippie but professional pants flung wide-open, exposing my underwear on both sides.
I hadn't noticed that the beloved swoosh my pants made was caused by each leg's being wraparound and intentionally not sewn together. A dangerous look on a windy day. And boy howdy, was that a windy morning.
It was a wind that could rival the whipping and swirling wind that brought in Mary Poppins. My pants were flying high in the air, flapping into my face like two scarves stapled to a belt. My unmentionables were being seen — and most certainly mentioned — by everyone around me.
I dropped my purse on the sidewalk and immediately tried to grab the flying fabric. My left hand grabbed at the fabric trying to escape my left leg. My right hand reached for the fabric fleeing my right leg. I wrapped the pants back around me and kept the fabric pinned together by my knees with my thumb and index finger. Bent over at the waist, holding together my rogue slacks, I began shuffling toward the theater. When I noticed my purse on the sidewalk, I let go of one leg to grab the bag. As I reached for the purse, the right side of my pants flew up in my face once more. As quickly as possible, I threw my purse over my shoulder and pinned my pants back around my knee, and then I shuffled, hunched over, into the movie theater.
Once out of the whipping winds, I could relax. I let go of the fabric, and it fell around my legs perfectly, looking professional and hiding the dirty truth of its unstitched status. I took a deep breath and poised myself. Only a nominal few had seen my underwear. Now was not the time to feel rattled.
Walking into the theater, I swelled with pride. The stage had been set up with director's chairs. The lights shone brightly. This moment was mine. I had created this. I had earned this. I would rock this. The trouser trauma had passed.
My panelists approached the stage. One after another complimented my outfit. Oh, this old thing? You're too kind. I pointed them to their seats onstage.
As the audience flowed in, my confidence grew. The room was filled with my peers, my colleagues, my future employers and my future employees. This was the room I had created this event for. These were the people I had spent days shopping for.
I stood in the center of the stage and thanked my audience for coming. Then I sat down with my panelists onstage. I sat for the first time. For the very first time. The fabric, pulled by a new center of gravity, immediately unfolded on both sides of my legs.
I hope my future employees and employers liked the flowery granny panties.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.