As I prepare and pack for The Blathering today, it occurs to me just how outside of the box going to New Orleans is. Since I don’t get socially anxious, I have not been nervous about going on this trip, like, at all. I’ve put a little thought in to what to wear and that kind of thing, but I haven’t worried about interacting with the others.
But as I get ready today, there are so many other details that I’m unsure about. How much cash will I need? Does a breast pump count as a carry on? Where, exactly, is the park and ride? Is NOLA in a different time zone than mine? How much walking will we actually be doing? ETC. David usually takes care of many of these details and/or, more often, we visit places where we have friends or family, so these logistics are not something we encounter and/or we… don’t travel much these days. Any way you slice it, this stuff isn’t 2nd nature to me anymore. (<–See what I did there? Making it sound like I’m experienced but RUSTY?)
And then- THEN!- someone on twitter said that open toe shoes are pretty much a no-go in the Quarter because of… um… street muck? I… what? WHAT? I don’t even know what that means, you guys. I JUST DON’T KNOW.
I’m vastly unprepared for this trip. I see that now. But I purposely didn’t research the city and get big ideas of what I wanted to see and do, because what I want to do is BE with the other ladies there. I want to go with the flow and do what others are doing and not be stressed about if I’m seeing and doing all I had planned.
Oh, and then there was a shoe panic. I managed to get my act together and procure a dress for the fancy-pants dinner on Saturday night… but I under-estimated the importance of the “right” shoe. My new, shiny Dansko clogs dress it waaaay down, I refuse to go bare-legged this time of year so tights + sandals are out, the one pair of black heels I have are MUCH too high-heeled for any amount of walking…
In fact, caring this much about clothing is just not me. I realized today that I rarely (if ever) go anywhere where either my clogs or my Birkenstocks are not appropriate. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant with a dress code. I’ve definitely never paid $37 ACTUAL AMERICAN DOLLARS for one (1) brunch (I am looking forward to that meal like WHOA, don’t get me wrong.) I tried EVERYTHING on this morning- each “outfit” (outfit! I don’t talk like this!)- as I packed. I’m happy with what I’m bringing. I’ll be comfortable but not slobby. I’ll even feel cute! If a little country-bumpkinish!
(Comfortable is pretty important to me. I’d rather have less-cute shoes for Saturday night and have not-hurty feet than have kick-ass shoes but be in pain. Ya know? If my feet hurt all night, I’ll remember THAT acutely, when I look back on the dinner. Not worth it.)
Anyway, it’s all pretty exhilarating to be doing something just for ME, something that feels so GROWN-UP! I don’t have to consider what ANY of my clothing will look like if Olive accidentally slimes me on the way out the door! Baby snot on my shoulder need not apply!
I need to leave my house in a little over and hour, and despite the fact that Olive is- at this very moment- cleaning out my wallet and flinging twenty dollar bills around the family room like a maniac, I think I’m ready.
Yeah. I’m ready. And so excited to meet everyone! (Though I’ll get to our hotel after 11pm… long enough to hug the stuffing out of my roommate Jenna…. and then promptly change into some yoga pants. “OH HAI! Squee! ETC! So nice to finally meet you! …Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wash my face….”)
NOLA! HERE I COME!
P.S. I’m pretty sure I say “New Orleans” in a mock-worthy, northerner way, so I’ll be refraining from saying it outloud. Thus, the NOLA. NOLA!