Last week, when SH and I went to California, I got to meet Lisa at Privilege. If you don't read her blog, you should. She is super smart and super interesting so of course I was completely intimidated to meet her.
First, there were the clothes. I was going to spend six days in California and then fly to Colorado for my sister's wedding. In my suitcase, I had to pack clothes for California and clothes to wear to the wedding and I had to keep my winter Wisconsin clothes because I am not going to fly into Milwaukee wearing shorts. I am not going to fly anywhere wearing shorts. I have a sense of propriety and showing the tops of my thighs seems very mutton dressed as lamby.
Not to mention I refuse to be cold. It's not even the lack of style for the people I see in sloppy shorts and t-shirts at the airport that bothers me - it's the idea that they might be cold. I wore my Lands End rated for 15 below down jacket even when I was indoors in San Francisco. There are people who are about to walk out into a Wisconsin winter - which SH claims are not as harsh as they used to be but dang it's still cold - 9 degrees is cold - wearing nothing more than shorts. For dumb.
Anyhow, I had limited packing space what with the clothes and the cheese curds for my brother and Kim, my pedicure pal in SF, and the birdseed brittle that my dad's cousin had given me to give to my mom. She gave me about 15 bags but I only took half of them to Colorado.
1. I had limited space.
2. The birdseed brittle is really good and I wanted to hoard it for myself.
So I didn't have a lot of room for nice clothes.
And Lisa has such great style. Not that I think she is a judgy person. I mean, we all judge. We do. Don't think you don't. But it's the people who judge out loud who are tough to deal with. Those of us who just think to ourselves, "Well, that's not the look I would choose" are not harming the feelings of other people. And I also have to admit that I have, on more than one occasion, gone to the grocery store, the library, and Target in my gym clothes and snowboots, so whom am I to judge? But I will say I have never gone out in public in my pajamas. One has to draw the line somewhere.
The good thing is I live in the midwest and really, people here are not that fashionable, so you don't stand out that much if you aren't all Done.
But I was worried about meeting Lisa just because when you meet someone you admire, you want to be admired in return and I didn't want even a slightly raised internal eyebrow commenting silently on my midwestern casual vs California chic.
Fortunately, Lisa warned me that she would be wearing tennies because her foot hurt and jeans because she is retired. Even so, she looked smashing in her black motorcycle jacket and her chic, blonde going on gray long braid.
The second reason I was intimidated is she is such a fabulous writer. I like what she has to say and I like how she says it. She writes so elegantly, so intelligently. That Shakespearean rag. She writes about everyday things but looks at them in a way I have never considered. I love this post.
So I was already nervous to meet her and then I had to drive. In northern California. On the highway. I hardly drive on the highway here. I take the bus to work. SH is a control freak who has to drive whenever we are together. I've probably got about 20 hours behind the wheel this year.
I have become a little old lady on the road and omigosh they drive so fast in California! And the CA Dept of Transportation does not believe in signage, so I had to completely trust the lady on my GPS to know where to exit. If I had just trusted my reading ability, I would have ended up in the ocean. Signs, California! Get some signs!
And then I had to find a parking space and figure out if I needed the purple zone or the gray zone. It was exhausting. I was a post-adrenalined wreck.
But then she was right there on the street corner and we went to lunch and y'all, it was so great. I realized how much I miss being around smart people. I'm with SH every day and he's a genius (or pretty close), but I don't work with people at Lisa's level or SH's level. I'm not at their level, either, but I sure appreciate their level. (I was always the smartest kid in the class until I graduated from high school. Then I went to college and realized that holy smoke, I was nowhere near the smartest person around and never would be the smartest person again. I'm used to it now, but I love being around smarties.)
And although SH is super smart, but he is not well read because he majoring in engineering instead of English, which was quite practical of him and if I had to do it again, I would stick with engineering, but man is it fun to be around someone like Lisa who is smart and majored in literature so can make all the in jokes.
We talked about blogging and Tish Jett and her book, which I am about to get - I had to wait for the second printing. And we talked about mawwaige and work and aging and the loss of beauty even when you didn't think you had any beauty. Oh - the "you" in that is me. I have seen photos of Lisa in her 20s and she was lovely then and she is lovely now. I am the one who never thought she had any beauty but has discovered that youth by itself is beauty and the loss of youth is a loss.
She insisted on treating lunch, which was so nice of her. She wanted to have leftovers for SH. That's our meal in the photo above. My plate is the one with the fork. I have not learned to eat with chopsticks and really don't have the patience or the interest to start now. SH loved the leftovers - he had them for breakfast two mornings in a row - and we also had a supper of them. Lisa went a little crazy ordering, but we sure enjoyed it. We don't have a big Asian population in Milwaukee so don't have the dining options they do in California.
It was a great day. The end.