Friday, November 18, 2011

Looking sharp

Last week, I was invited to two job interviews—one at a place I would be tickled pink to work at, and one at a place I, well, wouldn't. However, the "wouldn't" interview came first, so I decided it would be good practice (actually, the recruiter who persuaded me to come in told me it would be good practice. I guess she was under no delusions about my interest level). I also decided it was the perfect excuse to buy new shoes! You might say I was trying to "pump" myself up for the interview.

Get it?

Get it?

OK, OK, moving on.

I was lucky that my shoe craving coincided with a 50%-off sale at my favorite local thrift store, because while there, I found the cutest pair of interview shoes you ever did see! They were a cross between – well, I don't know what – but they looked businesslike and sophisticated, with just the right amount of gratuitous laces, excessively high heels, and patent leather to say that even when I mean business, I don't really mean business. I consider them something like the mullet of shoes, except not ugly.

You'll notice that they feature stiletto heels. They are, in fact, my first foray into the world of skinny heels. Although I have shunned these impractical footwear features for my entire shoe-buying life, and, in the past year, derided them with as much derision as I could dredge up, I finally gave up my antagonism in the face of 5 dollars. That's right. These puppies were priced at 10 dollars and discounted to five! Such a deal is surely worthy of a little open-mindedness.

Of course, as with anything Unfashionistic, that cheap price came at a price. They were a little worn down. Before they were ready for the runway, I had to trim off some hanging threads, polish out a few scuffs, and employ my secret weapon: black permanent marker, to disguise some of the places where the black cover had come clean off. But when they were done, they were a paragon of fabulous shoes.

By the time my "wouldn't" interview rolled around, I was actually excited about it, just so I could wear my new shoes. Of course, the interview didn't lead anywhere like a new career, but it served its purpose: I got practice, in interviewing as well as in walking around on spike heels. They weren't, actually, any more difficult to move around in than any other pair of ridiculously tall shoes—although I nearly did break my ankle stumbling into a grate on the sidewalk, as was foretold.

After my interview, I
went to a place where my
camera was not. Thus, I
was obliged to take my
photo using the old
phone-and-mirror trick.
I apologize.
However, the second interview – for the job I really wanted – would be the true test. For that interview, I pulled out all the stops, even brushing on a little eyeshadow and mascara. I wore the same skirt suit I wore for the first interview, but traded the houndstooth jacket for a black one (one I bought and blogged about long before I was The Unfashionista) because the houndstooth one made me look fat. And then I set out to meet my destiny.

I learned one lesson whilst en route: If you feel the need to wear thigh-high nylons instead of regular pantyhose (the advantage to the thigh-highs is they are a lot less trouble when you have to use the toilet), make sure they are securely attached before setting out. I had to detour to two bathrooms on the way to my interview to adjust my stockings before I could get them to stay put.

But the shoes—the shoes! Did they succeed? Did they make my interviewers fall in love with me, as I had fallen in love with them (the shoes, not the interviewers)? Well, they scheduled a second interview on Monday.

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