Thursday, May 21, 2009

Power Lunch

Tom plays in an orchestra through his workplace. They have 2 'seasons' - Spring and Winter. They play lunchtime concerts at various venues and I try to see them play at least once each season.

The bass section. That's Tom on the left.

Yesterday they were playing at his workplace and, as it was almost the last show of the season, I figured it was time for me to go!

The amount of times I have visited his workplace could probably be counted on one hand.

Each time I do, I am overwhelmed by the differences between the world in which he lives every day and the one in which I live.

The most prevalent indicator was in the way people were dressed. I wouldn't even know how to dress so beautifully every day. I felt a small twinge of insecurity. These are the women my hubs sees every day. These women in their smart outfits and their clicky heels and their shiny hair. These women who looked so comfortable in their multi-hundred dollar outfits. I sat there in my gauze skirt and T-shirt (I had broken out a ribbed Henley for the occassion - because even a SAHM needs a day to be fancy), trying to disappear. I felt pretty when I left the house. I was Kroger pretty, not workplace pretty. I became painfully aware of my hair in it's 'growing out' state. I took notice of my 'not so fresh' manicure. I became very self-conscious of everything about my appearance.

Everything about the working world looked so glamorous and polished - in direct opposition to my existence. It was almost like visiting a beautiful, exotic foreign land. I haven't entertained such a romanticized notion of the workplace since before I was old enough to work.

I watched these beautiful people - men as well as women - going about their lunch hour, stopping to listen to a song or two then moving on. I ruminated on their casual comaraderie and the fact that they had someone to share their lunch with every. single. day. I wasn't jealous as much as I was in awe.

Now I know they don't have a live orchestra in the lobby every day, but since they do every time I'm there, it's easy to pull up that visual when I'm sitting at home eating leftovers in cut off sweats and bare feet, huddled over my laptop.

The funny part is, I know there are probably many folks in the workforce who would just LOVE to be home in cut off sweat pants and bare feet. The grass in my yard is greener than the marble on the lobby floor.

I feel the need to cut short my 'everyone's life is more interesting than mine' rant, though, to tell you a little bit about the concert. It was really good. Not 'good for a volunteer orchestra' good, but really good. Tom had been very excited about their spring selections and I could see why. One piece was particularly exciting. The story went something like this (Tom, if I get it wrong, feel free to jump in on the comments and correct or amend):

Their orchestra leader was listening to classical music on satellite radio and heard this song he really dug. He jotted down the name and started seeking a score so that the orchestra could play it. The score was not to be found through any of his usual channels. Turns out that this particular tune has never before been performed live in the United States (it has been somewhat widely performed in Russia, if I understood the story correctly). He acquired the score, the orchestra played it, and it was magnificent. To listen to this little orchestra playing the American debut of a piece was quite exciting. The piece was called "The Assault on Beautiful Gorky", if inquiring minds want to know. It was quite lovely.

So maybe my life isn't so mundane after all. I might not have fit in there, but there I was. And it gave me a swell story to tell today, huddled over my laptop in my cut off sweats and my bare feet.


♥ Braja said...

You said it, Tammy: they would possibly give anything to swap with you :)

Bass Is Life said...

As I sit here in the drab little cubicle that is my every day existence, I find it interesting to see what you think my day is like. I interact with usually no more than 5 or 6 people each day. Most of my time is spent soaking up the radiation emitting from my laptop, surrounded by grayish-brown cube walls. This is where I also eat my lunch. If it weren't for Windows Media Player and headphones, I'd go insane.

I won't lie. I do, on occasion, see some attractive women in flattering clothes. Eh. Who cares? I still can't wait to get home and give you a squeeze. I don't go for the business look anyhow - and no one rocks the Boho look like you do.

As for Gorky, I suppose there's no way to know for certain if we're the first to play it in the states or not, but the score had never been requested before. It shot from number 235 to number 1 on the UK classical charts a couple of months ago and has only been available since the fall of the Soviet Union. Beyond that, not much is known.

Alex the Girl said...

Gah, Tammy, is Tom cloned? It's amazing how you two fit each other so well.

This was my first year as a SaHM. Loved it. Hated it. Loved the singlness. Hated the non adult time. Loved it. Liked it. Didn't like it. Hated it. Miss the social aspect of working. Totally glad I didn't have to deal with petty cliques.

That was my year in review. I took a year sabbatical following the birth of my son (yes, I started having kids again at my late age in life). It was the first time in forever that I haven't worked. I'm definately going to miss it when I am forced kicking and screaming with my fingers clawing the ground looking for anchorage in order to keep me from being dragged back to the hell they call a go back. But even though I doeth protesteth a biteth to mucheth, I know what you mean.

Gibby said...

Oh, I am with you on this one. I used to work at the same company as my hubby, so when I go back, I feel really weird. I feel like they are looking at me wondering what the heck am I wearing and why did I ever decide to stay at home anyhow? Then I get everyone saying "when are you coming back to work already?" and I want to scream I DO WORK, PEOPLE!! I rarely go to his office anymore.

But I do remember a time when I was still at that company, and my partner stopped by my office with his wife and their new baby. I was so jealous when she left, because she could actually come and go as she pleased and I was stuck there til 5.

So yeah, the grass is always greener!

P.S. Your husband is so cool...with his band and this orchestra...your house must be full of music!

Anita said...

I feel awfully sluggy too on the rare occasions I visit my hubby at work. The women do look more put together, even on casual Fridays.
I'm still just amazed they have an orchestra, I think that is so enlightened. The best I ever got was an after hours softball league.
The grass always appears greener.

MiMi said...

I'm wondering where your husband works now! Such a big, beautiful lobby! Mine works at Hewlett Packard and no matter how nice those geeks try to dress, they have to cover up in a smock (smock!!) and BOOTIES!!! Ha!
And ya know what? I'm wearing my "I'm too fat to comfortably wear anything with a button or zipper so it's stretch pants for me today!" pants, and I.LOVE.THEM.
Poop on work.
Maybe that poop comment was a little over the top? A little, shall we say...immature? Sigh.
Macey : )

Bass Is Life said...

Here's a link to the orchestra website:

Cardinal Health Chamber Orchestra

Sir Hook of Warrick aka "David K Wells" said...

Lady T. Don't sell yourself short! The world would be without love if it weren't for the brave souls who have been branded with the title SAHM. Don't believe the scam, it's a sham...and a shame!

Tables turn with time. Now it's my lovely wife who dresses for work every morning, while I run my business out of the basement of my home. As I write this, I haven't showered, brushed my teeth or eaten lunch. I'm in my workout shorts, a snarly T-Shirt and my dirty St. Louis Cardinal's hat that hides my dirty hair. Who cares! Sure, I still get dressed up for meetings...and I traveled with lookers this past week in Columbus for business; however, you can't judge a book only by its cover.

Remember, the grass might seem greener on the other side...but the shit still smells the same!

I'm not being critical of your feelings, which are legitimate and we all have shared; however, be happy that you could enjoy the music, be loved and leave the rat race to get back home in your bare feet!

Finally, sorry I missed you and your talented hubby while I was in Columbus. Someday I would like to meet you two and hear his music. I pass by Cardinal Health all the time when I am in the area, as I own a Healthcare Marketing company called Wellness Communications and have clients in Dublin, Westerville, Delaware and Columbus.

P.S. They have no idea what I look like when I talk to them from my home office!

Sir Hook the Gnarly of Warrick

Housewife Savant said...

The Machinist's Wife (blogger Helen) and I have become PRACTICALLY RL friends.
She grew up in S. Africa, married in England, now lives in NSW Australia.
How cool, huh?
Yesterday I mentioned how awed I am, that her life is so international (read; COOL).
She said her and hubby admire plain ol' American folks, and went on to list some legitimate and thought-provoking reasons.
Who'd have thunk?

Pam said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. For years I wore what I called teh "mommy uniform" - tshirt and shorts in summer and long sleeved tshirt and jeans in winter (I lived in AZ at the time). Then when I go a part time job, I needed some "real" clothes. It was intimidating to need a whole new wardrobe. For a while I enjoyed dressing up a bit a couple of times a week. Then i realized that all my co-workers dress pretty casually all the time and I was so relieved to hang up the "business wear". I am convinced that we SAHM have the best of all worlds.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I miss the work world too, but I won't really want to trade in my life for fancy clothes and nice heels.

The concert sounds fun.

WhisperingWriter said...

I know how you feel. Sometimes I don't think that I dress as nice as the other women I'm around. They usually have perfect makeup on, perfect hair, perfect clothes and here I am with my frizzy hair, lipstick on the teeth and jeans and a t-shirt.

MaryRC said...

i used to feel that way too amongst the corporate type, but since i left the corporate world i have learned that those concerned with appearances are influenced by women in advertising and actresses on television movies etc. and i get to see what those women really look like before I make them into what is influencing those concerned. so in a sense, their concerns are my fault. my creation as a hair and makeup artist stirs their insecurity. its a very powerful mind game, so yea, i dont care how pretty they think they are, i know their just insecure and i made them that way.

im not at all self righteous am i??? :-)

case in point watch this...