One of the side benefits of my knee surgery is that I lost about 20 pounds. This is the result of a combination of factors, including unappetizing hospital food, narcotic pain medication and a lack of desire to stand up, walk to the kitchen and raid the refrigerator. I’ve since gained about 5 of those pounds back, but I still weigh less than 200 pounds for the first time in 20 years. I’m determined to keep it off.
However, I had to put new holes in my belts, because all of my pants have an embarrassing tendency to slide off my hips. Because I’m not completely confident in my ability to maintain this new figure, I’ve been unwilling to shop for new pants.
Last week, I received an e-mail from the Managing Director of my department, who is flying down from the New York office to visit the Florida office. It was an invitation, sent to about seven peon-level employees, to join her for dinner at a tony nearby restaurant. The invitation was marked, “Your attendance is required.”
Our office dress code is “business casual,” but I worried whether the normal dress code would be acceptable for this dinner. I conferred with other employees on the invitation list, to try and determine if it would be appropriate to wear a suit for the occasion. The majority opinion was that I would look like a “tool” or a “dork,” but one person who works with Managing Directors all the time said that it would be “expected.” So I’m torn (so to speak).
OK, let’s be clear about one thing: I never wear suits, except to funerals and certain formal events that I can’t avoid. Because I wear them so infrequently, I have one suit (black wool pinstripe) and one sports coat (brown corduroy). I used to have three suits, but the others were getting kind of threadbare, so we gave them to Goodwill.
I tried the suit on about an hour ago. I can pull the pants away from my stomach about 2 inches. They look ridiculously huge on me, like clown pants. The dinner is tomorrow night, so it’s too late to have them altered. The corduroy sports coat is too informal for a business dinner. So I guess I’ll just wear normal attire and pray that I won’t be underdressed.
I’ve since learned that one of the peons invited to the dinner won’t be attending, due to a prior “religious obligation.” Another individual is aggressively ambitious, and is expected to try and monopolize the conversation – something that the Managing Director is known to dislike intensely. So it now appears that I could show up in Bermuda shorts and a Bob Marley t-shirt, and still won’t attract attention.