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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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OK Corral

1,000 cartwheels down a deserted hallway…

…in other words, what I’d like to do to commemorate my last day here at the OK Corral. Since my adolescent gym teachers shamed me for my inability to tumble, therefore ripping that desire out of me for the rest of my days, here’s this instead.

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Happy last day to me!

And happy Wednesday to you, dear reader…

The Day Before.

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Today.

Sure, you can expect a post on my final day at the OK Corral, my last day in the office, my final 8 hours, my final shift, my final time wondering if the HVAC guys have a vendetta against me, based on how cold it is in this place all year long. But I want to also talk about the day before.

This is it. The day before the final day.

Let’s talk about how I feel.

  • Unbothered. The professional meltdowns are hardly abating just because I’m leaving. But you can find me at my desk, chill(ed?), relaxed, and hardly fazed.
  • Unreal. I’ll be very honest with you: I’ve been unhappy at my place of employment for several years. I won’t get too detailed, but it just was never the place for me. Visions of my last day have danced in my head for so, so long–imagine my heart sinking each time a colleague who felt my pain got to make their exodus out of here. Now it’s my turn. Me. Meeeeee. Pretty unreal/surreal.
  •  Unseen. This is a giant organization. It’s unlikely that you’ll know the people you pass by in the hallways or in the cafeteria. So no one really cares about the stranger passing by them (me) with a satisfied, I’m-almost-outta-here smirk on her face. And that’s just fine.
  • Unguarded. People ask me how I feel about leaving. Perhaps they expect a melancholic reply, a palpable sadness about vacating the professional life I’ve known for the past 7 years. Or perhaps they expect an attempt at diplomacy, to not reveal how I really feel about leaving. It’s none of the above. Are you ready to go? More than ready! How do you feel? Great! 

You understand me.

Happy Tuesday, party people. Come by tomorrow, won’t you?

Fabu Fashion Wednesday: Springtime Fakery.

Meteorologically speaking, it’s spring. In real time, however, a dreary cloudiness

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Where are you, real springtime?

continues to cast an endless shadow over our atmosphere, bringing with it daily rainfall and cooler-than-average breezes. I won’t comment on the side eye I give anyone that tries to remind me of rain and flowers and things growing. (There goes that positive attitude. Le sigh.) Anyway, as you can imagine, dressing for work/the OK Corral can be an interesting experience. For one thing, my office must have a blood pact with cold air that states that the temperature inside must be freezing yearlong. So even if there was a warm, spring breeze outside, I would have to wear scarves or blazers or down comforters to keep warm during the workday. Secondly, it’s work. Other than having lunch outside or taking a quick walk, I don’t actually get to enjoy the lovely spring weather (when it comes) during the bulk of the day. By the time I leave, the spring temps are winding down.

Today’s forecast, like the 1,000 days before it, is cloudy, rainy, mid-60s. So to avoid having to drape myself in my mother’s Pashmina scarves at my desk, I decided to just dress for both the inside and the outside: I pulled out the turtleneck (which I never really put away, readers, because me and spring have trust issues) and a sweater. Before leaving this morning, my sister gazed at me and asked if it was cold outside. I told her the forecast. Eyeing my outfit, she soon raised her eyebrows and nodded. “I forgot that you’re constantly cold,” she remarked. “Do I look crazy?” I then asked, wondering about my very winter-y ensemble. She insisted that I didn’t look crazy. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if people think I’m an escapee from some sort of weather-related asylum: as a draft whips itself around me and my desk here at the office, I’m warm.

Here I am:

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That sweater with the magnificent, giant buttons was a great find from TJ Maxx. I’ve had it forever. Because of the half sleeves, that’s why I threw on the turtleneck (Ross) underneath. And for extra warmth, of course. With all the gray and black, though, I wanted pops of color. Enter my gold hoops, which always make me happy, and my new purple lippy. The latter was a fantastic part of my recent drugstore beauty haul–in an effort to not spend oodles of cash on makeup, I’ve been visiting drugstores and finding awesome colors without the pearl-clutching high prices. This is Perfect Tone Matte Lip Color in Retro Berry by Black Radiance. Here it is up close.

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This ends my style offering for springtime fakery. Here’s to the good weather we will inevitably have, though. One day. At some point. In the near future?

P.S.: That déjà vu you’re feeling? It’s because we just discussed Fabu Fashion and springtime last week. When it was 80 degrees. No further explanation necessary, right?

Fabu Fashion Tuesday: It’s *Springtime.

*Which means the weather is wildly inconsistent.

Nevertheless, since today is a good weather day (sunny, mid 80s), I decided to dress for the occasion. Away we go.

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If you can’t tell, that’s a peplum top. I paired it with my favorite black blazer (Sears; don’t sleep on Sears) because the OK Corral keeps the temperature at Ice Queen levels and I’m cold all the time. (My mother claims it’s because I’ve worked all the “meat” off my body. She has a way with words.) Anyway, as you know, I love my peplum and recently excitedly chose this this top at a swap party that I had with some friends a few months ago. (Clothes swap parties are truly everything. One day, I’ll actually arrive with items to swap instead of greedily snatching things up.) The pants are from Old Navy. They’re a bit loose, but whatever. They’re red. I heart them so. I bought them last year and remembered last night that they were waiting for me in my closet. The snazzy, shiny flats are courtesy of Mom, who still wonders aloud about how I basically just commandeered her shoes. My “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours in mine” reply isn’t really working. That awesome necklace came from The Avenue and boasted a sale price that had me grinning from sun-up to sundown.

Onwards.

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Regarding the make-up, as asterisk springtime dawns on our area, I’ve been dabbling with lighter colored lippies. (No worries; my beloved and tried-and-true Ruby Woo knows I have other relationships.) So far, the one I’m one wearing here makes me very happy, more than the rest: Made You Pink Balm Stain by Wet n Wild. It’s a nice, lovely color for the office, I think, and I love the way it looks against my melanin. Regarding the hair: ta da, She’s back. (She is my hair, because anything that temperamental needs a pronoun, no?) As you saw, I wore crochets for the longest, and then followed that style with a new crochet look. Now we’re back to Her, but still protected in a neat cornrow updo/bun. I plan on protective styling it until mid-summer.

So there we go, another simple ensemble for Fabu Fashion.

How’s the weather where you are? Any old favorites or new favorites (lippy, styles, hair) you’re rocking right about now?

Throwback Tea-sday.

Look, a cup of tea fixes everything. It’s a scientific fact. (It’s not, but let’s just agree, shall we?) The best part of my day at the OK Corral is getting up from my desk and grabbing a cup of tea at the cafe we have here in the building. Sipping that warm, vanilla-tinged liquid (I prefer chai) does absolute wonders for me (including softening the perpetual frown I seem to wear when I’m in the building.) When a friend recently posted 15 surprising facts about tea, as shown here, I was reminded of just how much of a tea lover I am.

Formerly a coffee disciple since the age of 12, fond of lapping up the leftover bits of coffee my parents would slyly leave me in their cups, I officially switched to tea in 2008. That was the year I realized that the loud drumming I assumed was coming from my co-worker’s desk radio was actually my heartbeat, in reaction to the coffee I was drinking. Needless to say, that was the moment we said our goodbyes. (I still love the scent of coffee, though. Do I ever.) For me, tea is like coffee’s milder, gentler cousin. The dependable Darcy to that wild Wickham. (If you know me by now, you’re not surprised by this effort to use an Austen/Pride and Prejudice analogy.) Anyhow, and more importantly, despite the caffeine in tea, it’s not as intense and I can enjoy it without wondering if I will soon need a defibrillator.

Below are some photos of the afternoon tea (and scones) I enjoyed at Harrods department store during my trip to London in October. After a particularly tourist-y day, it was nice to simply sit and drink and sigh and chew and people-watch.

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So, so tired.
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But we’re at Harrods, so…

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…all better now.

Now that we’ve sauntered down memory lane with our cups of tea in hand, tell me in the comments if you prefer tea and/or coffee. Or wine, if you’re about that life.

Fabu Fashion Thursday: Jump, Jump

My love affair with jumpsuits continues. I went ahead and wore one to work today. Here it is, compliments of an empty ladies washroom.

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So until today, it’s never dawned on me to wear a jumpsuit to work. I don’t know why. I just never thought of it. Perhaps it didn’t strike me as providing the professional look I typically want when trudging to the office. And then last night, while wondering what I would wear to the OK Corral the next day: Eureka. I found it. I would indeed wear the jumpsuit, pair it with a blazer and a belt, and there you go. Why? Because it’s basically a built-in pantsuit. Pantsuits, the go-to ensemble for that professional life. I mean, it’s a dream come true, really. Oh, the wonder of it all. As you can also see, I also threw on one of favorite chunky necklaces to complete the outfit. It was a gift from the bestie and I wear it whenever I can. Further deets are below, if you’re interested.

Jumpsuit: Ross
Blazer: Sears (don’t sleep on that ancient store; it’s got some hidden gems)
Belt: Ross

Fini and onwards…

Honorable Mentions.

Sometimes in life, people, strangers, pass through and offer us what we need at the right time. Whether it’s a smile, a seat on the train, or offering you half of their sandwich because they caught you eyeing it on an airplane and heard your belly grumbling angrily and likely wanted to avoid some type of violence (true story), you just never know what the kindness of strangers may bring. Here are a few times when the random actions of others both took me by surprisethanks and made my day.

To the gentleman at Phoenix Sky Harbor *Airport who saw me vainly struggling to attach that tag thing (seriously, why is that thing not user-friendly?) to my luggage and gently took over and attached it for me, thank you. May your proactive nature and lovely conversation be rewarded by someone who isn’t savagely commanding her suitcase to behave. 

To the lady here at the OK Corral who was in line in front of me at the cafeteria and paid for both her meal and mine (to my everlasting shock and surprise), thank you so, so much. I don’t know what I did to gain that kind act, but please believe that anything related to food and the acquisition of food binds you and I together until the end of time. (By the way, I see her from time to time, and she continues to be one of the sweetest persons walking these halls.)

To the group of concerned fellow *flyers who realized that after hours and hours of waiting, my gate was changed without an announcement and my flight left without me: thank you for ensuring that once I boarded a plane, I was able to quickly get off for the connecting flight and finally, finally get home. Your outrage on my behalf was enough to soothe the wild, combustible emotions going on inside of me, and to the guy who firmly informed the other passengers to let me off first: you, sir, will always be golden.

To the charming gentleman on the train who announced to the entire car that no man should be seated while women stand around them: will you marry me?

To the lovely woman who stood next to me in London while we watched Renée Zellweger film scenes from the third installment of the Bridget Jones series and held on to me while we breathlessly considered the possibility that Colin Firth was also waiting in the wings (alas, he wasn’t), to have my excitement equaled with a stranger was awesome. Thanks for waiting with me until we realized that our Colin wasn’t there that afternoon and for being someone with whom I can say “our” Colin. (Because I rarely share, y’all.) 

Just a few moments in life when I was astonished by people, and in a good way. Have any random acts of kindness you’d like to share?

[*Not lost on me that so much stuff happens in the airport. If the terminal didn’t offer such sweet opportunities for carby, vacation eating, I would side eye it more than I already do.]

Several Things This Square Peg is Not Here For.

(See my mother’s list here.)

  1. Passive-aggressiveness. Choose a side and we shall deal accordingly. But you can’t bejustbeinghonest both. I won’t allow it in my presence.
  2. Rudeness. A door shouldn’t shut in my face because you failed to hold it open for me when I was behind you. Wrong on so, so many levels.
  3. Men who let pregnant ladies, elderly ladies, and any other ladies stand while they sit. I know chivalry has a marble headstone somewhere (quite dead), but please. give us a break.
  4. Bosses who give you the most contradictory information regarding what they expect from you. Are you speaking in symbols? Code? Sanskrit? I have no idea what you want from me.
  5. Almond croissants that shamelessly look you in the eye, daring you to purchase them and ruin good eating habits.
  6. Bitter, 15 degree days like today, which are just plain disrespectful.
  7. Bitter, 15 degree days like today, during which the train car taking you to work breaks down at an outside station, after which you and the rest of your fellow disgruntled riders have to wait in cold agony for the next train car to pick you up. (This partly explains the black mood I currently harbor, in case you were wondering.)

By no means the end of what I’m not here for, but we’ll stop here because I’m cold and irritated. Hope you’re having a much better day, dear reader.

The Three Faces of This Square Peg.

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All the emotions in the span of the day. Or everyday, really, give or take.

Grumpy, Somewhat Smiley, Eventual Smile.

(I really need to exfoliate/moisturize my kissers before putting on my lip shade. That’s Currant by MAC, by the way. Great for the autumn/winter months. It’s just the lip pencil used all over.)

All right. Onwards, upwards, and lipwards.

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