I was having a moment at work the other day. You know those moments where there is a deadline looming on something stupid that you don’t want to be doing in the first place, the pressure is on, raising your heart rate and making you on edge, and then the computer does something spazzy like re-start, or freeze, or just basically stop working? Well, I was working on a motion for court (I’m an attorney), and out of nowhere, Word decided to crash and shut down. I went to open the document back up, and it was nowhere to be found, even though I had saved it like five times over the last couple hours. I lost it. I probably popped a couple blood vessels and developed a twitch in my eye as I tried to contain myself in the office and not throw my laptop against the wall. I thought about taking a baseball bat to the damn machine. I was shaking, I was so angry. I wanted to scream and vomit and cry, all at the same time. All that work, all that stupid pointless work that I had to do…gone. Forever. I tried to take deep breaths and calm my breathing. I couldn’t find the document anywhere on the server, or in the temporary files, and I made myself even more crazy trying to tech support myself and find it in the backup system. I had to get out of the office and take a walk or we might have all had a Carrie situation on our hands.
I walked over to the drugstore. I love drugstores. They have so much meaningless crap, like snuggies, As Seen on TV products, and lots of makeup. I walked up and down the makeup aisles, feeling soothed by the blatant consumerism, advertisements, and superficial semblance of beauty. Motions and court procedure? Dry and boring. Make-up and beauty products? Now we’re talking my language.
An advertisement featuring a confident woman with red glossy lips caught my eye. I needed to be that woman. That woman wasn’t on the verge of a meltdown over a crashed computer program. That woman wasn’t a frazzled disaster, hanging on by her last thread. That woman was confident, poised, and dangerously self-assured. That woman was ready to stomp all over anything that got in her way, in killer stiletto heels. I picked out a deep red Maybelline lipstick, “Red Revival” and immediately put it out in the parking lot, using someone’s car side-mirror.
One thing you should know about most lawyers is that they are pretty conservative and boring (myself excluded!), at least at the office. And there I was, in dark red lipstick at work. I felt like such a rebel, a maverick. The lipstick immediately changed my outlook on the situation. No longer was I Elizabeth Coleman, boring associate attorney office drone, slaving away on some stupid motion. I was Liz Coleman, the sassy, take-no prisoners lawyer, writing the shit out of that court document. Opposing counsel would wonder who wrote such articulate and well-reasoned arguments. I was upholding justice, restoring faith to the legal system, and advocating zealously for my client. I was Legally Blonde, incarnate!
Now, I’m not one to usually advocate for things like makeup, or clothes, but I have to say, there is something about knowing you look good to give you a little bit of bounce in your step. If I can carry that over into my work, hell, I’m all for it.
I owe it all to the Red Revival.