Following my company Christmas event, I find myself debating the age-old Good Lisa vs. Bad Lisa issue – again.
I spent a month in preparation. I chose a short black retro-style dress with a cotton lace overlay and 3/4 –length bell sleeves. I set a new record for my heel-height with gorgeous peep-toe platform stilettos from Steven Madden. Jewelry was sparkling and simple and carefully selected, along with my new makeup palette and lacey lingerie. Trip after trip to the salon for other assorted primping was all part of the presentation for the evening and went a long way to make me feel put together and special, right down to my bikini line. I loved the anticipation.
The night was a blur of spinning conversations and twirling on the dance floor. I blinked my eyes and it was over – long before I had time to talk to everyone I wanted to see. And then, I got on the elevator and went to my room, alone.
So why do I still feel a sense of shame about it all?
I felt sexy. Was that it? Is sexy bad? Am I ashamed because I hid a secret from Victoria’s under my dress? Do I feel guilty for taking my hemline and heels to an extreme I could never pull off at the office? Was I seducing? Is that a sin?
I get a stronger sense of upset when I think about some of the things I did or didn’t do, and my biggest worry is what other people think of me. Sound familiar? Damn codependency.
Did I dance too much? I remember being somewhat conscious of my hips and my dress that kept creeping up my thighs. I pulled down my clothes and fought to keep my dance moves under control and not strut around too much like a former NFL cheerleader has a tendency to do. I let the boss be the star of the floor when he decided to show off his 80’s moves. I remember struggling to keep my balance and not fall off my shoes. It was tempting to kick them off and really get down and dirty, but I kept myself in check (I think), thank god.
Did I laugh too loudly? Was I obnoxious in that giddy state of feeling sexy and drinking wine? Was it inappropriate to poke fun at one executive’s pink and white checked dress shirt? Was I too forward with Coach when I used his arm to steady myself when I slipped off a shoe to show how short I really am? Was I rude to others because I intentionally tried to avoid them to ensure I wasn’t too flirty or risk having my behavior misconstrued?
Did I spend too much time visiting with the suits and not enough time connecting with my friends? Do they think I’m a brown-nosing snob? I do enjoy spending time with the big boys. Sure, I want to join their club, but it’s also very refreshing to reinforce the fact that they are just people – with similar worries and problems that the rest of us face in the trenches. I just wish I’d had more time… Once a year is not enough.
So… back to the sexy…
Feeling sexy is scary. Certainly, I do it for myself. But obviously, I do it for attention. Is that wrong? Is it slutty of me to bask in a few compliments or notice a lingering stare at my legs? And I become vulnerable, too. There’s always the risk that I’m feeling way sexier than I actually am and that my confidence is completely unfounded as I make an utter fool out of myself. Or, feeling sexy can result in unspoken or inadvertent invitations for hooking up, or at least provide the illusion that I’d be up for that, which is not always the case and could lead to big trouble if I’m not careful.
Would it have been better if I showed up with unshaven legs in flats and a wool plaid skirt down to my knees with a Christmas sweater over a ratty old white bra and drank water and conservatively worked my way around the room?
Back in my hotel room, as Good Lisa took off my clothes and I crawled into bed with her, I felt disappointed. I suppose I was more disappointed in myself than in anything else.
I think, after all of this thinking, that perhaps the Truth is that I haven’t figured out how to choose Love over Fear in the presence of Sexy. That kinda makes sense to me, and maybe I’ll have an opportunity to practice that in 2013. If Coach’s promises of stepped-up workouts and fitness goals are met, then I should be feeling pretty damn good about my body sometime this spring, which seems to stir up a sexy mess for me.
Very perplexing. Anyway, I intend to stick with my “no sex” plan and see how things go. At least I know I’m not creating bigger issues for myself that way. It’s a sacrifice I’m definitely willing to make for the greater good. And, looking back over the past few sexless months, I can say the good was very, very good, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.