I totally earned this dress.

August 07, 2007

So I splurged a little on a dress for a meeting with my publisher and the very, very writer-friendly people at Barnes & Noble in fabulous downtown Manhattan.

the dress I splurged on

And okay, I splurged on the shoes, too. And, um, the bag. As a working writer, 90% of my clothes are the kind of thing you wear to clean out the garage. The other 10% of my wardrobe looks more like this. And how did I earn this hot little number?

See for yourself. This is a shot of me at a booksigning–yes, a booksigning–at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The day was organized around an air show, and there were tables and booths set up in the hangars along the air strip. I found myself sharing a table with an army ranger and his pet, Roxanne the Snake. The ranger wanted me to hold his snake. I said no. I hid behind my tower of unsold books. He insisted, so I told him I would only hold his snake if I sold all these books. (I never sell out at a signing.) But people kept buying books, and I was down to 3, so the ranger bought them all and I had to make good on my promise to hold his snake.

The snake seemed to like me. The ranger did not, because I told him his snake felt like a purse.

Anyway. Here I am with Roxanne, smiling through my inner silent screams of horror, earning any damn dress I want. For life. So there:

Roxanne the snakeRoxanne the snake

Note that this shot is slightly blurry. Why? Because Mr. Manly-Man Husband of Mine was standing about Note that this shot is slightly blurry. Why? Because Mr. Manly-Man Husband of Mine was standing about fifty yards away, too afraid to come closer, so this is with the zoom lens. And, I admit, I was not exactly holding still.

Diane von Furstenberg has to get her inspiration somewhere, right?

Shop on!

 Special bonus material–I spotted this on Story Broads:
I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what’s underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

–Kim Addonizio

| 12 Comments
  • Umh. I think it’s extremely funny that you’re your own publisher–your link to your pub is actually a link to your website. I’m a little odd, I know.

    And I’d disagree that the ranger disliked you. He wouldn’t have bought three copies of the same book and then let you carry his snake otherwise.

  • You are braver than me. I keep thinking about Indiana Jones. “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”

    ROFL about the purse comment. I love the dress! The snake is absolutely perfect and a fantastic reminder of your visit for Elgin as well as your courage.

  • So Jay carried a BOX LOAD of Nora’s RITA statues to the hotel mailing center one year. Does that count? It was one of those years when she won 3 or 4.

    Actually, funny story about that–She told him, “I’m shipping the girls home.”

    Jay, clueless, said, “How old are they? Will they be okay?” He was sure it was a box full of puppies or something.

    Good job on the rattler. Do it again and YOU can make the earrings!

  • He will forever be called Jay the Wuss unless he does something extremely he-manly in the presence of at least three romance writers outside of your chapter.

    My most memorable run in..or runover as the case of a snake occurred while driving in in the vicinity of the Rattlesnake Capital of Alabama (yes, there is one). I spotted a rattlesnake stretched COMPLETELY across the two-lane blacktop. His head was off the asphalt on one side and his rattles on the other side.

    He was unavoidable roadkill that day.

    Oh. Gee.

    LauraH (Cool dress…you need some snake rattle earrings to match)

  • Yikes!!

    You deserve it… (the dress, the shoes, a purse, earings, bracelet),
    everything ….a full matching outfit.

    What a lovely dress…Cool!

  • How funny April, I too didn’t notice the snake on the dress until I read your post! What we won’t do to look beautiful:-)

  • Hmmmm! I think your husband is a very wise man!

    The other end of a telephoto lens is a Very Good place to be!

    That dress is amazing …but I for one wouldn’t be caught dead in it!

  • I liked the dress, thought it was fun, but it wasn’t until I scrolled back up that I noticed the snake on the dress! At the very least, it’s a great story. I don’t mind snakes – well, with supervision and not like poisonous. I think they feel kind of neat. Heavier than they appear.

    The poem is hilarious! My problem with fantastic clothes is that I can’t carry them off because clothes usually weren’t made for my body.

    So, what shoes and bag went with a snake dress? Snakeskin? 🙂

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