Friday, October 25, 2013

Just suit me.

A co-worker/friend of mine were talking this morning about the University of Oregon - how we both graduated from there, what our degrees were in, oh and how we’re both Ducks. 

At my office I am the worst Duck ever.
There are plenty of alumni there - the  pride and spirit is insane. Kinda off the charts.
Like sometimes people end phone calls by saying "Go Ducks."

During my years at the U of O I attended one football game because my dad made me go saying I should experience it, and that I’d probably like it so much I’d thank him and want to go to all of the games.

I went to one football game. 

I remember looking out on the field at the players and the cheerleaders thinking I didn’t recognize any of these people from my Theatre History or Acting Styles class.
See, I did actually go back to Autzen Stadium multiple times Dad!
The Grateful Dead.

Immediately after graduation, like the following weekend, my mom took me shopping at the mall. I was looking forward to this because she had worded it that way specifically, “I AM GOING TO TAKE YOU SHOPPING LORI” which of course sounded very enticing to me. 

A little graduation gift maybe? Perhaps a new pair of ripped jeans? Some plaid flannel shirts? A belly button piercing?
(It was 1994.)

We went into the department store Meier and Frank and instead of going to the hip, cool teen department we headed over where the ladies suits were – what I referred to as “the dress clothes.” When I asked what we were doing there Mom told me this was my graduation present, that she and Dad were buying me a suit so I could look nice when I went out and looked for a job.

An 'effing suit?

I was a theatre arts major. I had never stood near a suit let alone put on a suit. And I had never had a discussion with my parents about wanting or needing a suit. I had also never had a conversation with them about looking for a job – there really wasn’t a plan in place.

A pleasant salesperson helped us pick one out. A nice navy blue jobby, I’m sure it was a quality item and I’m sure it was expensive. It felt nicer than anything I ever tried on before.  

I went into the dressing room and put it on. I remember it had shiny cold lining inside the pant legs. The arms felt the same way, silky, grown up. I looked in the mirror. My eyes welled up with tears. 

Not to sound all dramatic but I didn’t know who the person looking back at me was. It looked like a costume. It looked like a joke.

And the worst part was that this was some special moment for my mom, her trying to do something so nice that just backfired. She asked to come in to see it, I tried to compose myself but, I’m pretty terrible at doing that once you get me going.

I burst into tears telling her I didn’t want the suit, I didn’t know where to look for a job, why would I ever need something like this because I’m certainly NOT going to be working in an office, like EVER. 

I was kind of a wreck. I was going to be an actor, why couldn’t my parents understand that? 

We settled on a pair of black Doc Martens from Nordstrom and left. 

Fast forward and here I am. At an investment firm. Much happier now that I am part-time rather than full-time but nonetheless, I’m still at an investment firm, which is located you guessed it – in an office. 

I’m also an actor. In fact I’m an actor first. I am an actor with a “day job.”
A part-time little day job.
I rehearse and perform shows in the evenings and I work during the day. 

Day. Job.

I am also the best actor in the world because I play the role of executive assistant pretty damn well. And yes, some of my costumes do include the dreaded suit.

Cutie McSuity.

They don’t make me burst into tears anymore because they don’t define who I am like
I thought they did when I was 23. 

If an award was given for “Best Actor in a Suit at an Investment Firm, in a
Supporting Role” I would totally win. 

And I would totally cry. 
Another graduation gift from Mom and Dad.
Where do you keep your beautifully framed college diploma?
The closet floor, naturally.


  1. I met you in college. I've never doubted that you would end up acting full time. And I still don't doubt it. And I really can't see YOU in a suit. Better a suit than waiting tables though so good for you. Go Lori!

    1. I heart you anonymous! Sitting backstage at tech rehearsal right now - laughing, acting, laughing, sitting, laughing some more. It's a good day!

  2. Are you certain you're an actor first — 'cause, damn — this is some pretty fancy writing you go goin' on here.

  3. RGB--You're right! I read this blog and crack up because she's just so darn funny. Lori? It's me - the person from college. RGB is spot on. You've got some pretty fancy writing goin' on. What are you going to do about that?!

  4. Thank you for your kind comments! I have too many half completed things sitting around, a book, a play, etc. need to pick one and focus - not sure how to do that. Suggestions welcome!

  5. Why do you have to focus on one of those things? Just because you started something doesn't mean you should force it if you aren't feeling it. My suggestion is: Don't sweat the small stuff. You KNOW you will jump on something that lights that fire inside when it comes along and in the meantime the other stuff will keep.

    1. You're right - I think that's the key, not to force it. I'm going to to take a minute today to look over my pile of unfinished business and see if anything lights my fire.

    2. Honestly, reading through your blog, it seems as though your fire is already lit!

  6. It's wonderful that you've stayed true to yourself. I can't think about that too hard for me. It's too depressing. I wore a suit for many years.

    1. Michelle, what do you do for work? And what do you want to be doing?

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