Dear Miss Snark and KY,
I have a question on dress for a conference. My dilemma is a direct result of an act of personal Nitwittery about a month ago.
I was stung by a brown recluse spider that had taken up residence in my right shoe. I'm not going to go into all the gory details, but I narrowly missed getting three toes amputated. Aragog has NOTHING on a brown recluse fending off a home invasion of the size 8 variety!
I am off crutches now, and have been wearing leather moccasin style slippers for a few days. My Dr tells me to get used to it. No stillettos for me for a while. I can't even where sneaks because they're too constricting. I am going to a writer's conference next month and this is wreaking havoc with my planned wardrobe. I'd planned some nice, relaxed businessy type outfits for the day, and some slightlier dressier outfits for the evening events, and of course, some jeans and a nice t shirt for the rest of the time. Do I hold my head high and make the strangest fashion statement ever with brown mocs? Do I grit my teeth, try to find a decent pair of flats that won't hurt my recovery too much? Do I have a sudden relapse and go back to crutches so I can moc the right foot and sneaker the left foot? Do I just run amuck barefoot waving Frankenfoot under everyone's nose, thereby being certain to make some sort of impression? How important is appearance anyway? I hate to say this, but we (as people in general) base so much of our opinions of people that I'm worried that I'm literally shooting myself in the foot on this one. Would you, or any of the Snarklings make a snap judgement on a woman who's mostly put together except for wild foot gear?
I realize that the important thing for an unagented writer at a conference is networking. But I'm worried that if I run around looking like a refugee from Nitwits R Us, no-one will take me remotely seriously. I don't have a novel to sell yet. It needs some re-working before I'm ready to start querying again. I just happened to be traveling to the city in question for work, and my boss was kind enough to give me a few extra days on my plane ticket to attend the conference. So I figured as long as the trip was free, I might as well take advantage and attend the conference.
Am I obsessing too much over this?
Yes, but it's better than some of the other things y'all obsess about.
You need a nice t-shirt that says "ask me how I survived a brown recluse spider bite with only this brown moc slipper as a souvenir".
No one is looking at your feet. If they are, they're envying you for what looks to be comfortable shoes. You're hyper conscious of it; no one else is looking. And I swear to you: Anna Wintour neither attends, supervises nor monitors fashions at writing conferences.
However, I know that does not assuage your anxiety.
Spend some time shopping for the nicest shoe you can find that your doctor says is an acceptable choice. If mocs are it, so be it. Don't compromise your health for a writing conference.
And make sure you have the funny story ready of how the spider bit you. If you're laughing, so is everyone else.