The hardest thing so far has been clothes shopping. Most professional musicians have at least one set of decent, dressy concert clothes. I do not. I used to, in college. But in college I weighed 155 lbs, and now I'm at 126, so over the years my women's suit and my concert dress and my expensive blouse have all found their way to the thrift store, where hopefully someone found the perfect fit. And having been on the circus for the past five years, I was either wearing the provided costume, or extremely casual clothes that could survive industrial train yards.
So I have about three weeks of not working, during which I need to buy a whole new wardrobe. The cost makes me wince, but honestly, if I'd behaved like most professionals I'd have all this stuff already.
About two days ago I spent nearly six hours clothes shopping. Can't believe people do that for fun! Ugh! Mobs of people everywhere you turn, clothing racks all messy and picked-through...I had to nix bra shopping because VC was having a "buy-two-get-one-free" sale and it was like a massive cat fight in there.
It took most of the day, but I found three dressy tops to wear under the blazer that I bought, and two button-up blouses, one black and one ivory. The hardest part was finding a classy black dress for "cocktail hour". Black is not a popular dress color in Florida, and even right before autumn it seems like selection is limited. But I did find one that I think will be good with a little alteration, and a sparkly black jacket.
Yesterday Jameson went with me to help find clothes for my "outdoor set", which is supposed to be "cream/khaki dress pants" and a "Hawaiian shirt or something else colorful". I nervously picked out a few shirts and tried them on while he waited. I wonder every day how he feels about this. Are his feelings hurt that I'm leaving (again) for so long? Does he take it personally? Does he understand why I feel I have to do this? He knows that I'm not happy to do it, but in some ways I think that makes it worse because he's imagining me miserable on a boat for four months while he's miserable at home. I know I want him to be happy and have fun while I'm gone. I think maybe he wishes the same for me.
Anyway, I got a Hawaiian shirt. I have a "theater outfit", and a "jazz/dance outfit", and the "cocktail hour" outfit. All I need are the cream pants, bras, and maybe a pair of shoes. And some workout clothes. And stockings. Damn, I keep remembering other things I still need :/
And then I need to buy toiletries, and a sewing kit, and get a haircut, and take the clothes to the tailor, and start packing, and, and...
It seems like a lot. But now that I'm not working noon to nine pm every day, I have the time.
Today's agenda is to finish the clothes shopping if at all possible, and get things to the tailor before the end of the day. Tonight I have the union hall reserved for badly-needed practice. Tomorrow I have volunteering at the Audubon in the morning, then I'll probably cook dinner at night.
Oh, speaking of the Audubon. I've been volunteering at their Center for Birds of Prey. It's mostly a lot of cleaning, but I do get to interact with the birds a bit. I've gotten some good pictures and video.