Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 10, 2004
What is My Image?
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 10, 2004 – As if I don’t have enough to think about during the course of a day, honing in on what my image is has been added to my list. After my meeting with a new Web Site designer, this question has become of paramount importance – after all I need to be promoting the real deal.
What do people see when they look at me? Listen to me? Evaluate my professional competence? Decide if they like me or not? These are all interesting questions and one would think relatively easy to answer. Not so. I haven’t the foggiest idea what my image is.
I know that when I leave the house to pick up a client or go to a business luncheon or a meeting that I look professional and polished (or so I think). My hair is well groomed, I have applied a dash of makeup and harmonious lipstick. I have stylish shoes and accessories and a decent wardrobe (recently updated with some new pieces) and killer jewellery. Does that comprise image? What is style? I know that I dress appropriately for my age and my business.
In the fall and winter I tend to favour pants or skirts, sweaters and a great blazer. I have nice winter coats and terrific scarves, boots and gloves. I can climb into a business suit when I have to and pull it off with a certain aplomb. In the summer I tend to be far more casual in Capri pants, skirts, lightweight tops and casual summer jackets. I’m always bare legged and my feet luxuriate in open-toed sandals and comfy slip-ons.
I think my attire is still appropriate for my job. I’m in my car with clients or in houses or condominiums, not a corporate boardroom. If necessary, I alter my dress depending on the client. So that’s it for clothes and accessories.
What about speech, manners and language. Well let’s see. I know when to behave and when to be a bit looser with people. If someone has no sense of humour – I’m all business. But if they face life, as I do, with a sense of the ridiculous, then I like to have fun while I’m doing my job. I’m careful around conversations about politics, religion, race, sexuality, parents, careers and education. You never know who knows whom or what might or might not offend another person.
So it’s zipped lips about anything controversial. That doesn’t leave a lot to talk about does it? Except the subject at hand which is real estate. So conversations tend to be about location, house style, furnishings, parking, required repairs and renovations. Even here you have to be careful. Best not to comment on the ridiculous zebra striped bedspread (as I once did) only to find out that my client’s mother had the same one, with the matching drapes.
Try talking your way out of that one. I’m polite at all times and try to keep my opinions to myself. I try not to swear while I’m conducting business, although privately, I cuss like a trucker. As to language – I speak the King’s English well.
Let’s see, where am I? I dress suitably for the occasion, speak well, understand the difference between personal and professional situations and have an appropriate sense of humour. Does that have anything to do with image? I guess it does. That’s what other people see when they meet me. But how do I see myself. I guess I’d have to divide my own feelings about my image into before and after menopause.
Before hot flashes, night sweats and foggy-memory syndrome set it, I thought of myself as a “with-it” woman. I was slim, toned and sort of cool. I had the odd fling with feeling sexy and I think I looked fine (not hot as everyone says today), but good – maybe even like a “babe” sometimes. I have been referred to as a tight-assed bitch, but that was by someone who didn’t truly appreciate my many virtues.
Today it’s a totally different story. I hate to admit it but I feel middle-aged (hell I am middle-aged) but now I really feel as if I’m living the label and I don’t like it much. A great deal of this has to do with my weight, my chubby thighs, little pot belly and the sense I have of myself as being just a tad stodgy.
I never thought this would happen to me, but here it is. So if I think honestly about my image today, I’d have to say that I probably project a professional, middle-aged, competent, responsible, amusing and caring image. Now, I know that buried inside me, there is still a slightly wild, funny, adventurous, curious, energetic and flirtatious woman – but I haven’t seen her for awhile. I wonder if she will ever re-appear?
With this analysis in mind I have to spend some time tonight filling in ideas about how I’d like to see my new Web Sites. Right now the thought of this task just makes me tired, but maybe after a bite of dinner I’ll feel inspired. I’m not counting on it, but I may. I was supposed to go to a business reception tonight but I just couldn’t pull it together. Some days I can pull off Herculean feats of daring-do and other days it’s just not going to happen.
Right now I don’t have a pick of insight, not a single clue as to my target audience and a blank mind when it come to my brand and image. These are matters to ponder after I’ve had a break away from my computer, but to be honest, I think I may just let an episode of The West Wing lure me away from the task at hand. It will still be there tomorrow.