About 3 weeks ago I began volunteering with a local charity that helps cancer patients, survivors and their families. They had advertised for a Volunteer Coordinator online and it seemed just a good opportunity to meet new people and get networking. Their offices were a mere 20 minute walk away and after the first meeting with the Executive Director and their Events Organiser, I just knew that they would be a good fit for me.
The first event they had me working on was a tie in with Ralph Lauren's Pink Pony Foundation. The store in the city centre was hosting an evening of cocktails and shopping for some of their top clients and 15% of the proceeds were to benefit a local charity; in this case, us.
Yesterday, the morning of the event, C the Events Manager and myself went down to the store to meet with the staff and get an idea of what they wanted from us and so on. After nailing down the details, the store manager mentioned that it would be a great idea if some of the charity staff were to wear RL merchandise. C jumped at the idea and in no time they had her wearing a pair of boot-cut jeans (£725), RL signature blazer (£698) and shirt (£85) finished off with a belt (£59). This of course was an easy enough process since C is tall and willowy with the figure that every designer has in mind when creating the clothes.
On the other hand, when it was my turn, things were not so smooth.
The store lady started by handing me a pair of jeans. Dark blue. Nice cut. Totally blinged out all the way down the front. Just one teensy problem. They were about 3 sizes too small. I knew that just by holding them up and asked if I could have a larger size. She waved my protests off saying that the material was a blend of Spandex and that it would stretch. Well, it didn't and after 10 excruciating minutes of jumping around in the dressing rooms trying to get the pants past my knees, I finally got them to admit that perhaps the material wasn't AS stretchy as they'd thought.
They then handed me a T-shirt. Classic RL polo shirt. Blinged out of course. As I ducked back into the dressing room, I began praying fervently to every known saint in the calendar and beseeched my recently deceased Nana to intercede on my behalf and please please make this fit. There was NO WAY I was going back out there with yet another outfit that I couldn't squeeze myself into.
Nans came through for me, and I had an outfit. Course, when I found out that it was valued at a shocking £150, I nearly had a coronary. Still, compared to C's outfit it was rags to her riches!
The evening was a success. People came, they asked about the charity, they drank the pink champagne and ate the tiny tiny portions of hors d'oeuvres that were being passed around, they posed for pictures. But most importantly, they SHOPPED and with each *cha-ching* of the cash register we smiled at the certain donation towards helping yet another person affected by cancer.
I'll take any amount of humiliation over my hips to make that happen.