I function under the clear delusion that I might, at events like these conferences, actually run into someone I know. There are about 13,000 people packed like sardines into the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, agreeably migrating from room to room like thirsty, badge-wearing wildebeests looking for the River of Knowledge from which to imbibe. You are an anonymous, faceless member of the herd.
Which is why I shouldn’t have worried this morning when I cracked open my suitcase, packed under duress and sleep deprivation, to discover all I had brought were jeans. The dress code, printed clearly on the registration packet, says “business casual”, hence the panic.
I used to work for a real human doctor. I know what business casual means:
Something like this, right?
Business casual means, well, not quite a business suit but not quite casual. So, slacks and a blouse, maybe. I was very concerned that my jeans-wearing self would be laughed out of the show by all the khaki-wearing, tailored blouse favoring medical professionals aghast at my blatant disregard for our esteemed profession. ” Get OUT!” they would shout disapprovingly, “And STAY OUY until you can show some respect with a nice ironed pair of chinos!”
Clearly my sleep deprivation clouded my mind more than I was really aware of, because, duh, this is a veterinary conference we’re talking about. We veterinarians, as we have discussed on many previous occasions, are generally not the most stalwart of fashionistas. This is a group of people who have dedicated their life to getting animal effluvia all over them. So jeans ARE business wear. Formal wear means you add your cowboy hat.
I entertained myself during the long escalator line by doing some statistical sampling of my co-attendees. In my 50 person random selection, 80% of them were wearing, you guessed it, jeans. The younger grads who still had money to spend on themselves were wearing fancy jeans. I saw one lady in an expensive looking suit but she was a lost attendee from a photography convention in the next building.
So I fit right in. Really the only way I could have screwed this up would have been to show up in flip flops and a tube top. Or, apparently, a suit. If you do that, it means you’re a company rep, you’re going to try and sell something and no one wants to talk to you.
Dressing up is a pain anyway. Nylons are the work of the devil. I love that I belong to a profession where denim is fancy pants. Viva la levis!