LBD: Little Black Dress and Big Ideas

IMG_4687.JPGI wore it.  So sue me.
I have this little black dress.  It’s cute.  Way cute.  Maybe too cute–if you know what I mean.
Every time I slip it on, I feel stunning (which doesn’t happen too often).  But I also feel–well–like it’s too much.  My head says things like What will the other women say?  Who do you think you are–wearing this, young lady?  Your mother raised you properly so put on something more subdued!  
I listen to that voice, but then I think about how short life is (how short this dress is…) and I not only keep it on; but I also add a pair of velvet, scalloped heels, my diamond earrings (thanks, babe!) and some red lipstick.
Go big or go home.
I felt pretty.  What is WRONG WITH THAT?  Yet…I kept questioning myself.  This LBD wasn’t really who I was.  It was a “snapshot” of who I am.  A moment.  A night.
So Matt and I headed downtown to an event at the new Little Caesars Arena in which we’d get a behind-the-scenes tour.
But first: there’d be drinks at the Biergarten and a speaker–Tom Wilson.  Ya know: the Tom Wilson: president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment.  (Thanks, Adam and Lindsay Lawrie!)
We arrived fashionably late.  (Just kidding–we’re not fancy people.  Traffic just sucked.)
Tom was already taking questions.
I had one.  But was I brave enough to ask?  Who was I to ask a question among all these hotshot downtown developers and entrepreneurs?  
Then I thought about how I tell Mady and Lance, along with my students, to have courage, find their voices, and speak their truths  (TED Talk “The Danger of Silence”).  I thought about how sophisticated, classy, and BOLD I felt in my LBD.
I asked Matt: “Should I ask him a question?”
As always, he was supportive.  Ask away.
So my hand half-confidently flew up.  I asked it.
(Can you guess what?  Hint: I’m not afraid of elephants.)
But Tom Wilson could not hear me, so he moved closer.  Feeling both slightly more nervous and slightly more confident…
I repeated myself: “Can you please tell me how Kid Rock was chosen to christen the new LCA and who else was in the running?”
Then we had this brief awkward Trump/ Megyn Kelly moment.
He answered like this:

  • They wanted Kid Rock AND Eminem to do a joint show
  • Eminem only tours when he has a new album to promote
  • Kid Rock wanted to do it
  • So much so that he wrote four pages during the building of LCA to help Detroit bring in other famous artists
  • It really depends on artists’ schedules and availability
  • They also wanted Paul McCartney
  • He (TW) couldn’t understand the controversy surrounding Kid Rock
  • Said “Bob” was a nice guy and the farthest thing from racist
  • Everybody was surprised at the controversy he stirred

Then he left.  No more questions.  Dunzo.
We saw Kid Rock the night before this event.  The show was both fun and theatrical: he capitalized on the circus atmosphere.  The show was big.  He was big.  He was Kid Rock, after all.
So what struck me was how nonchalantly Tom Wilson had called Kid Rock “Bob”.  Was “Kid Rock” really just Bob’s LBD?
It got me thinking: maybe we all wear a LBD every now and then.  Me.  Bob.  You.  Us.
If people judged me that night based on my LBD, my red lipstick, my controversial question–would they really know me?  Would I want them to judge me based on one question, one night, one moment?
Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge.  Or to think that we have the right to make other people’s personal choices our own social justice issue for which to advocate. 
Don’t get me wrong: there is a time and a place for a LBD.  There is a time and a place for social justice.  Just not all of the time.
As I see Mady grow up in “girl world” and come across the whispers, the cliques, the issues (some of which I saw myself amongst grown ass women last night who met at the Adams football game)…
I can only think this: an LBD should be a staple in every woman’s closet.  We don’t wear them often.  But when we do, we should embody the boldness that they demand.
(Kid) ROCK that thang.


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