Princeton Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight


I have to go make a speech in Princeton, so I’m trying to find my Serious Clothes, the ones I have to wear underwear with because tomorrow I will be in a serious place discussing serious things with serious people. Okay, not really, romance scholars are usually pretty laid back and lots of fun, they probably wouldn’t bat an eye if I showed up in my usual working clothes (pjs and bunny slippers), but I think I should make the effort. I got rid of most of my Serious Clothes when I left Ohio but I still have a couple of jackets and some dress pants and some dresses I might be able to convince people are speech clothes and not just sundresses with a jacket. I even have a pair of high-heeled bunny slippers, but I think that might be going too far. Definitely no hose, though, and no high heels. There’s a limit.

But this is also going to involve make-up, which always looks weird on me, and probably something with my hair. No matter how hard I try, I always look like somebody who just came in on the clown car because I am just not good at this stuff. So there will be much hilarity tonight as I try to figure out how to look like an adult before I get to Princeton. I like to blend in.

And just to remind you, that’s the Princeton Romance Author Symposium, Oct 24-25, in Betts Hall, starting at 5:30 tomorrow night (Oct. 24). Here’s the poster, one of which I must get:

romance_poster_hi-rez 8_28

Oh, and the Comedy Tonight? Krissie is coming to dog-sit and we haven’t seen each other in months. There will be much laughter, especially if I practice putting on make-up.

Filed in Deep Thoughts, Writing

30 Comments to 'Princeton Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight'

On October 23, 2013 at 8:17 am JaneB said...

Empathy here. I can do make-up: I worked it out in my teens and twenties, and stick to what works. It lasts for decades since I wear it rarely. No foundation, though – just eye make-up (I’m vain about my eyes, and since I have to wear thick glasses, I go for eye make-up so they’re visible at least), blusher and lipstick (which is the bit that never quite works, although I bought a Bourjeois crayon-like lipstick recently, which is fun).

I had to dress up recently for a friend’s wedding, which challenged my wardrobe. But I managed to get away with dressing up fairly everyday clothes – a beaded t-shirt, colourful skirt, cashmere cardigan (bought on a US trip in 2005 and wearing incredibly well – worth the extra!). I guess what made me feel smart enough, though, was actually wearing tights and heels, although not high, and with cushioned soles to compensate. Maybe boots, this time of year?

Good luck. It’ll be wonderful: but you’ll have more fun if you feel comfortable and love what you’re wearing. Wish I could be there. And the poster’s fab.

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On October 23, 2013 at 8:20 am Jill W / Jilly Wood said...

This looks fascinating. Do you know whether there will be any kind of report or summary published afterwards? I’d be very interested.
Also, that poster rocks.

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On October 23, 2013 at 10:39 am Jenny said...

Teach Me Tonight usually reports on the romance symposiums, so I’d watch there.

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On October 23, 2013 at 11:30 am Jill W / Jilly Wood said...

Thank you! I haven’t seen that blog before. Lots of interesting stuff there.

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On October 23, 2013 at 9:16 am Deborah Blake said...

I love that poster! And I’ve seen you in public a few times and you clean up quite well :-) (Although I would have loved to have seen you wearing the high heeled bunny slippers.)

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On October 23, 2013 at 9:32 am Susan D said...

Love that poster. I think I need to print a copy for my office.

Playing dress-up: for me it’s the shoes, and what to wear with the shoes (i.e., rummage through the underwear drawer for vintage but more-or-less intact pantihose) and what to wear as a stand-in for the non-existent bra.

Break a leg, Jenny.

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On October 23, 2013 at 9:51 am Lola said...

A friend of mine has permanent tattooed eyeliner. That would solve your problem.

j/k :p

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On October 23, 2013 at 10:47 am German Chocolate Betty said...

One of the big advantages of being in the (research) IT area is that no-one really cares what you look like. Okay, the corporate IT folks gotta look “business-y” but us research geeks are allowed to be geeks. The first couple of times I gave a paper I wore a suit and high heels. Now they get me in jeans and a top, hoody or cardigan if it’s cold. At one summer conference, a keynote speaker showed up wearing shorts, a polo shirt and runnings shoes. No-one blinked: they were there to hear what he had to say, not to make fashion judgments… I suspect the audience would be just as thrilled to have Jenny Crusie in front of them with bed-head, flannel jammies and bunny slippers as with “serious” clothes. Even Princetonites.

(I do cheat a bit: many moons ago I got the tattoed-on eyeliner, lipliner and even now I get my lashes dyed every two months. But I trim my own waist-length hair, do not dye it, and my “beauty cream” is cheap-o Aldi sunscreen each morning…)

Have a grand time. Wish I could be there! Send pics!

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On October 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm Skye said...

Wow, GCB: waist-length hair? That’s cool. When my hair gets even to down between my shoulder blades it’s too heavy and hurts my scalp. So I keep it very short, and I color it (Nature should have given me light-red hair), so it’s a bit higher maintenance.

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On October 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm German Chocolate Betty said...

Actually, it’s more hip-length right now. And more grey than anything else (I’m 58). Sort of a Bride of Frankenstein pure grey-white streak going now too. Used to be strawberry blonde, but I stopped coloring it, oh, well, many moons ago. Everyday I braid it and pin it up into a chignon. Always looks good, and there is nothing more easy care, except maybe for a buzzcut… It’s also very heavy, but I think I have been doing it so long the muscles in my neck adjusted years ago.

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On October 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm Skye said...

Yeah, I don’t wear makeup either most of the time. If I feel like making the effort, I’ll do eyeliner and some sort of lip color. I have rosacea, so blush is kind of irrelevant. If I really make an effort, I use that mineral makeup foundation and even eye shadow, but that’s for special events. It’s much easier to use than regular foundation, at least for me, and I don’t feel like I’ve got stuff on my face.

Good luck on looking “serious”. Personally, I think comfy trousers, a shirt with no stains on it, and a jacket work quite well. :)

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On October 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm Robena Grant said...

Have a wonderful time at the symposium. Wish I could have attended. It has been far too many years since I’ve seen you, but I do know this, you always look well put together, so stop worrying. And seriously, we attend your talks to sit in awe of your knowledge, not to score you on attire or make-up.
I almost always choose black because I know it suits me and I have all of the accessories to dress up black. My only problem is when I get nervous or preoccupied I become a face toucher. So, no foundation or powder, or you know, it then ends up on the clothes. Lips, eyes, and blush. Some silver jewelry. A spritz of hair spray. A smile.

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On October 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm CateS said...

If you have time — go to a makeup counter at a large department store and have it done there… They will try to sell you the stuff.. but they do make you look good.

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On October 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm Jenny said...

Actually, that never works for me. I don’t have a face for make-up and I always look . . . odd.

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On October 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm colognegrrl said...

That’s what you think beause you’re not used to it. Kind of like listening to your own voice.

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On October 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm lee said...

Oh I would cast an enthusiastic vote for the high heeled bunny slippers….

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On October 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm Cathy M said...

I agree. High heeled bunny slippers sound like just the right touch.

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On October 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm JulieB/Julie Spahn said...

How about black slacks, shirt, and that fabulous red jacket/”thing” from a few years back? That’s pretty cool…

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On October 24, 2013 at 12:00 am PG said...

Hoping to make it there, but I had assumed it was college casual dress and was planning to wear jeans (especially because I’ll be running straight from the office and boss is away, so I can dress down!). But according to said boss, who refers to himself as a snappy dresser on his Twitter profile, a jacket cures most ills in terms of making one look at least superficially put together. And it’s cold enough that I actually want to wear a jacket (and a coat, and earmuffs and gloves) to work every day.

The only time an academic speaker’s clothes have made an impression on me was when I saw the Australian philosopher Peter Singer many years ago. He’s a famous utilitarian who advocates living on as little money as possible and giving the rest to charities that do the most basic good for the most people (usually feeding people and preventing disease in developing countries). He was dressed in incredibly faded black clothes, and it made an impression because I thought, “Wow, he evidently really believes in what he’s preaching about only spending on essentials.”

Which I think is the only reason anyone should ever notice a speaker’s clothes: if they actually seem to be part of the speaker’s message. I have to go to a conference every couple weeks for work now, and the speakers are usually well-dressed lawyers and economists, but they all blend together. Even if a woman is dressed particularly fashionably, I might notice for a second but it doesn’t stick in my memory.

So if you want your clothes to be part of the message, I say dress to that, but otherwise just dress to be warm and comfortable — that’s my plan!

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On October 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm cleo said...

Good point. Now that I think about it – I don’t remember anything about the clothing of any presenter at any conference I’ve been too. With one exception – Deepak Chopra. I saw him speak at a conference / retreat and he wore red clogs. I might not remember even that, except that’s the main thing that everyone mentioned after his talk.

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On October 24, 2013 at 6:00 am Micki said...

I would like to see someone sole those steampunk bunny slippers for you, and you could wear those to academic lectures. Maybe a low pump?

You are going to have a great week! Glad you have someone to come home to, too.

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On October 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm Sofie Couch said...

Crap. Do I have to wear make-up? Oh, only you have to wear make-up. Okay. I’m good with that. :) I’ll be attending this evening’s lecture. Can’t wait. (I’ll be the one in the audience with no make-up… and maybe bunny slippers.)

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On October 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm carrie said...

I am going and I will be
Looking for bunny slippers!

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On October 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm G and T said...

Find the perfect lipstick and just go with that. It’s all good!

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On October 25, 2013 at 10:33 am Christina said...

Jenny –

It was so nice meeting you at the symposium last night. You had us rolling! If you’d like to check out some of the photos from last night, they are posted on my blog. (I would have just posted them here, but I’m a technological ditz and I couldn’t figure out how to do it.)

I wish you all the success in the world and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to meet again in the future.



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On October 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm PG said...

I got stuck at work and wasn’t able to attend after all, so thanks to Christina for posting about the event! For those who might be looking a few days later, the specific post is at

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On October 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm Cynthia said...

I thought you were great last night and would LOVE to hear your few words on Congress sometime.

PS You totally didn’t have to wear underwear.

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On October 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm Jill said...

I would like to be a fly on the wall at this conference. Or be there. But someone would have to sit on me and tape my mouth shut or I would be up on my soapbox.

“many others are recognized instantly across the genre’s community while romance readers often indicate they select and organize their romance reading on the basis of authorship.”

Absolutely, but I got to that point by reading category.

” Iconography of the romance author in pop culture”

For some of us romance authors are what for others are sports and entertainment heroes/icons. But romance authors do not get the recognition they deserve. Some of the media is stuck in the ‘bodice ripper’ mentality. What genre contributes more to the publishing pocketbook ? See ? Soapbox.

“Romance authors and their readers”

Another interesting topic .

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On October 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm Jill said...

There should be pictures here

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On October 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm the sociologists said...

Wish I had read this before the event and could’ve fully appreciated your fancy clothes and effort to don underwear. Your contributions were fabulous and it was a treat to have you there! Loved your keynote, too!

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