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I like to think of myself as a Combo Scientist. Not one of those cool kids that gets to decide if pizza- and beer-flavored crunchy snacks from the gas station would be delicious on a road trip (they would) but one of those peeps that likes to mix stuff up and see what happens.

And today I had a combo better than peanut butter and chocolate: I rocked a visible pantyline and a wedgie.

Bad things happen to good people when I try to take my outfits up a notch, because while the VPL/wedgie combo only caused minor discomfort for me, I didn’t have to witness my arse eating my skivvies under the wispy material of a dress as it marched through the newsroom every hour on the hour. (Sorry, pals!)

Why was this horror inflicted on my coworkers? Well, friends, I had a meeting in the morning and a meet-and-greet mixer in the evening and when that kinda stuff hits the schedule, it’s time to break out the Business Puppy.

If you’re not familiar with Business Puppy (and you’re not), the term refers to folks who dress up infrequently and parade around the office in loud, clompy shoes they don’t normally wear. A Business Puppy tears Spanx to shreds twenty minutes after putting them on because Spanx suck. A Business Puppy doesn’t know how to walk upright in heels, or match a pencil skirt with a top, or choose accessories in a tasteful, workplace-appropriate manner. A Business Puppy pops on a dress, picks out shoes sans Velcro, puts their hair in a ponytail without combing it, accessorizes with a skateboard Band-Aide (because they still can’t shave without drawing blood) and then regards themselves in the mirror before work, thinking, “Yeah. Fuck, yeah. I look magical.”

This is exactly what I did this morning.

In fact, over the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to step up the general appearance at work. Why? Because rolling into work rockin’ tennis shoes, shorts and wildly inappropriate shirts is fine if you own the place, or work at a dot-com in the ’90s, or happen to be Magnum P.I.

My mustache isn’t quite powerful enough to pull that look off yet, and so I decided to start making an effort.

The unfortunate thing is when I’m not dressed like I’m ready to hop out of a chopper and then berate a stuffy English butler before peeling out in a Ferrari, I feel as though I’m in costume. That shouldn’t be a problem since I love Halloween. I could just tell myself, “Self, today’s costume is Business Puppy. GO!” But wearing heels and a dress somehow seems more abnormal than sporting lederhosen.

Regardless, skateboard Band-Aid and I went to the meeting and refrained from shouting, “HEY LOOKIT I WARSHED MYSELF AND PUT ON A DRESS!” for an entire 30 minutes. Then I spent the next 7 hours trying not to flash people and attempting to keep my underwear in place. Then I went to the fancypants after-hours mixer, where taller, prettier people floated about the room in fashionable boots and funky feather earrings, not spilling their margaritas anywhere.

I’m proud of those crazy kids who don’t shake at the prospect of using an iron. They were raised by people who assumed it was possible their beloved children might not someday grow up to be a business owner, or a dot-com monkey in the ’90s, or Magnum P.I. I’m gonna tell myself the ‘rents expected more of me. And they’ll be proven correct, right after I sell this pizza- and beer-flavored Combo idea.

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