HAVE YOU BEEN THERE?

You turn up at a party and you find out you are totally underdressed. What do you do?

This happened to me last month. The invitation mentioned a location along the Hamburg harbor and the dress code was maritime. I should have checked what this meant in the eyes of the inviter.

I turned up in blue pants, white Converse, my wind breaker and felt totally maritime, until I entered the club room. Everyone I saw was dressed very smart, most women in pretty long dresses, high heels and the men in suits and ties. Well, yes, I saw 4-5 people wearing something like a seafarer or captain´s outfit, but the majority was dressed incredibly beautiful and very smart. Maybe their buttons looked maritime but that was it.

Entering the room, I immediately wanted to turn around and flee. I should have anticipated that my friend only throws parties which are beautiful, upper class and very stylish. O my word! And as I was the last one entering the room, I felt I had all eyes on me, scanning me and in some eyes, I could certainly detect disapproval for my choice of clothes. I mean, it is not that I won´t have dresses in my wardrobe, it just did not enter my mind and I wore something comfortable and maritime – in my eyes.

What would you have done? Laugh it away? Ignore the looks?

It took all my self-control to stay in the room knowing it is not about me but about honouring the birthday person. Being seated at a table with people I had never met did not make it easier for sure, but then again it was not about me.

In the end, I had a wonderful time at the party with some engaging conversations around the table about faith, my book, life and once again I realized the power of just being willing to listen to others and put them first.

I was reminded again of my identity in Christ and who I am is more important than being dressed for the occasion.

I hope in heaven I can still wear my beloved Converse!