I really SUCK at being a “girl”.
Somewhere along the line, I missed receiving the “style” gene in my family. Both my sisters got it, but not me. Therefore, I am very fashion challenged. My closet is filled with hoodies and baseball hats. The clothes I do have that are dressy and stylish were most likely bought by my personal shopper -my sister, Caryn. It is pretty much guaranteed that if an outfit I am wearing matches from head to toe, then either my sister bought it, I bought it off a mannequin, or it was a total fluke on my part. My friends know which outfits are “Caryn approved” and which are not. Every outfit I own for any occasion has been bought by my sister….even my wedding dress. True story.
I really don’t have the time or patience to shop and honestly, I have no clue what goes with what. I just want to be comfortable. The problem with dressing up, especially dresses, is the limitations that come with it. You have to be careful about what you eat, how you bend over to pick up a napkin, how you sit, whether a big gust of wind or a hasty trip to the bathroom will cause an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction….and any desire to do a spontaneous cartwheel or be part of a human pyramid is completely out of the question. Another true story.
The same holds true with hair and make up. Other then my brief mullet stage during the 80’s, I have mainly kept my hair short. There is little to no maintenance involved with short hair. Drying time is minimal and you never have to worry about accidentally eating you hair during a meal. Over the past two years though, I have successfully grown out my hair to all one length. To me, this is equivalent to Congress balancing the budget – next to impossible. But I did it. Maybe there’s hope for Congress. Although I have long hair, I have no idea how to style it. I know two hairstyles – the ponytail and the baseball hat. If I am feeling sassy then sometimes I’ll go with the baseball hat and a ponytail, but that is my extent of hairstyle knowledge.
This was cool back then?
So you can imagine my dismay when I found out we had a wedding to go to and I would therefore, be required to dress up.
Now, the easiest thing to do in this situation would have been to call my sister, inform her I needed an outfit and voila – my problem would be solved. Of course, doing the easiest thing is not always my forte. Honestly, in my head, I kept telling myself to call my sister, but something always prevented me from actually calling. She was at work, or the kids were fighting, or I was in line at Dunkins.
Slowly, the weeks ticked away until the wedding was 3 days away and I had zero plan. So I did what any sane person would do….I panicked. I rummaged through my closet, through every past outfit my sister had every bought and came up with a turquoise sun dress that I wore to a wedding in Jamaica. The wedding was before the boy was even an idea so the dress had to be over 7 years old, but everything comes back into style, right? I no longer had the shoes so of course, I waited until the day before the wedding to tackle that problem.
FRIDAY BEFORE WEDDING
We loaded up the family and headed out to look for shoes. I ran into Payless, found a $10 pair of white sandals (white goes with everything, I think) and a flowery head band that matched the dress. Accessorized for 15 bucks! Well, it actually cost me $34 because the boy insisted he needed a new pair of basketball shoes, even though I just bought him new sneakers. “But those aren’t basketball shoes, mom!” Sigh.
Since my husband is the same way as me, we had to run into Kohl’s to find him a shirt and tie. Amazingly, he found a shirt that matched my dress color and a snazzy tie right off the bat, so I took this as a sign the fashion gods were in our favor. While I was keeping the kids busy in the toy section, my husband had to jump on a call so he checked out without us. I had a 30% coupon I wanted to use.
A 30% coupon at Kohl’s is like hitting the lottery! So I had to go back in and return everything and rebuy it with the 30% off. (You’d do it too)
Outfits complete! On to hair!
I got a quick appointment with my hair dresser to get my hair trimmed and my unibrow waxed back to two defined eyebrows. While discussing the upcoming wedding, I mentioned it would be nice to have a little wave in my hair, but I lacked the skills to do it. She said it was easy and began to explain how I could do it.
Instructions: separate your hair into sections. First the sides and clip them up, then the back – one section, clip, second section, clip, third section, clip. Take one inch section of hair and begin…..zzzzzzzzzzzz.
OMG! How many steps? You lost me at the second section.
I figured I would spend Friday night practicing on my hair and, because I was still high from our sweet shopping finds (at 30% off), I decided to give myself a pedicure too.
I really tried to follow all the steps my hairdresser explained to me. I tried to section my hair into 4 sections, but I couldn’t seem to keep the hair together long enough to put the clip in. Eventually, I had one massive glob of hair on the top of my head, with 7 clips sticking out and hair was still popping out in all directions.
How do people manage to do anything to the back of their heads without any visual guidance? I was trying to get 1 inch sections just from feeling around my head. I ended up either pulling hair out of my hair clip contraption or, if I was lucky enough to get a section, I’d end up burning my fingers trying to get the curling iron around the hair piece (and yes, I was wearing the little protective glove that comes with the iron). Finally, frustration won out and I just started grabbing chunks of hair and curling it. In the end, I looked like Medusa, with crimped pieces of half curled hair sticking out every which way. I tried brushing it out which just made it worse. My last saving grace was to try on the head band to see if it would tame the mess. It was then I realized that the head band made me look like an overaged mermaid, having really bad hair day.
F%#$k the hair.
I decided to move on to the pedicure. If anything, the water might relieve the stinging sensation in my burnt fingertips.
Normally, whenever I tried to paint my nails, they end up looking like a drunk toddler got loose with the nail polish. After the hair fiasco, I was almost resigned to the fact that I would be going to the wedding with unpainted toes and a baseball hat on.
I am still not sure what happened, but somehow I managed to stay inside the lines and my toes came out pretty nice. Definitely not professional grade, but I only had to get through the day and as long as no one was crawling around by my feet, it would pass as acceptable.
I went to bed feeling somewhat optimistic.
SATURDAY (WEDDING DAY)
Time to get serious.
During the night, my hair disaster had flattened down so I thought I’d give the head band another try. Still looked like sh@$#t. Really, I do have a baseball hat that matches my dress….
After getting everyone fed, dressed, packed for aunties, and medicated, I thought “hey, maybe I should paint my finger nails too.” Freaking idiot. I didn’t do a bad job. I just kept forgetting that I couldn’t touch anything for a while. After the fourth touch up, I decided I’d just keep my hands in my lap or talk really animated so no one would actually see my nails for more then 30 seconds at a time.
It was then my husband asked if we had a card. SH@#$T!
Off to Walmart I go. Got a lovely wedding card, picked up a sweater in case the AC was blasting during the reception, picked up a few more hair accessories (still have no idea what I’m doing) and grabbed some lip gloss. Did I mention I never wear makeup? Any makeup I have is from my wedding – 14 years ago. According to my friends, I should not be using this makeup for fear of getting some bacterial infection that could make my eyes look like I’ve been in a really bad bar fight. I decided to take my chances.
So I rushed home, got cleaned up, dusted off my special occasion only thong, put my straight hair in a somewhat side pony, threw on my 14 year old makeup, my new sweater and…….CRAP! I look like a dowdy librarian for a low budget porn film. My husband thought I looked hot (due to the thong and the porn reference).
I have to admit, we both cleaned up nicely. We received a lot of compliments about our matching outfits, which we told everyone was due to the Garanimal matching system. No one noticed my hacked up finger nails. My eyes didn’t swell from a raging bacterial infection. There were no wardrobe malfunctions and I managed to refrain from any cartwheeling.
The wedding was beautiful and I am so happy for the bride and groom, but the best part of the day was going home and getting back in my hoodie.
Some things never change.