Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where the h*** is my fairy godmother?!

It was time for the ball (aka a big school fundraiser involving fancy dress and expensive tickets). This is the rundown of my preparations....

Several weeks before the ball....decide the ball is too expensive and I will not be going. Happen to receive (Absolutely free!)
beautiful pair of Ann Taylor kitten heel pointy toed shoes leftover at the end of the church bazaar. Despite the fact that they have been looked at and rejected by the masses, they truly are AWESOME shoes. Take them joyfully home and await occasion to wear them. (This is not the exact shoe - heel is too high but it is awfully close!)

Few weeks before the ball...receive from dear friend and her husband a ticket to the ball as a gift - yippee! Money remains tight so look for ball wear that is inexpensive or even better - free. Find sweet and flattering lilac colored dress at a loan locker on the Marine base but do notice a little stain on the bodice. Take dress home with plans to dry clean. Decide that with free ticket and free dress, I can splurge on a hair appointment - schedule last appointment for the day of the ball and request "style with extra shellac". At salon, while scheduling, explain to my regular stylist that I would like my hair to look like Kimber from Nip/Tuck in the season where she's still sleeping with the dad and maybe a few of his friends - not the season where she sleeps with the son and becomes a crack addict. With no other customers in the salon, stylists all crowd the computer, google Kimber, and agree her hair looks terrific. I exclaim how grateful I am that I was able to come in and have this conversation when no one was in the salon because I would be embarrassed being a mid-40's overweight, graying mother asking to look like Kimber if there were other customers around. God is good - all is well - I am Cinderella - except for the little stain I need to take care of.

Week before the ball... tell myself every day, "Girl, you better get that dress to the dry cleaners, time is sneaking up on you." Dress continues to hang in closet.

Day before ball... realize that the "same day service" is not really same day since you live on an island with a dry cleaners that is only a substation of the real dry cleaners. The dress cannot be professionally cleaned. No problem - go to grocery store and purchase Dryell home dry cleaning kit with stain remover. Attempt to remove stain - doesn't seem to be coming out - maybe it will "dry clean" out... no it won't. Resign self to wearing an old dress in the closet and go to bed.

Day of the ball....try on old dress in the closet. Realize that 15 pound weight gain will be an issue. All fifteen pounds are laying atop the bust and abdomen - dress is unseemly tight. The image that springs to mind is the characters in Tim Burton movies. Not the women who are all rail thin waif like creatures with long hair and gigantic eyes. No, the image is more the men,
the stick legged, pot bellied men who have rotund torsos and toothpick thin limbs. That's me - the apple shape defined. Muse that perhaps the stain of the sweet and flattering lilac dress could be covered up if I were to dye the dress the same color it is now but just a tad darker - more of a purple. Google "dying a dress" and read over and over again that it is not a good idea to dye a DRY CLEAN ONLY dress. Decide to do it anyway.

Better switch to real time here...

2:00 Search fabric and craft dept of Wal-Mart forever before discovering that Rit dye is kept on the other side of the store with the laundry products. This is the Murphy's Law of Wal-mart - whenever there is uncertainty, whatever you want will be on the other side of the mile long store.

2:30 Pick up kids from school and head for home to dye dress.

3:30 Dye dress. The easiest method, according to all the package instructions (which you may question my even reading since I am ignoring the warnings about dry clean only fabric anyways) - the best method is in the washing machine. Examine washing machine and think and think and think about it but decide there is no way to accomplish this in a front loader. Resolve to having to dye the dress in a big Rubbermaid bin. Reread instructions and worry about dye staining sink and Rubbermaid bin. Decide that Rubbermaid bin is fine to sacrifice, white enamel sink is not. So decide to dye the dress in the Rubbermaid bin on the counter top and then dump the dye in the woods in the backyard. Assume there is no EPA violation going on and make mental note to keep puppy from drinking fresh discarded dye water and from digging in that section of the woods for a few days. Begin dying, completely forgetting the many, many admonishments in the instruction pamphlet to wear rubber gloves...EEK! ...purple fingers. Frantically search for rubber gloves, end up with dye on counter, on fingers, and in sink. Clean as much as possible and proceed. Complete dye job and begin to have a little niggle of a worry about the brightness of the color on PARTS of the dress. Remember that dye instructions said, "Color will appear darker when wet." Heave dress into dryer, pray for miracle but have no idea which saint to implore.

4:00 Dry dress.

4:30 Remove dress from dryer. Yes, the stain is covered. BUT. The "but" is not good. The dress is a combination of two fabrics, one fabric that took the dye very well and is now a grape shade of purple and one fabric that apparently repelled all dye and remains lilac. The dress is ruined. Resign self to wearing un-ball-like attire to the ball and just hope that the fancy Kimber hair will draw everyone's attention upward and no one will even notice frumpy garb. Off to the salon, dropping Bookworm at her dance class right down the street.

5:00 Plop into stylist's chair and cock my head quizzically as he begins to prepare me for a shampoo and cut. Gently stop him and remind him that, today, I am here for a style. He gives me a blank expression and makes a move to continue to proceed to shampoo. Stop him again and say, I already washed my hair, it's clean and dry just like you asked for it to be ready to style. At this point see the other stylists exchange worried slash knowing glances with each other and the salon owner over the tops of their customers heads and in the mirrors. Salon owner promptly assumes her most cheerful voice and says, "Of course we remember, we told you to come with your hair clean and dry so that he could spend all his time styling." He still looks a little blank and the now perkiest of perky owner continues by suggesting appliances and products that he might want to gather to get started. As he is dazedly gathering, the other stylists are kind of whispering hints to him which they think I can't hear but I have my mother ears on which hear EVERYTHING. So there in the salon full of people I get to say, "You remember, we googled the pictures, I wanted my hair to look like Kimber from Nip/Tuck." and he is starting to remember but he needs to google again to see the picture and so he has to shout across the salon to the receptionist to pull back up that picture we googled of Kimber on Nip/Tuck. At this point, I don't so much see as I feel all the other patrons eyes burning into me as they assess me from their chairs. They don't actually snort and roll their eyes but the result is the same. After eyeing me up and down, they dismiss the idea that I will ever look anything like Kimber from Nip/Tuck and go back to their magazines, conversations resume. I. Am. So. Embarrassed! Not only am I a delusional middle aged house frau who thinks my stylist can make me look like Kimber but I am one that watches the equivalent of soft porn on TV in my spare time. Ugh. With the photo fresh in his mind, the stylist begins to curl but after just a few twirls of the curling iron, it is apparent that I have pushed him to his professional limit and another stylist comes over to assist. By assist, I mean she takes the iron from his hand and styles my hair for the next thirty minutes while he watches. This portion of my day actually has a very happy ending and my hair looks the best it ever has. It looks just like I imagined it and I am tickled pink. My stylist admits to me that he has not had to do that type of service in the year he has been at the salon and that he learned a lot from his co-worker and he is ready to try it on his own next time whenever I want a style at no charge. What a good guy! He was handsome to begin with but the humility - that makes me swoon. It's like all "Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams" kind of sexy! He just earned himself another chili pepper on rate my stylist dot com. I leave the salon quite pleased. And, I leave with a half hour to spare before Bookworm is done with dance class. I decide just for the heck of it to ...

5:45...run in to Belk and look at dresses. And I see a dress I love. I look all through the racks and see nothing else that catches my eye. I try on the one single dress that I have found and It. Is. Perfect! It looks like this except that it is a rusty red color and is sleeveless. And even better it is on sale.

6:30... get Bookworm from dance

7:00... arrive home and change from jeans into beautiful dress, hair is already done, add makeup.

7:30 ....arrive at the ball feeling like a princess and have a WONDERFUL night dancing with my girlfriends.

1:00am ....back home to transform back into real self. While in the shower, puppy eats shoes. Aah, yes, this is my real life! Who needs a fairy godmother, anyway?

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