Monday, September 27, 2010
Love Makes Us Beautiful
Geoff and I were invited to a wedding.
Which meant I subjected myself to a month of anxiety and self-loathing. I could have subjected myself to a month of intensive cross-training and food deprivation, but I manage to do things the hard way. I could have spent the month in meditative contemplation, visualizing love, commitment, and self-less devotion to greater causes, but that pretty much didn't happen either. I mostly went for the anxiety and self loathing. That is the truth. I am being real.
I had to shop for a dress, which means three-way mirrors, and fashion confusion. New dresses also call for new shoes, and under thingys, which takes us back to those three-way mirrors. It was all very traumatic.
But there was a sweet moment: I came home, successful in the hunt, and Maria asked to see the dress. She clasped her hands and sighed, and assured me, "Lovely. This is beautiful for a wedding..." and then the fashionista paused, "but what about shoes? You did get shoes, right?"
Where does this gene come from? This instinct? This knowledge? I have a basic, learned understanding of the girl-dress-up requisite list, but I trained for it. How does she so naturally understand these fundamentals? How? By the way, she approved the shoes.
Do women still wear stockings-pantyhose-hosiery where you're from? I don't see it much in So Cal. And honestly, I would have thrown a fit and ditched the whole evening, if I had to wear pantyhose in yesterday's heat. That is the truth. I am being real.
The shoes made me happy, in a retro, perky, way, and they inspired black eyeliner, which I practiced applying about four or twenty times that afternoon. I also put my hair up in twisted clumps, so I would get body, waves, an alluring coiffure. In the end, I got a kind of Bride Of Frankenstein-1984-frizz festival. I tried taming it, and I tried making a smart up-do, and then I even looked around for our buzz kit. I wore it up, then down, then up, then finally, down. It was all very traumatic.
I changed the earrings. I wore pearls that dangled from gold filigree leaves. I put on darker lipstick. I remembered not to rub my eyes, smudge the eyeliner. My home manicure was less than stellar. The color, Wet Sand looked like a glossier version of my own skin tone, which had the effect of making my fingers look like shiny tipped sausages, and then I dented and dinged them. I am woefully out of practice.
After ironing Geoff's blue, "iron-free" shirt, and accepting pizza hand hugs from Maria, we were off! And the month of anxiety and self-loathing was... was kind of pointless. I am what I am, right? Forty-three, with actual gray hair, and big arms, an aversion to gyms, malls, and style salons. Shy. Insecure. Kind of afraid to do all the things that might make me look "good." Kind of afraid to admit once and for all, that I want to feel and look good just as I am.
And at the wedding, where I knew only Geoff and John E., and not really anyone else... I forgot all about me, and was moved to tears, and meditative contemplation, visualizing love, commitment, and self-less devotion to greater causes, because it was a beautiful wedding for a lovely couple so clearly in love, that everyone was reflecting the glow of their happiness. That is the truth. I am being real.