Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We were in California, land of sunshine and surfing.  The weather was as close to heaven as it gets, with a turquoise sky blessedly free from clouds, warm, friendly sun, and to top it off, enough of a little breeze to help you from being too hot. 
In short, perfect.
For people like me and my husband, it was a huge treat.  We love to bask in the sun.  We were there for our niece’s wedding, and if a little sun-kissed skin was the by product, so much the better.
In preparation for attending the actual wedding ceremony, we had packed our “good clothes” meaning a suit coat & tie for my husband and a shimmery blue/black dress for me.
I had been in love with that dress ever since I tried it on at Dress Barn.  (And you Dress Barn people?  The name of your store frankly sucks.  Barn?  Really?  Really??)
But back to my dress, which was light and floaty, and twirled out nicely for all the dancing I would surely do.  After all, I had a beautiful, sparkly, twirly dress!
The wedding evening arrived and I donned the dress, but first put on a black v-neck full slip.  My friend would term that a “sucker-inner”.    Something ominous niggled in the back of my mind about that slip, but I shrugged it off.
Dressed in my finery, I went to do my makeup and to my horror, realized that the careful sunscreen application to my face had resulted in perfectly protected skin, with the glaring exception of where my hands didn’t quite meet on my forehead, resulting in a deep red V directly under my hairline.  It was a crimson widow’s peak, under my ACTUAL widow’s peak.
I stared at it, aghast.  It was the shape of an upside down parking cone, and to me, was just as big.  A sunburned chest, shoulders, or back I could hide.  Actually, pretty much any other area of my body that was sunburned I could cover, but this was on my face, for crying out loud.
Makeup didn’t come close to covering it, unless of course I caked on some clown whiteface and went as a new cast member of Twilight.
I ended up leaving it alone, and instead of the Twilight cast I looked more like a member of the Star Trek fleet.  Captain Kirk would have been proud.  I sighed.  So be it.  We left for the reception.
Everything about the wedding reception was elegant.  After dinner people started to dance and I couldn’t wait to join them.  However, Mother Nature had given me a lovely parting gift at O’Hare Airport right before arriving in California.  Shaking my groove thing was not only unpractical, it was bordering on dangerous.
Making matters much, much worse was the fact that I figured out within the first hour what it was I needed to remember about that slip.
Quite simply, it was the slip from hell.  It had a mind of its own and would mysteriously and quickly twist itself off kilter so that the seams were running uncomfortably down my front and back, instead of on my sides.  Did I mention that it also crept up until my knee length slip turned in a “no” length slip?  Bottom line:  it was twisted and bunched around my waist, even when I was sitting COMPLETELY STILL.
I was in the ladies’ every fifteen minutes straightening it, tugging it down and back into place.
What had started as my selfish dream of wearing a lovely, twirly, sparkly, floaty dress and surely wowing people on the dance floor with my sweet dance moves turned into a fashion nightmare, as I was constantly either straightening my slip or pulling my bangs down further over my forehead. 
I mentioned my distress to my husband, who helpfully told me that maybe the slip was trying to actually get up high enough to cover my forehead.  
It wasn’t helpful.
It was a highly emotional week for me already…trying to keep travel plans in order, fulfilling family obligations, staying cheerful, and missing my kids dreadfully, although I am relatively certain THAT feeling was mostly one sided.
To have these two fashion faux pas (s) happen simultaneously was really cosmically unfair.
In retrospect, I can say with certainty that absolutely no one else (besides my long-suffering husband and now you, dear reader) noticed the traffic light on my face or the fact that my slip was trying to go back to Illinois without me.  My fashion 911 went virtually unnoticed by all, and somehow, miraculously, the reception continued on just fine.
However, we recently got the pictures back from our trip and while I thought the dress was at least SOMEWHAT flattering while looking in a mirror, it did not look like that in the pictures.  At all.  It more resembled a silky blue boat cover.
My husband looked at the pictures and diplomatically said that it was the dress that didn’t photograph well.  Bless him.
My sister helpfully told me that no one in our family takes a flattering picture from that angle.  Hm.
And I just nod and smile, because they don’t know what I do.  The black slip that caused me so much distress was unceremoniously left in the garbage can at the hotel room in California. 
However, I believe it’s seeking revenge.  It must have escaped, made it back to Illinois, and ended up at the same Walgreens that developed these pictures.  There can be no other explanation for the “epic fail” that was my party dress.

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