Sunday, July 30, 2006

The time to have told me was, oh, TWO WEEKS AGO

Andrew is getting invited to more and more of these fancy pantsy shindigs through work or his industry or whatever wherein he agonizes about talking to strangers and I have no fear. One, because hey, I'm just arm-candy! and two, because get a couple glasses of wine in me, and I can talk to anyone. And usually without embarassing myself, these days, so yay me.

Last night we had one of those thingies. The last one we went to, I realized I had nothing remotely grown-up to wear to these. No cocktail dresses, no actual glam trousers, nothing. I, in fact, only had one dress, and it didn't even fit. So the day before the gathering (it was a fundraiser for the contemporary art museum, the kind where they have a silent auction and such, so all sorts of avant-garde movers and shakers) I freaked right the fuck out and went on a shopping rampage, and miracle of miracles, when I needed something, I found it.

THE dress. Sexy, yet adult. Comfortable, yet elegant. And hawt. Like, femme fatale hot. Marilyn Monroe on a steam grate hot (although a little less upside-down-ness), simple, classic, yet DAYUM. And then I found the perfect strappy heels that go with it, and quite simply, I was ready.

I had acheived that heralded place in female-ness. I had the perfect little black dress, ready at a moment's notice, perfect in almost all situations.

So when Andrew had another thing-a-ma-jig, I didn't sweat. I had the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, it would take me twenty minutes to get ready and then I'd be off in the flutter of a hem!

Until he casually calls to me from another room, "Oh, yeah, there's a dress code?"

Excuse me?

"Yeah, there's a dress code? No heels, it's outdoors at a vineyard."

No? Heels?

Now, it's not that I have a problem with not wearing heels--I have several options in my wardrobe. I'm a teacher, for the love of jeebus. It's just that my Perfect Outfit? The one that could go anywhere? I had one pair of shoes that went with this dress, and they were strappy pointy heels. I didn't have other shoes that I could substitute that would look right.

And there are now fifteen minutes until we need to leave. He waited until fifteen minutes to show me the email that has the dress code. "Summer dress attire--dresses or slacks for women. No heels."

No problem, I think, I'll figure something out. In fifteen minutes. No worries.

I just have to replan my entire outfit. And I have no dresses or slacks. Crappity crap crap.

"Oh, yeah, I think Governor Kulongoski is going to be there, too. And Senator Wu." And, in fact, seven other major politicians from the state. Which means other movers and shakers are going to be there.

He tells me this fourteen minutes before we are supposed to leave.

So I now have an entire wardrobe to overhaul from the shoes up, for a social event of an entirely different caliber than I had been expecting. And I had thirteen minutes to do this.

I could have cheerfully killed my husband right there and hid his body in a cool corner of the basement. Until I looked at my (ahem) shoe collection, I didn't realize how many shoes I had that had at least a wee heel. And most of my flat shoes were for teaching and so were much longer on comfort than on looks, unless I was going for grunge.

I was throwing shoes around the room in desperation, swinging wildly from my shoe rack to my closet, trying to find the right dressy-but-not-too outfit for a vinyard. My rumpled brown pants? What the hell happened to my silk pants (oh, yeah, red wine)? Dammit dammit dammit! These shoes? nope, these? Crap!

Thank god I've been obsessed with wedges since they came back in style--and it turned out I had a perfect pair of shoes that I had bought on a whim at the large-size shoe event. See? Whims, they have purpose. (I think, by the way, this will do NOTHING for curbing my shoes obsession.)

I actually ended up feeling really happy about my outfit--slightly funky (I mean, I had on orange t-strap wedges, after all) but still garden-party-ish with a longish floaty skirt, a green t-shirt, and a jacket of sorts. And once I got there, I felt much better--the realization that every single thing I was wearing, except those shoes, had come from either Target or Fred Meyer (including my underwear and my necklace) made me feel like I'd be pointed out as an imposter as soon as I arrived. But considering the number of mom-waisted linen pants, hawaiian shirts, and pleated pants? No one was gonna notice my bargain-basement funk.

That is, they'd notice but only because I was 6'4" in those shoes.

I was pretty grateful, in fact, that I wasn't in my little black dress. I was glad I was more casual. Not to mention--the shoes would have sucked--we were outside, on grass, and those shoes would have aerated like no one's business.

But he still should have given me more than one quarter of an hour to throw my outfit together. Trust me, from now on, I will DEMAND to see the invitation within 24 hours of receipt.

No comments: