Thursday, May 29, 2008

STOP...You're killing me...

Quite the day. Are you adequately settled in and adequately hydrated?

Today was a doozy…and for ME to say that…

My job was to be a “before” and then an “after” in a fashion workshop for realtors with the emphasis on making a good first impression. No, I did not give the workshop…I leave that to the professional (Tonia). However, I was the genius to come up with a novel approach to the “before” and “after”. Tonia was concerned as to how she would satisfactorily convey the importance of Looking the Part to her audience in approximately 30 minutes. (I believe her exact words were “How am I gonna get these people to pay attention? All they’re thinking about is ‘When’s lunch?’…I can see it in their eyes.”)

“What if you find someone….,” I begin (whilst unbeknownst to me Tonia’s already got me in mind to fill the role)…"who can deliver a prop to you at the beginning of your schpiel looking all frumpy and unassuming…(“schpiel”…being such a New York expression…and only said because I know it bugs her when I refer to the addressing-of-her-audience in this manner)…and then after this schlump leaves, you could ask your audience what their impressions were...then bring that person back, all decked out and slick and…ya know…do your thing,” I finish with a shrug, abruptly stopping to take a much-overdue breath of air. Meanwhile, she’s staring at me…and I can’t tell if she thinks I’m a genius, or someone in need of some heavy medication, so I hastily take a gulp of my Mojito…thinking (not for the first time) that “this is yummy and why don’t I drink more of these?”

“GREAT idea,” Tonia muses…."but whowho could fill this vital role…giving it the finesse…the sparkle…the joie de vivre…required to do it justice??” She’s narrowing her eyes and leans back in her chair to look me up and down…and that’s when I realize what’s coming next. “Oh. Noooooooooo….no, no, no, no, no. Definitely, positively, absolutely not,” I sputter…already realizing with horror that she’s gonna make me do it. “I would be mortified….what if I see someone I know??”

But she’s not even listening…her eyes have glazed over and I can tell she’s got a picture in her head of how this is gonna go down…when she voices the ultimate of insults: “I’ll bet you have something in your closet that would be perfect.” Well...I never.

“You mean for the ‘after’?” I ask, trying to sound more confident than I feel. For this, I get “the look”. I know this look all too well. Clinton Kelly does this look. It means I’m done. So, I sigh resolutely and mentally climb on board the crazy-train…(“All ABOARD!!”)

So, we decide I’ll show up unannounced the next day at her shop dressed as a “schlumpy-before” and we’ll see what’s what.

This is the part where you’ll have to use your imagination…’cause you’re NOT getting any visual…no way, no how….sorry…not happening. I may have very little dignity, but I’m keeping what’s left.

Picture it: I show up at her store with a black pair of capris pants with an elasticized waist, which is pulled up to right underneath the “girls”. On my feet are black “man-shoes” with just a bit of a clunky heel…no socks…so you get a good twelve inches of pre-summer skin (for contrast). On top, I’ve got a sleeveless number made of some mystery-material that’s supposed to look wrinkled-on-purpose…and it’s in some design that definitely looks acid-induced. There was no tag inside and I had trouble telling the front from the back, so now it’s basically cutting off my circulation at the neck.

Over this, I’ve got a blazer in a color that can only be described as dirt-meets-clay…it has no buttons, no darts and no shoulder pads…as someone had summarily removed them and left nothing but a dimple in the fabric behind (on both shoulders). The sleeves are rolled up and I had stuffed several tissues into them, as I’d had a sneezing fit on the way over and they’d come in handy. My hair was piled up on top of my head, in what Clinton refers to as a “hair twisty-thing”. I refer to it by its proper name: “a hair-grabbie-thingie”. As someone who actually uses it, I’m sure I am correct and he is not. I’d had the sunroof and all the windows open on the ride over (thereby explaining the sneezing fit) so my hair had that “watch out people, the crazy bag-lady cometh” look to it. And for the piece-de-resistance, I had someone’s discarded eyeglasses from the 1970’s…crooked and notoriously oversized…and making it hard for me to see where I was going…perched precariously on my nose.



No makeup, of course…which is scary all by itself.

I walk through the door and hope she’s at the register (for I cannot properly see) and I strike a pose not unlike something from Saturday Night Fever, for full effect.



Then I assume the pose I’d practiced that morning in the mirror…pushing out my tummy and rounding my shoulders in…basically turning myself inside-out.

And I waited for her to stop laughing. At one point, she began to cough and then she had to excuse herself to use the restroom, as she seemed to be losing control of all her bodily functions. I had to wait a good ten minutes for her to compose herself and then I begin to wonder how she’s going to be able to keep a straight face for the workshop.

She said she didn’t want to change a thing.

The show was today, but you’ll just have to wait for part deux. My fingers are tired.

Till tomorrow, faithful readers-

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see how the day went! Sounds like a great way to hold the attention of the audience.

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