Playing Dress Up

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Today I am grateful for playing dress-up.  I realized yesterday, as I was deciding what to wear and getting ready to go out for our Anniversary lunch, that I have not dressed up or put makeup on for six months.  Six months!

I sloth around in comfy clothes and ruminate when I do go out that no one can see me smile anyway, because with the mask I haven’t even used lipstick, which has been a staple in my life since I can remember.  Maybe 55 years.

I thought about what I’d wear for three days, changed my mind four times, then went back to my original plan and stuck with it, based on the weather.  I heard Himself doing the same thing, talking about maybe wearing this or that and now probably he’d be too cold so he’s wearing a turtleneck and sport coat.  Good.  I like him in that look.  I’d have died in all of those clothes, but he was comfy and cozy.

Sitting down to put makeup on was an entirely different story.  I blew the dust off of my makeup kit and opened it up, not even sure what all of that stuff was.  When I started applying the contents in an order that must have been from muscle memory, I almost stopped.  Dead! 

Instead of improving my look, I thought I looked freakish.  Mind you, I wasn’t slathering it on like Tammy Faye Baker, just dusting a little powder, eyeshadow, blush, eyebrows and mascara.  The lipstick would wait for the picture or I’d look like I was a toddler who sucks her lips in winter, causing a bee-stung-liver-lips look.

I stopped twice just to look away and then look back in the mirror, like I was seeing myself for the first time.  I wasn’t using the enlarged part of the mirror because I’m no fool.  Okay, I thought, you’re not really over-doing it, so why do you think you look like Clarabelle the Clown?

I decided to let it go and get dressed.  That was weird, too.  What accessories was I going to use?  Where are they?  What little purse do I usually use when I go out to eat in a fancy place.  I pirouetted around my bedroom and closet like a ballet dancer wearing a suma suit, bouncing off of walls and banging into doorways. 

My sweats were right there, tempting me to call the whole thing off.  But the bra was insisting I go.  Damn talking undergarments!

It was weird when we got there and we walked to our table, too.  I had my black dress on with a swim suit coverup over it in bright colors.  My every day sunglasses are pink and black.  As an afterthought I grabbed my car visor glasses. . .also pink.  I feared I looked like a “New and Improved Design Box” for Pepto Bismol.

I had to ask the hostess for a more comfortable chair that didn’t pinch my fat legs because I’ll be damned if I was going to suffer in silence when I was looking forward to this so much.  I felt like everyone was looking at me when the chair with no arms arrived.  I was momentarily mortified.  (I had requested this already be there when I made the reservation, so I wouldn’t have to make a fuss.)  But I had to make a fuss.  Or suffer.  Shit.  Fuss won.

Himself was worried I was upset.  We ordered wine.  It’s one way to cope.  I told him I thought those two women at another table had given me the stink-eye when that chair came out and I was saying very unkind things about them.

About ten minutes later, when they got up to leave, they swung by our table.  “You look so fantastic I just have to tell you,” one of them said.  To me!  “My friend was saying, just look at that woman, so beautiful and coordinated with that great pink and black!  She’s a real fashionista!”  I kid you not!

When I picked my shameful mouth up off the table, we had a nice little chat about her pineapple purse and the beautiful weather and how nice it is to get out.  Turns out they WERE talking about me, but not how I thought!  Shame on me.  Shame on me, twice, for assuming the worst. 

I’ve lost a little of my “reading people” skills being so isolated.  I wouldn’t have missed that in the past, or I would have just gone over and chatted them up initially.  This is being away from people is difficult.

And it was difficult for Himself and I, too.  We see each other so much, without not much else, like theater or events or whatever.  We put a ban on talking about politics or covid.  This is how it went.

Himself:   How’s your wine?

Me:  It’s good.  How’s yours?

Himself:   Good.  I hope I don’t get a headache.

Me:  You probably won’t.

Silence.  Long silence, while we watched the staff set up for what we thought was a wedding but turned out to be a funeral luncheon.  More silence.  We ordered.  The appetizer came.

Himself:  How’s your shrimp cocktail?

Me:  Best I’ve had in a long time.  Do you want a piece?

Himself: Just a little one.

Me:  How’s your clam chowder?

Himself:  It’s a little spicier than I like.  (Which means it has flavor) Do you want to taste it?

Me:  Just a little.

Silence.  More silence.  Long silence.  A little picture taking.  Some comments about the people coming for the wedding/funeral.  But it was weird.  We haven’t gone out, all dolled up, in so long that we forgot how.  Then Himself explained it.  “I’m so excited to see so many other people that I can barely speak.  I just want to watch people!”

Bingo!  Nailed it.  Or I fell for it.  Still not entirely sure which.  It’s okay.  It was a fun time and by the time I got my fashionista, Clarabelle-Clown-self back to the car and he got the choking mask off, we chatted all the way home.  We agreed on one thing, that’s for sure.  No doubt about it!  We need to play dress-up more often!

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