Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Swift Kick In The Ass

When I woke up this morning I knew I had to move a little more quickly than usual thanks to the knowledge that I had to be somewhere at the crack of dawn, noon. A little daunted by the prospect of getting in a workout, getting dressed and actually blowdrying my hair and applying make up in time to get out the door for my lunch date, I moved more quickly than I have been in recent days. After forcing myself to finish my workout, I made the mistake of getting on the scale at the gym. What followed was a BBM to my husband that read, "I am fat, unemployed and lazy, do you want an annulment?" Taking his non-response as an indicator that he was considering my offer, I sulked home and began wallowing in the fact that after three weeks of real unemployment (I don't count the period between losing my job and the wedding) I had become everything I swore I wouldn't when I wrote a bit of sunshine in October called, "That's What Unemployement's For.

Realizing I'd let my writing slack off and that I'd become complacent in calling a day where I hit the gym, cooked dinner and sent out some resumes a success I decided it was time for a swift kick in the ass. I'm not one to respond well to prodding (the truth is I'm so stubborn that even if I want or planned to do a chore/task/whatever, the minute someone tells me I HAVE to do it, consider it NEVER HAPPENING). Combine that with the fact that, as my husband announced across the dinner table during one of my first meetings with his entire family, "she's a total narcissist," I knew that I needed to find some other way to motivate myself. As such, I decided that you, my readers, are the biggest motivation I have. The more hits I see on that statcounter, the more I'm convinced like Sally Field that, "you like me! you really really like me!", and the more I want to keep going.

And so as my motivation to not let the two Essay Collections I'm working on fall by the wayside like so many projects before, I've decided that once weekly I must finish an essay and publish an excerpt on UnPlain Jane. And so today I give you an excerpt from the first essay in the collection Wedding.Honeymoon.Disaster. : A Collection of Essays from a Calamity Bride.

So without further ado, here is a little taste from Chapter 1:

The Dress: My Sordid Tale of Buying off The Rack fabulous fucking dress from Saks.

The dress was perhaps the single most important element of “MY wedding” (aside from the groom). There is something about a dress, any dress, even a work-dress, that lights a little fire in the pit of my belly. The glorious dress. The most revered element of my wardrobe. With just this single, solitary garment, the dress, any woman can turn herself into a myriad of things. With the right bounce and a pretty frill, a dress can turn you back into an innocent again and with the right hemline and cleavage, a dress can turn you into the raging slut you always wanted to be (or were in college). With the right dress, and only the right dress, you can marry the man of your dreams and for just one day be the princess/diva/Mormon you always envisioned yourself as.

I learned the importance of the dress at the ripe old age of six when my mother purchased and subsequently hung in my closet, what I referred to as my “speech dress” (mainly because it was the dress I would put on when I would stand on top of my bed, giving speeches on topics of great important, like Strawberry Shortcake, to the audience of stuffed animals I had carefully arranged on the floor below me.) My speech dress had that perfect amount of swing that a six year old needs to do that endearing chin-down, hold on to the bottom of the hem with both hands and sway back and forth move indicating we either have to pee or want a new toy. Incidentally, I still use this move whenever I try to get my new Husband to perform some sort of emasculating act of for me, because if he really loved me, yes, he would allow me to put mascara on his incredibly long eyelashes.

The very first time I wore my speech dress was when I played the illustrious role of the “The Capital Letter I” in Ms. Zangy’s First Grade Class production of “The Alphabet”. Through the magic of poster board and the fact that, still in her early thirties, my mother was inclined to be crafty, I waltzed onto stage wearing my speech dress and a Letter I slung over both shoulders, looking like the guy on 7th Avenue wearing a cardboard sign advertising nails, waxing and/or threading. The same guy that I tell to “Fuck Off” every day when he shoves a flyer in my face. But on that day, even though I was wearing what could’ve just as easily been an advertisement for Mexican food and even if I was the overweight Capital Letter I with a bowl cut, standing next to Jennie DelMont who starred as the adorably dimpled and pig-tailed Lower Case Letter i, I was unstoppable. I was unstoppable because I was wearing my speech dress and that made me the star of the show.

I wore that dress as often as humanly possible until my mother finally threw it out when, in the fourth grade, I tried to shove my “80 pound whale” self (as my gentle older sister dubbed me at gym class weigh-ins) into my “speech dress” and nearly took our dog Curly’s eye out when the zipper popped off and went flying. My dress obsession was born and since that formative time as a burgeoning, first-grade fashionista, I have dubbed myself an expert in dresses, especially white ones, which is why I placed the absolute utmost importance on finding the wedding dress of my dreams. Thus, on a chilly fall night, with print-outs in hand and my best friend, A, in tow, I daintily pressed the number “3” on the elevator at Saks Fifth Avenue and sashayed past Contemporary Sportswear into their Bridal Salon for my 6pm appointment with a bridal consultant...

I hope you enjoyed your first taste of "Wedding. Honeymoon. Disasater." Look for a short excerpt each week from this project or my other baby, "Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Other Great Disappointments.

1 comment:

Mountain Girl said...

Keep writing UnPlain Jane! I so look forward to reading your posts. I actually log into facebook everyday hoping to see the status update that my friend has updated UnPlain Jane - As soon as I see the coveted message, I quickly look around to make sure no one is hovering over my cube and prepare for an entertaining read! You always make me laugh! (fortunate or unfortunate it's usually because I can sooo relate!)