I’ve been on a self-imposed writing hiatus the past few months and in fact, my editor sent me an email to ask if I’d died and she’d missed the obit. OK, she was slightly more diplomatic than that, but still, it’s nice to be missed even if you’re not dead.
By way of explanation, our youngest son and his fiancé recently tied the knot and the ceremony was at our house, so my husband Mick and I have been working our tushes off to get our yard presentable. Besides which, I was spending untold hours in search of appropriate shoes and other articles of semi-formal, old lady clothing. I’ve decided to dedicate at least two columns to my shopping adventures because it’s definitely worth it.
It was late summer and I took two of my besties, Sally and Louise, as my fashion consultants and we set off in search of MOG attire — that’s Mother of the Groom for the uninformed. And before we get any farther into this story, I’d just like to say that I miss Gottschalks. Forever 21 indeed! What we need in this county is a “Forever 65.”
Hell, I’d settle for a “Stuck On 49” and just lie about my age. Actually, I’d be fudging the truth if I walked into anything less than an “Almost 70” … but whatever.
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Of course our shopping trip was on one of those days when it was a gazillion degrees in San Luis Obispo. The good news was that I was told by my advisers, “We don’t wear panty hose anymore.”
“We” being the generic, universal womanhood “We.” That was news to me since I had last graced a dress in the fall of 1984 at Mick’s 20-year high school reunion. The bad news? Girdles are back in style! Only now they’re called Spanx — which in my mind is just a naughty way of saying undergarments circa 1959. The last thing I wanted to do was embarrass my son as I jiggled to my MOG chair, but I held my ground and did not get sucked into the girdle vortex. As far as I’m concerned there are already too many tight asses in the world and I wasn’t about to fall off the wagon. I’d quit rubberized underwear cold turkey in 1964 and there was no going back. Besides, my derrière was the least of my worries, as my boobs had long ago begun their inexorable journey south, edging ever closer to the equator — so to speak. I look a lot like a 12-year-old boy with a beer gut. The last thing the wedding guests would notice was my backside.
Louise and Sally were troopers, and just when I was about to throw in the proverbial sweaty towel, they came up with a cute little green number — by which I mean it had sleeves that covered my other squishy parts. After a bit of accessorizing, they assured me that I looked stunning. It was only later that it occurred to me that they would have told me I looked like Sophia Loren in her heyday in order to get out of the store and back to the South County fog.
Dress purchased, my glamor coup de grace came a few weeks later when I treated myself to a facial and an eyebrow wax. I’m loath to admit that it was my virgin waxing, but I thought I’d do the wedding guests a favor. I decided to put my brows in the hands of a professional after an incident that had occurred in the not too distant past. I had been tidying up my facial orifices using one of those teensy little battery-powered trimmers. I buzzed around my ears and nose and then took a gander at my chin and jaw line and thought perhaps I ought to throw them into the mix. Well, it was like eating Cheetos, I just couldn’t stop. I gradually worked my way up the side of my face until I arrived at my underbrows — all that fuzz under the real eyebrow. “Why didn’t I think of this sooner,” I muttered to myself and forged ahead into the fray. Unfortunately, I took my eye off the ball, so to speak, and half of my right brow ended up on the bathroom counter.
Needless to say, I was easy to spot at the wedding: attractive green dress, jiggly tush, saggy bits … and one and one half well-groomed eyebrows.
Suzanne Davis is happily retired and living in the South County with her husband and three dogs. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.