My So-Called Glamorous Life

Along with the jealousy some folks have expressed when I tell them I’ve moved overseas is this bizarre assumption that my life is automatically somehow glamorous and star-studded. I don’t really understand this. Is it because falling in love with someone from another country is a bit of the ordinary? Because of the extremity of the change? Or what?

Well, this post is just for anyone who might have pined, even momentarily, for the diamond-spiked grass that invariably grows in abundance in Kent, the Garden of England.

Here’s how a “glamorous” evening really goes. The night in question: London Zoo for C.’s work Christmas party, December 22, 2010

The first query: what to wear as plus one to semi-formal event.

The first issue: most female party-goers will be between the ages of 23 and 27, from France, devoid of a gram of fatty tissue, model-gorgeous, and fluent in ten languages. Ok, maybe just three, but still. I may as well go in a gingham tablecloth, spouting lines from Hee Haw.

Weapons of choice: an old but great little black dress, Spanx (ladies, give me a shout-out if you have a pair), vintage bag, and heels.

Problem: the London Zoo in late December right after a freak snow/ice storm. Heels and ice+darkness could = embarrassing old lady wipe-out surrounded by horrified Francophone hotties.

Solution: demand that C. find out what’s on the docket for the evening, and try to gather what the other ladies are wearing.

Problem #2: Company likes things to be a “surprise.” Awesome. Surprise trip to hospital for broken ankle? Yay! Committing major espionage, C. discovers talk of a trip to one of the indoor animal houses. Exhale. No major trek around giraffe house with flashlights, wearing l.b.d., heels, and safari hat. Could be safe.

Problem #3: Ice and snow have now melted to slush in our town, and temps have dropped precipitously, which will require very warm outfit for trek to C.’s office. The trip will take at least an hour and a half and will involve a few walks, a train, and a bus.

Solution: Wear one outfit through slush to train then through the frantic pilgrims flocking to the pre-Christmas shopping mecca of Oxford Street, and change at C.’s work bravely prepared for bathroom onslaught of 25 year-olds in spiked heels and ultra-trendy dresses sans Spanx.

Strategy: Don mask of “mature” womanhood, i.e. “I have been through it and yes, little missy, you will too.”

Problem: Cannot find vintage bag, Spanx, or overnight bag to carry semi-formal wear to C.’s office. Do not want to travel to zoo with something less appropriate, such as plastic carrier bags. Backpack is also ratty.

Solution: Go up into loft to look for bags and Spanx, which looks exactly like a pair of beige underwear (or pants, for UK readers), and could be any-fortheloveofallthingsholy-where. Driven by some sort of newlywed hormone that makes one want to appear especially appealing to new spouse for his first holiday company event, I journey to the loft, armed with a flashlight and a vague, recently-acquired knowledge of the loft light’s location. The ladder rocks as I creep up, and I flash to an image of me in crutches for the next three months. There’s barely room for the ladder, and it wobbles on the slanted floorboards and against the railing. One must perform a gymnastics sort of vault to get up at the top of the ladder, hopefully avoiding planting both hands in insulation.

Once up, I dig through every box and every suitcase. No Spanx. No vintage bag, no overnight bag. Just books, some starting to get damp, which makes me panic. Now in a Hollywood “save evening or save books quandary.” Cannot leave them up here to ruin, but bringing them down will take forever.

Added crisis: The clock’s a-tickin’! I should be getting dressed right now, but instead am performing Medevac for books, bringing down small stacks, and hoping I don’t break my neck.

Will our heroine make it to the zoo intact? Find out in the next installment of My So-Called Glamorous Life….

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mariellen anderson
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 21:23:24

    Now you have me gasping: damp books?! Anxious for the next installment about the event! Write more….


  2. mariellen anderson
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:45:05

    As I re-read this, I wonder: How does anyone move trans continentally and remember where your spanx is packed? I’m still waitin for the next installment of how you managed to GET to the party.


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