Into each life some errors must come. What we dearly hope, however, is that these little missteps are not witnessed, photographed and remembered for eternity by more than 100 friends, family, complete strangers and people who don't particularly like us and are thrilled by any teeny lapse in judgement we may display in public.
Yes, I prefer to think of my error as a lapse of judgement, but actually it was an egregious miscalculation.
Let me explain: Normally I never leave home under any circumstances wearing anything not in my favorite color family -- black. I do have some navy in my wardrobe and a few gray items, but nothing wedding appropriate. (My husband says even when you turn the light on in my closet you can't see anything in there. True enough, but everything goes with everything.)
Now, one cannot in good conscience wear black to one's daughter's wedding because of the implied message it imparts. Being the good sport I like to think I am, I thought perhaps I could find a midnight blue ensemble or a very charred charcoal number. I didn't or couldn't and in the meantime other forces were at work -- friends, daughter, husband -- trying and unfortunately succeeding in convincing me to wear a light color.
Without belaboring this saga, I'll get to the point. I wore "vanilla". Why I did this I shall never know. In fact the woman in the boutique who sold me the outfit told me she thought I should check with my daughter to see if she had a problem with my wearing a color often chosen by brides. Andrea unfortunately was THRILLED with the choice. (She cannot recall ever seeing me in anything but black.)
Feeling vulnerable and lumpy I decided I could pop into one of
those spray-on tanning salons and feel less exposed. I figured a head-to-toe, literally, bronzage would give me the same type of security blanket confidence as a black get up, i.e. make me seem thinner, at least psychologically.
If you've never done this let me tell you how much fun it isn't. You stand naked or with little knickers if you prefer inside a cold, minuscule cubicle while a complete stranger (obviously) wearing a sort of surgical mask aims a lethal looking machine filled with a maple syrup brown liquid at your body and spray paints you from aft to stern. While she is protected by a mask you have to hold your breath. Although she assured me the product was made out of sugar (?!) I almost passed out from trying not to inhale the stuff. Then, she set up a music stand with old magazines -- I guess she didn't want me to get bored while I was standing there -- turned on a bunch of fans and left me alone to dry.
You see no immediate results except for feeling slightly sticky. When you make your appointment you are told to wear loose, dark clothing. I recommend adding "old" to the list. As you hand over your credit card -- insult to injury -- you are warned not to take a shower before retiring. (In retrospect I realize that was my second mistake.)
It's first thing in the morning when you've forgotten you did this ridiculous little procedure that you practically faint when you look in the mirror. Of course you can't cry because you'd have little stripes running down your cheeks.
To be perfectly honest some wedding guests complimented me on my "tan" but I think they were just being polite or maybe they were lying.