Quick: What's more nerve-wracking than going on a first date with a guy you want not only to impress but also to father your children?
Here's what: attending a gathering at a posh place to mingle with women you don't know, to whom you already feel inferior. My husband assures me that as long as I don't drink too much and hurl on some one's Jimmy Choo shoes, I'll be fine. I tell him that most of them are undoubtedly way younger than I, so he gives me a second piece of advice: impress them with the fact that I can use the Internet at my age.
Here's how I'll try to imagine myself:
The event is being held in Little Rock for women bloggers, and it's being hosted by BlogHer, which I'd never heard of until this week. I've not met our local hostess but know she is a terrific writer with three blogs, a gig at Good Housekeeping and a book deal. Did I already mention feeling inferior?
I'm going with two friends, both seriously gorgeous, witty and smart, and I imagine myself basking in their glory in a Forrest Gump-ish kind of way. They know our hostess and assure me that she's kind and gracious. I believe them, but still imagine myself as an old impression of Princess Anne: when our hostess tries to make me feel at home by asking a question, I'll begin pawing the ground.
Here's how I imagine others will see me:
Dress is "casual cocktail." I look up pictures and realize that I have nothing in my wardrobe faintly resembling casual cocktail, and since I am unemployed, I have no money to splurge on an outfit. I'll wear my black shapeless dress that I wear to all such events; I wish that I had at least indulged in some of that lingerie that holds in your stomach. It doesn't help that I'm wolfing down a French dip as I write this, and that a piece of dark chocolate mousse cake was my appetizer. I wish I wore contact lenses and that I knew how to apply makeup and fix my hair.
Since my feet resembled hooves, I did spring for a pedicure at a local beauty school today. The color I chose looked quite elegant, but alas, on my toes, it looks like doses of Pepto Bismol. My friend Sherry said to think of it as Granny Pink, which is apparently quite hip -- if you're in your 20s. All it looks like to me is a bad polish job.
My eyes, always dry, look red, which isn't helped when I stick a pencil in my right eye while trying to outline my lower lids. Wisps of mascera appear under my eye almost as soon as I blink.
At the last minute, I decided to wear all white. A simple white nightgown I got for $2.50 at a flea market, paired with white pants; over that I wear a sheer tunic I picked up years ago. In some countries, I look like a widow but it's loose and comfortable and I don't have to hold in my stomach.
I didn't mean to wear scent; I rarely do, but while rustling through some bins in the bathroom looking for makeup, I come across an old bottle that has spilled, so I am wearing Oscar, which takes me back at least 25 years.
I'm am army brat, meaning I'm never fashionably late. However, tonight we've decided we want to make an entrance. One of our husbands is driving us to the event and we're catching a cab home, although if we had the money, we'd spring for a limo.
Wish me luck.