Dressing down dressing up

I don’t like to dress up. Heels, makeup, spanx, a bra with underwire. All disasters. Add to those things a few vodkas and I am a dripping, stumbling, bathroom avoiding, chest clawing mess. Like I normally am but more so. As much as I don’t like to dress up it is trumped by my loathing of “dressing up.” As in costumes, theme parties, role play. I know people love it. I am not like those people.

A friend invited Steve and I to a 70’s themed fundraiser. We said yes. That is where the trouble began.

Steve and I have date afternoons on Fridays and a few weeks ago we went to a kick ass vintage shop. I bought a mumu. It was more comfortable than yoga clothes. I was planning to rock this party. I added gold heels, a gold and plastic belt and hoop earrings. All vintage. All perfectly poised to take my mumu from day to night.

Fast forward to party afternoon.

I started by shaving. Remember, it is March. I generally take November to March off from that particular maintenance activity. Needless to say I was exhausted by the time I exited the shower. Then I USED THE HAIRDRYER. This item is older than my mumu. Once a year when I plug it in it groans to life as if rising from a decade long slumber. Once again it decided to blow hot air so I went to work. Oddly my elbow seemed to bed backwards and the brush ended up flat side against my hair. Useless. Somehow my hair ended up dry with ends flipped up a la Carol Brady. This was the very action that I battled for all of elementary school. Today, for one day of my life the flip was welcome.

Playing dress up
Who won that fight?

Leo and Steve went to target to pick out my makeup. My instructions were vague and the cosmetic area is large. Stuff came home. So I put it on my face. Liquid eyeliner all the better to get into my eyeballs. Four shades of shade. Endless combinations. I worked my magic and stepped back. My left eye looked as if I had just stepped out of the ring after a half round with Rhonda Rousey. My right eye looked naked. Thus began the classic add too much to the right then match with the left then the right then the left. Even for the seventies it was too much.

Mumu time. At this point I thought all vanity had left me. But donned in the mumu I realized that wasn’t true. So I went back to my dress. The only dress. I added the vintage bling and called it good. On went the original shoes. Within four steps I had turned an ankle by step 9 I was on the floor. Using two hands to walk down the stairs one foot meeting the next like a toddler I decided that the gold shoes needed to go back in the closet with the mumu.

I made it downstairs in my single pair of shoes. I am feeling ready.

Leo comes in from the park and looks at Steve and I. “Wow!” he says. “You look different…look at your eye highlighter? And what is wrong with your skin?”

Exactly. Exactly.

I take a last look at the two black eyes in the mirror and notice that my hair has turned itself under into a decidedly un seventies bob.

At least Steve looks good.

Dressing up for the 70's

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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

5 thoughts on “Dressing down dressing up”

  1. Exactly how I feel about costume parties of any kind! I’d have donated the money and skipped the party. Good job being a good sport. That’s more than I can usually do.

  2. That’s how I feel going to work every morning fighting with the brush and blow dryer. And yes, I have poked myself in the eye a time or two thousand.

  3. I’ve typed and deleted about six comments about eyeliner. Particularly the liquid kind. To quote a demographic of people who are much better at eyeliner: I can’t even.

  4. Oh my word, exactly how I feel about all of this. I am about as low-maintenance as they come and at 45 years of age still can’t really figure out how or why to do makeup correctly. Or at all. Thankfully, my husband is happy with the as-is look over anything so win!
    And costumes? Please. As Aussa said, I can’t even.

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