“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
― Coco Chanel
My On-Again Boyfriend and I were invited to a formal gala event this weekend. A married couple we know was throwing a Festive White Tie Birthday Extravaganza for their combined birthdays, complete with handsome men in tuxedos with tails and gorgeous women elegantly draped in formal gowns. The event was a raging success with red carpet, a paparazzo recording the event for posterity and a beautifully presented, deliciously prepared meal with signature cocktails designed by our hosts.
First of all, it is a testament to these folks that almost 80 of their friends and relatives attended the party. They are extraordinarily kind-hearted, thoughtful and benevolent people and every single person the On-Again and I met on Saturday night was truly lovely. We had a fabulous time.
On-Again looked drop-dead handsome in his formal attire. Because he's naturally svelte with rugged good looks, he was practically a 007 clone and I spent the evening wiping the drool off my face.
I, on the other hand, was a different story altogether.
Let me give you a little background. I had spent the morning at Thing 2's baseball game. Each of the games last for an hour and a half (trust me, kid games COULD go on FOREVER so it's really a positive thing they put a ceiling on them). I am still in winter mode and I forgot to put sunscreen on myself OR on the kids prior to heading to the ball field. AND, because I'm still in winter mode, I am not yet keeping tubes in the car, in my purse or in his baseball bag. The day was beautifully sunny and gorgeous and I worried a little when I stepped out the car but thought maybe I'd borrow some from another (more well-prepared) mom.
When I got to the field, I ended up getting the scoreboard electronic control thingy thrust at me so that I could note the balls, strikes, runs and innings for THE ENTIRE crowd of spectators. Sunscreen was immediately out of my tiny little brain because I had to figure out the electronic thingy on the fly (no one else knew how to operate it either) AND learn about baseball on the fly at the same time ("OH, the UMPIRE is showing the balls and strikes WITH HIS FINGERS!").
Let me be the first to tell you that if you can have an albino once-removed, that is about the shade of my natural skin color. My skin cannot be described as milky or creamy...it is simply known as "dead people white." This shade is not really a huge fan of direct sunlight and I have been known to hiss and snarl at midday.
About halfway through the game, one of the other moms suggested to me that I might want to remove my enormous circular necklace because I was almost certain to have a perfect white spot in the midst of the impending burn. I could see the pink already showing on my arms and chest and hurriedly removed the necklace and stuffed it into my bag, not bothering to ask for sunscreen from anyone because a) I'm an idiot, b) what the heck, it was already too late and c) I missed two balls and a strike while I was struggling to remove the offending jewelry and you do NOT want to piss off these hardcore baseball families.
|My gorgeous formal-wear sunburn as an accessory.|
We got to the hotel; I took a shower and was immediately horrified at my redneck sunburn, complete with an awesome circle RIGHT in the middle of my chest.
On-Again tried to console me. He murmured encouraging words of support like "it's really lucky for you that it's too late for me to find another date." (He really did say that out loud but he laughed and told me that I was beautiful anyway, so I'm assuming he was kidding.)
One of the BEST parts is that the gown I had picked to wear was a gorgeous shade of red. I MATCHED! My sunburn was an ACCESSORY.
We arrived to the gala and most of the guests politely avoided gazing at my trashy sunburned chest area except for a couple of women in the bathroom ("OH MY GOSH, you are SO SUNBURNED!") and a drunkenly funny friend of our hosts.
I don't know if you realize this or not but, except for Nascar events and water parks, you really don't SEE sunburned people anymore. It's like smoking: no one does it. Sunburn used to be a badge of honor (remember those girls who used BABY OIL to tan?) because when it healed, your skin turned that nice unhealthy leathery brown color. But NOW? NO ONE gets sunburned because everyone is (responsibly) lathered with 30+SPF.
Poor On-Again was burdened with the trashy girl with the exposed flaming chest. He looked like a knock-off James Bond saddled with a low-rent extra from the set of Hee Haw. He told me how pretty I looked about 10 million times, so I am assuming he was able to look at me from the chin up.
It turned out OK, I suppose. I met some truly nice people and laughed off my mishap with a couple of glasses of red (naturally). On-Again will know next time that he just can't take me anywhere. Unless it's Nascar....
Addendum: It should be noted that Things 1 and 2 inherited their father's skin tone for the most part. They were unharmed by their mother's stupidity and subsequent neglect.
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