Even if I were to tell you I am a basket case right about now, you would have no idea how completely rattled I am. In case you have been deliberately avoiding my posts for the past, oh, six or seven months: I am leaving Saturday morning for San Francisco in order to accompany my son The Actor on the red carpet, of all things.
Stephen Bishop, the actor who was fortunate (and talented) enough to land the role of baseball slugger David Justice in the new, book-based movie Moneyball is my one and only child. The U.S, premiere of the movie, which will be in a theater near you on September 23, 2011, will be held Monday (9/19) at the historic Paramount Theater in Oakland.
Exactly ten years ago, Stephen walked a red carpet for the first time at the LA premiere of The Rundown, which starred Dwayne Johnson, aka pro-wrestler The Rock. He asked me to be his date so we could share the thrill, since I have supported him unconditionally throughout his life, no matter how far-fetched his dreams might have seemed. I was a basket case then, too.
Here’s the thing. I am a girly-girl of the highest order. For event days such as this one, I get up in the morning getting ready for the evening. No. That’s only half-true. The whole truth is I had been getting ready for the previous week – at least!
What shall I wear that is age-appropriate yet sexy…ish? What can I do to my hair that will allow me to stop worrying about the thinning top or the tendency to frizz in Atlanta’s relentless humidity or the San Francisco Bay Area’s morning fog? Will I be able to sit through a movie wearing my Spanx AND my Spanx camisole, both required mesodermal contraptions to rearrange my zaftig torso into more comely curves? Which shoes will give me enough height to lift the hem of my floor-length gown enough to prevent tripping klutz-like in front of God and everybody, but will still allow me to walk with the grace and dignity I hope to exude? And, most important of all, will all my efforts make The Actor proud to have me with him?
I thought I was way ahead of the game this time, because I knew for months the premiere would be some time in September. Although I asked my sweet son for guidance about the attire for an Oakland premiere (as opposed to one in LA), his response was to tell me what HE planned to wear. Apparently, he thought that was all anyone would need to know, male or female. No wonder the man is still single!
Left to my own usually clever devices, I proceeded to assemble an ensemble. I chose a daytime short dress with sophisticated but chunky jewelry, the fashionable nude-colored shoe and a small, but decidedly informal handbag. Smug about my brilliance and my superb time management, I was ready far in advance. I could relax, at least until the time came to start obsessing about my hair.
Then I saw the women on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. Angelina Jolie glided down the gauntlet of press and screaming fans in an elegant and beautifully accessorized black satin floor-length Vivienne Westwood original with her fiancé Brad Pitt as the main accessory. I panicked and started frantically Googling other women attending the Toronto event to see what they wore.
OMG! A 911 text to The Actor followed. He confirmed what I feared. I needed to step up my game – by a lot! That was last Sunday. Since then I have been a whirling dervish of shopping frenzy. I stayed up until 3 a.m. Monday morning shopping for appropriate dresses online. I ordered several and had them sent via overnight transit. Some I ordered in two sizes, just in case. My credit card heated up so fast, my bank started denying transactions until I could let them know it was I who was in possession of my card, and not some criminal suffering from insomnia. I finally drifted off to slip, secure in the knowledge there would be at least one dress out of those I ordered that would work.
The first email arrived Monday morning as I was working on a Power Point presentation for my job (Yes, I have had to squeeze my work in!) It was a “I-know-our-website-said-the-dress-is-in-stock-but…” message. “Sorry, but it’s not. “ No problem. I have backup.
One by one, the emails arrived. They were all from different stores, but they all meant the same thing: no stock. Panic returned. Visions set in of L slithering down the red carpet hiding behind her 6’3” son praying to go unnoticed. And then it happened. I just then realized the shoes I had purchased were all wrong, no matter which, if any,of the dresses actually showed up.
By now you should have figured out that I don’t shop in brick and mortar stores. After decades of facing my averageness in retail environments, I have given up on finding my sizes still available unless I camp out on the loading docks of Saks Fifth Avenue or Macy’s to be there when the items are actually unloaded. Apparently, every woman in the country wears exactly my size in everything. So, I let my fingers do the schlepping and pay the extra shipping and handling, if I’m in a pickle.
I found some shoes that would work with just about anything except gym shorts and took my chances on UPS. According to the tracking report, they won’t arrive until FRIDAY! That’s fine, assuming they come without flaws or unique sizing issues. But there is another problem.
Here’s the first dress. It actually arrived yesterday and it is gorgeous, even on my matronly bod. But it is really long. It is supposed to brush the floor because it has a slight train, but until I get the shoes, I cannot be sure if it needs altering.
A second dress arrived today and it, too, is stunning. It won't need any work and it's a lot more comfortable. (Sigh)
I cannot wait until I have assembled myself, probably after about six straight hours of fretting, pulling and tugging, and am in the limo with no place to retreat. I will be fine. I will not embarrass my son. I will be fine. I will be fine.
Note to self: Don’t forget your meds!