For my writing workshop, we had to write a short piece based on an article we found on the internet or newspaper. I was reading about the show “What not to Wear” and came up with this. Enjoy!
I brought the glass to my lips, and took a generous gulp. Gagging from the bubbles, I rested the glass on the bar, gently. I hated champagne; why did I ask for a glass? I needed a margarita instead. Sighing, I angled myself towards the grand double doors.
The production crew loafed around, ready to finish this episode of, “Make Me Over!”. They didn’t care for the show because the network canceled it and they had to find new jobs. The grips not lounging ran around the room, fetching champagne and coffee for the lazy crew members. One grip scampered over to me and took my nearly full glass from the bar.
When the director made strange finger motions that meant, “Places everyone”, I wobbled over to the double doors in my new heels. As I stood there, fiddling with my new dress, I reflected on my friend’s squeal when I told her they accepted me on the show. She jumped around like a school girl and said, “Your confidence will grow by miles!”
My husband was less enthusiastic. When I told him about the show, he didn’t reply, rustling the morning paper. Undaunted, I pressed him for an answer, and he said, “You are always lovely.” I stomped off. How would he know? He never looked up from his newspapers and model airplanes.
“Time for the big reveal,” the director announced, and I cleared my mind of unnecessary thoughts. My anxiety increased when the cheering started. I gathered my wits, reminding myself of everything I learned on the show. Square your shoulders, lift your chest, suck in your gut, smile sweetly and walk bravely. All these rules and I wanted to be me. Could I be me and still be confident?
“One!” the shouts echoed out, and the doors opened to bright lights. Screams and squeals bounced back, a sea of people in front of me. Feeling uncertain, I halted. The director stood up, the features on his face coiled tight. I quickly regained my posture and did a quick pirouette. High pitched squeals ensued. People approached me, firing questions and compliments at me. I answered as best as I could. Yes, I loved the experience. No, the waxing didn’t hurt. Yes, I love the designer clothes. No, I am not happy with heels, but yes, I still wear them.
“Cut!” the director bellowed. “Let’s run this again. We need the husband’s face shot!” My husband was leaning against the wall, his eyes closed. Should I tell the director that he had on his happiest face shot?
“Is he sleeping?” the bubbly blonde grip asked.
“Nah, I think he’s bored,” the fat cameraman said.
“He had a smile on his face when his wife came out,” said another crew member.
While people whispered about my husband, the director ran over to talk to him. My husband’s eyes opened, and grumbling, pulled away from the wall. I started towards the two men, but the hair and make-up people stopped me. I looked tired, and on camera, I had to look like I actually got a makeover.
After our numerous takes, the director relented, citing that he could piece something “passable” together. Released to mingle, I stood in the center of the room, and talked to people I hardly knew. The computer programmer from work fired questions at me. Why was she here? Did she care about me and my makeover? No, she came for the free food.
Reduced to canned answers, I continued to talk to the sea of people. The more I could say “yes” and “no” as responses, the quicker I could go home. I was tired of the camera presence and the bright lights. Tired of people telling me when to smile and when to cry. Tired of people who didn’t care about me.
Finally, receiving a quiet moment, I slouched against the wall alone, sipping my margarita. The strawberry and tequila flavored ice melted on my tongue, relaxing the muscles of my body. I sighed and closed my eyes.
Someone cleared his throat. I jerked, unhappy that someone came bother me. I huffed and stood up straight. He touched my arm. Surprised, I turned towards my husband. His signature frown remained on his face, and he shifted from foot to foot. I started to tell him we’d leave soon, but he spoke first. “I missed you,” he said, his eyes only on me.
“I missed you, too,” I said with a smile. Feeling a thousand feet tall, I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “More than you will ever know.”