Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ Advise and Consent

The agonising continues. I bet most of you have been there. It's one of the first times you're going out. So far, it's gone well, but there's always something new, something scary. My anonymous friend Pat said that she might go to a costume event in November, but put the chance of going at "less than 10%". Been there. Pat, I want to hear it's up to 50% by the end of September!

Back to the story. I wrote my friend S:

I still can't decide if I should:

* skip it
* wear a skirt, as I had discussed with the hostess
* wear a skirt & blouse
* go all the way. I may even have someone to do my makeup for me.

Yes, I was also still considering skipping a costume altogether. Maybe even skipping the party altogether. I'm not very good at parties. As I mentioned earlier, I am a classic introvert. I'll pass on describing what that means, unless readers want to know more.

Anyway, later that day I wrote:

I know what to do about costume:
* go all the way. I may even have someone to do my makeup for me: this is what I will delude myself into thinking I will do and I'll plan it all week as I completely distract myself working out every detail and buying the missing bits to make it happen

* wear a skirt & blouse (and tights and pumps): I have that very nice blouse I got from that little shop I mentioned. I have a couple of her cards and I'd be happy to give them to anyone who'd like it. This, I will convince myself, is my fallback and I'll even try it to see how I look as in skirt & blouse and maybe convince myself that it's not as extreme as above but I can get away with it. Biggest problem in my mind is, it makes it harder to do the full thing in front of the same crowd. I have two purple skirts, once is long and straight and plain; the other is very light and feminine. So I also need to decide which to wear. With the full outfit I'd probably wear the fem one.

* wear a skirt like I discussed with the hostess (with tights & pumps): the straight one. This is actually pretty safe, but, again, I can't escalate to a full outfit if I get up the nerve next time there's a costume event.

* skip it or go as : where I'll probably end up. Although I think I'd wear the skirt if it came down to this.

I don't expect an answer on that; I have to figure it out for myself. If you have any ideas on the "colours" question I'd love to hear them! I really have no idea, and if I do the full outfit I'd like it to look right, I think. Maybe if it looked wrong there'd be less suspicion.

Last summer I put a query on to look for a makeupper. I found the woman who did me for Meg's First Day Out in October there (another future post), along with some others whom I did not use. I tried re-contacting the others without success so I posted another query. I received 7 responses: a guy who said he has a (male) friend who does makeup; a pro who will do an 8 hour session/lesson/personal shopper for $300; a pro who said "I don't need the money; can I put you in my portfolio?"; someone who said she was "just good" at makeup and that she'd do a session for $50 at my house but we haven't discussed cost for session/shopping (but she's willing); a "what are you willing to pay?" e-mail; someone who is willing to give me some e-mail or phone hints & tips if we can't get together.

A bit of an explanation: the "little shop" is one in Vienna (Virginia, not Austria. Nearby.) that I stumbled upon. I had a client near there and I was early and the weather was nice so I went for a walk. There was a little shop selling Indian clothing. I went in to look at clothes and I ended up talking to the owner. At first I said I was just looking; she said she made all of the clothes there. They were a bit out of my price range (close to $50 for a blouse; a few hundred for a Sari) but there was a LOT of purple and I liked the idea of buying from the designer/creator. I told her I was going to a Mardi Gras party in women's clothing and had pretty much decided on purple. She was very helpful; she even let me try a top on. I was screwing up my courage to come out of the changing room to show her, but I heard her talking so I didn't. It turned out she was on the phone, and I had changed back and missed an opportunity. She said she really wanted to see how I looked in the blouse. But I did buy it. Yes, there Will Be Pictures.

On Wednesday I wrote S:

If I can get the wife to go directly from [my son's] piano [lesson] on Sat I will have enough time to get in a makeup lady (not a pro; she says she's "just good at it") and go to the party Sat eve.

The woman (pro) who I was talking to about Sun makeup and shopping hasn't answered e-mails since very early Mon. The Sat woman may be able to repeat on Sun, but I have good feelings about this other woman and I'd like to try her.

I don't seem able to meet up with the woman who wanted to put me in her portfolio. That seemed like a fun thing -- make me feel like a model! Certainly an experience I never thought I'd have.

I am very worried about how my costume will go down at the party. I am very nervous about going out, maybe getting caught by neighbors, etc. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

On Thursday I wrote S (you can see it's difficult to be a friend of mine, particularly a gg friend):

Right now I have an eclectic purple outfit: a bright purple (lavender? fuchsia? I'm not up on colour names) top, a choice of a medium purple long pleated skirt or a dark purple shorter skirt, lighter purple tights.

The wife had a good idea. She said she'd seen feather boas in a party store. I hope they still have them; I'll try to get a purple one.

I'm trying to decide on my "story". I sort of decided that I'm going to keep changing it, as people ask (even the same people if they say 'no really').

"I do this all the time, I just don't usually go out."
"Sorry. I couldn't think of a costume so all I did was wear this boa and my usual clothes."
"Dems have groups for women, labour, gay, latinos.... They don't have a group for white men and I felt left out."
"J [hostess] suggested I wear a skirt [true]. I got carried away."
"I was going to do the boa and I didn't have anything that looked right with it so I got the skirt. My legs looked funny so I got the tights. My sneakers looked dumb so I got the shoes. Then I noticed that the bottom didn't look good with my shirts so I got the blouse. The blouse didn't fit right so I added padding. Then the face was totally wrong so I did the makeup. That looked stupid with the hair so, well, here I am."
"J suggested I wear a skirt and I thought, might as well go all the way."
"J suggested I wear a skirt and I mentioned it to a friend who suggested I exceed expectations."
"I always dress like this to parties. That's why I never get invited to second parties."
"I went into a store and asked for something in Mardi Gras colours. I thought 'Chico' meant 'boy'."
"Damn. Wrong meeting."
"The hard part was deciding which outfit to wear."

I hope I remember all of these. I'm sure I'll think of some more.

A bit more explanation: yes, I told my wife I'd be going to the party. She slightly knew J, and some of the other people who would be there. I think I mentioned, I tell her everything (with the exception of my flying as Meg).

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