Friday, September 19, 2008
Margaret has had a difficult week. Not because she works in the financial industry, not because she's losing clients left and right, not even because she's been too busy to shift her summer wardrobe to the back of the closet.
She's been in a Midwestern city for a wedding. First the humidity bombed her blond stylish long-bob, and, on the same day ruined her white silk Dior blouse.
"Ring around the collar," she emailed her secretary. "For what I paid, it should have been good for at least 25 wearings. It's white! Oh, what am I going to do? There's not a single decent store here that could replace it."
Her secretary did not email back. However, she did forward it to her co-workers who all got a good laugh.
"I guess Margaret's social skills will just have to pull her through," one woman replied, laughter crackling between every word as she typed. "I wonder what she will do? Wouldn't it be fun to be a fly on her wall."
The day of the wedding Margaret stood in front of the full length mirror in her hotel suite, which by the way, had a brown floral polyester comforter, and matching drapes. "I'm 50 years old," she said to her husband as if he didn't know she was actually 60 years old, "and my chin has such bad acne that my make-up won't cover it. I've never had acne in my life!" Another untruth.
Her husband sat on the bed and tied the laces on his black Johnson and Murphy wing-tip dress shoes. "It's not so bad here. Be nice if we had a little rain storm."
"Don't say that, " she snapped. "I didn't bring a rain coat although that would cover up a multitude of sins." Bedraggled, that's how I look, she thought to herself. Be-draaagggle-d.
"I'm ready," he said, standing up and adjusting his navy suit jacket without even looking in the mirror. "We need to leave soon. I'll wait in the lobby downstairs."
As the door slammed, Margaret jumped. Hotel doors always have to slam, she thought. Why?
Did Princess Diana's hotel doors slam? I'll bet they didn't.
Margaret flat-ironed her hair, section by section , just as she had done for the last howeverlong. Oh how I envy those women with cuts that fall into place no matter the weather. She imagined a thin statuesque blond striding through a crowd, head held high on a swan neck, every hair in place, grey eyeliner emphasizing individual false eyelashes attached more closely at the outer corner than the inner corner of the eye. Iridescent pale cheeks, raspberry lips, and a creamy smooth chin with just a hint of pink along the jawline.
Oh, a lace collar with the burnished long necklace, that chunky one, weighted with the pale jade whatever it is, doesn't matter. I'll look fabulous.
Margaret grabbed her Blackberry, punched in her husband's number and waited while it rang and rang. God Lord, what is that man doing, doesn't he ever hear this thing? Ah..
"What?" he said, slightly slurring the word. "What?"
"Get my jewelry. Go to the concierge and have them bring it up to me, right now," she said.
"They don't have a concierge here," he said. "And your jewelry is in the suitcase. Just do something, we need to get there."
"Oh, of course, " she membled with her last ounce of breath.
She put the phone in her bag, the small cylindrical cream colored beaded one she'd already prepared to take. Margaret turned slowly, in slow motion actually, toward the suitcase open at the foot of the bed. She riffled through for pantyhose without even looking at the packaging or color.
Sitting squarely on the side of the bed, she rolled one stocking leg and slide her foot in first up to the ankle, then she rolled the other stocking leg and slid her other foot in up to the ankle. As she stood up to wiggle them upwards into place, she looked down at her feet.
Margaret made an executive decision: It doesn't really matter what I wear here. No one will notice.