Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Red Shoe Diaries

I got a phone call yesterday from a producer with the local CBS affiliate. They have asked me to come on their morning show to talk about an event myself and my business partner are hosting.

"Gee that sounds swell," I said when asked if I was free. If you knew me, you'd know that talking like the Beav is always a tell-tale sign that I am about to have a little stroke. Well that and not being able to see the color blue.

My partner and I are supposed to be at the studio on Friday at 7:20 in the morning to tape the show. They would prefer not to have us do it live. Probably worried about the possibility of inappropriate scratching or something. Let's face it. Nobody wants to see a forty-year-old woman scratch while they eat their Wheaties.

After I hung up the phone and did the obligatory, "I'm going on t.v." happy dance, the reality of what I had agreed to do set in. Coincidentally, that's about the time I started to taste burnt pennies.

What in holy heck was I thinking? Me! Go on television! In front of actual people! I must have passed out because the next thing I remember Tanner, the amazing 4 pound Yorkie, was licking my hand and Mr. Man was trying to button my shirt.

Men. You can't live with 'em and you can't pass out in front of them without being groped.

Naturally as soon as I got off the floor I did what any woman in the same situation would do. I bitch-slapped Mr. Man and drove ninety-five miles an hour to the local retail establishment in search of suitable attire. Wanting to be a part of my excitement, the Man came along. And by came along, I of course mean he grabbed onto the bumper and held on for dear life.

I spent the better part of my afternoon trying on everything in the entire store to include a cute sweater the sales lady was wearing. I tried on black things, pink things, orange things and I think a couple blue things, although I can't be sure because of the side effects of the stroke and all.

"What do you think, Mr. Man?" I asked after modeling each and every item.

"Well, I don't really care for that one," he'd say looking disapprovingly at me. "It doesn't do anything for you." This coming from the man that spends his days off in zebra print sweatpants and a t-shirt that says, "Eat At Bubba's Bait and Tackle".

"Try this one," he said, handing me a double-breasted, black suit with gray pin stripes. It looked like something Baby Face Nelson would have been buried in. All I needed was a long, gold watch chain and a Tommy Gun and I'd be all set for a night on the town shooting feds.

"Wow, honey!," Mr. Man gushed when I came out of the dressing room looking for all the world like a gangster pimp. "You look very professional. That's the one. That outfit really says something."

"I agree. It says I like bathtub gin and hookers."

I'd love to tell you that I had more sense than to actually pay money for that suit and take it home. I'd love to, but I can't. Just as I was about to take it off and run screaming from the store, I saw them. The one and only things that could redeem this awful blend of polyester and big buttons. The very things that have tripped my trigger since I was old enough to have a trigger to trip.

Red shoes.

There they were. Four inch heels, red strap around the ankle and calling my name. If I could only have those shoes, I reasoned, I could wear the zoot suit. Red high-heel shoes can repair anything. Bad outfits, horrible marriages, lasting effects of mini strokes. I'm thoroughly convinced if my first several husbands had worn red high-heels, we'd all be living together in a commune somewhere.

"Sack it up, Baby!" I said to the sales lady. She agreed with Mr. Man that it was indeed a stunning outfit, but I think she only said that so I'd give back her sweater. She looked cold. "Grab the bumper, Mr. Man. We're going home."

This all happened yesterday. Today, in a much calmer frame of mind and no longer suffering from the red shoe induced hypnotic state, I decided to try on the suit and the slutty shoes and have my son tape me with the video camera. I figured I'd get a good look at me before I let people eating breakfast in four states look at me. I'm oh so glad I did.

Sweet Lord. What a disaster. I looked like a little girl playing dress up in her Daddy's old suit and her Mommy's high heels. A gender confused little fat girl. A gender confused little fat girl from 1920. I've never been more embarrassed to look at myself in my life and that includes the time when I was seven and I let my Mother give me a home perm and dress me in a shirt made out of dish towels.

I don't know what I'm going to do. The taping is two days away and unless I am lucky enough to come down with the Monkey Flu and suffer severe vomiting and diarrhea, I rather doubt I am going to lose thirty pounds prior to going on television. Not to mention that I have nothing to wear... again.

Oh well. What are you gonna do? I'll simply have to get up bright and early in the morning and take the vintage pimp-wear back to the store. I just hope the sales lady is wearing something cute.

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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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