Tonight I am heading to a charity ball being held to raise money for my daughter’s diving team. At fifty-five years of age you would think I would be an old pro at this, but no, I am a virgin at this type of affair and unlike most Cinderellas…I have no fairy godmother to take care of things for me. As a result of this misfortune, for the past three days I have been schlepping from store to store in search of the perfect dress, shoes, and a fat suit to hold it all in. Needless to say it has been discouraging and a major blow to the old ego.
Dress one: Long, scarlet and slit oh-so-high-right-up-the-thigh. Youngest daughter almost throws up in her mouth. “Really mom,” she sighs. “One day I’ll have to go back to the pool and I don’t want you to be THE mom that everyone is still talking about.”
Dress two: short, blue. “Mom, your cellulite is showing.”
Dress three: Just sparkly enough to catch my daughter’s interest…until I put it on. “I think you will need a bigger fat suit,” she says.
Dress four: White, bra-less with cutouts in the back. “OMG, Mom. Do your boobs really drop that far when you get old?” (I swear I am never taking this kid shopping with me again!)
Dresses five through eleven:
“Please mom don’t embarrass me in that.”
“Really, mom, what are you thinking?”
Dress twelve: Oh SHIT, I ripped it near the zipper when I tried to pull it down over my hips. Future reminder to self… ALWAYS take dress off by pulling over your head.
Dress thirteen: Black, long. Two sizes smaller than I normally wear. My daughter gasps and instructs me to turn around.
“IT FITS!” she squeals.
“It fits… like…everywhere?” I hesitantly ask trying to avoid my major most obvious issue by refusing to turn around to take a good look at my ample ass in the mirror.
“EVERYWHERE!” she exclaims.”You look really beautiful and you no longer look so embarrassing!” (Okay, maybe she can come shopping with me again someday)
“Really?” I say, running my hand over my hills and dales. I look HARD. Move here. Move there. Bend…nothing ripped, nothing broke, nothing howled.
“Honey, quick, hand me my phone,” I say with a real sense of urgency in my voice.
Just like that I dial the number to my instructor at the Pilates studio and sign up for another ten pack of lessons, as tears slide down my cheeks. My daughter thinks I am beautiful… maybe I should go purchase a lottery ticket!
And FYI Prince Charming … be forewarned…you might just be riding home all alone in that pumpkin because this fifty-five year-old Cinderella is going to the ball tonight and she’s looking damn good!