What I’m about to share with you really happened.
It’s interpretation, however, is up to you.
But first, a little background.
Each year my mom’s Catholic church hosts a pre-Mother’s Day dinner for the ladies of the parish and their female relatives: daughters, granddaughters, nieces and the like.
In the beginning, when the ladies created the event, they approached the Saturday evening gathering with refined, lady-like taste: a simple meal, demure flower arrangements, tea light candles in the church hall and precious little entertainment. For a church dinner, it was lovely in its simpleness.
In the years since, however, the event has taken on themes and colors and costumes and, oh yes, a little entertainment. (But not that kind of entertainment, you perverts. I’m talking The Electric Slide and the Macerana.)
This year’s theme, “Night of a Thousands Stars,” encouraged attendees to dress as their favorite celebrities.
Blessed with a rather slim frame while cursed with zero creativity, I went as Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I found a basic black dress on the clearance rack a few weeks ago, wore my own “pearl” jewelery and topped it off with cheap sunglasses and prom-like gloves from the visual seizure that is Claire’s, “where getting ready is half the fun,” they cry with prepubescent glee. (Almost every shopping mall has a Claire’s, you know. Consider it an escape for the 8-year-old girl living inside you, her eyes glazed over by the assault of pink and glitter and rhinestones. Just thinking of the store reverts me to wearing a training bra and still sleeping with a teddy bear at night.)
Before leaving the house on Saturday I dressed in my costume, sans the sunglasses (because I can’t see without my regular glasses) and the gloves (because I didn’t want to drive in them).
As I approached the church I pulled into a nearby gas station to complete my look. I temporarily slipped off my turquoise fleece jacket, tossed it aside and pulled on each glove. I’ve never worn such accessories before, so I took my time inserting each finger into the snug-fitting gloves, admiring just how fancy I looked.
Not until pulling on the second glove did I look to my right. In the parking stall next to me was a rather dirty looking man. When I say dirty I don’t mean in the sense that his character was questionably unsavory. I mean he looked dirty — as if he’d been working outdoors all day.
I can only imagine what images and hypothetical situations flashed through that brain under his buzzed head as he watched a woman of my age (29, but, I’m told, looking about 19), dressed in a short, black dress, wearing black heels, no nylons, slowly adorning her arms with black, “silky” gloves in a gas station parking lot at 5:30 on a Saturday afternoon.
Thankfully, I didn’t ask and he didn’t attempt to share. When I realized I had an audience, I put my car in reverse and dashed out of the parking lot as fast as I could.
When I arrived at the church hall, I was greeted by a world of twinkling white lights, gold stars and even a red carpet. The place looked fantastic.
I met up with mom, and we both stopped to say hello to an elderly woman who has lived across the street from the church for more than 40 years. We were at first confused by her question.
“Mary Lou, who’s she?” she asked my mom.
“That’s my daughter, Wendy.”
“I know that,” she said. “I mean, who’s she supposed to be?”
Apparently the black gloves weren’t worth the hassle.
My mom and me as the “Night of a Thousands Stars” began.
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