Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chemo Saved My Life Again

This time it was only my social life, but Chris's youngest sister Courtney assures me it would have been social suicide. So let me just thank the god of chemo side effects right now.

Chris has recently introduced me to the joy of hair "fiber" or "paste" or "molding something or other" that one applies to hair to make it spike-y or texture-y or something or other that makes really short hair seem styled, yet not. Thus emboldened, I'm taking a moment or two in the mornings to actually "style" my hairs and occasionally I think it looks good. Saturday night we went to Newport Beach for the wedding of a close friend of Chris's family. Big, lavish wedding attended by well-dressed, well-groomed perfect looking people. (And then me.) Due to the state of my head, I have two looks I can sort of pull off that fool me momentarily into thinking that other people might possibly think my hair is intentional--the first is the aforementioned Sedona/Rain forest/funky jewelry woman (no hair fiber) and the other, I recently discovered through the gift of hair fiber paste, is a sort of intense, dressed in black, New York editrix. But this was a wedding. Neither of those looks really work. I considered a wig but really can't stand the thought of that. So, going through my closet, I found I had two dress choices. Both dresses were from Banana Republic. I'm a big fan of BR. Mostly because they carry clothes in sizes that have two digits and they also carry many of their clothes in tall sizes. Even dresses, which is important when one is nearly 6 feet tall and over...ahem, a certain age... where a hem should be very near the knee.

One violet colored one-shouldered BR dress I thought would look pretty good with the hair, since the color is stunning and the dress sort of throws the focus to the neck and shoulders so not having hair was almost a good thing. Alas, I decided against it for two reasons. First, BR actually puts the season on the tag of their clothing. This tag read SPR08. Spring, 2008. Hmmm...could I risk a year-old dress in this crowd? And even I could remember I also wore this dress out to dinner with Chris's family previously. Still, under the circumstances, I was tempted to wear it. But I couldn't. I couldn't wedge my feet into the shoes that look best with the dress. My feet this week have been doing their bloating neuropathy thing and have alternated between looking like not-so-small piglets attached to my ankles and just plain fat feet. I knew that even if I got my feet into the shoes walking would be severely restricted and Chris was not likely to want to carry his bald Amazonian violet warrior throughout the evening, not to mention how that might have ruined the effect of the dress in the first place. Instead, I chose the SMR09 BR dress in a sort of robin's egg blue color. Surprisingly the gladiator-strappy silver sandals with nearly 4" heels that go with this dress were the most comfortable for my feet. Sure, they made me 6"3 and I was, you know, rockin' some strange Annie Lennox in pastels look but somehow I still made it out the door thinking I looked okay. (Delusion is fun, isn't it?)

The delusion lasted until we got to the parking lot of the church and it looked as though the wedding was going to be a lot more formal than we had expected (and somehow violet seemed more "formal" than robin's egg blue to me, so I was positive I'd made the wrong choice). The church, like Newport Beach itself, was full of girls with long blonde hair (with bangs swept across their foreheads in gravity defying ways) who are all exactly 5' 6" (in heels) and weigh 46 pounds (in wet towels). I was no longer even Annie Lennox looking. I was more Brigette Nielson (and not even when she was stalking Sylvester Stallone, which, I think, must be considered her heyday). The wedding was not Catholic and therefore was actually over the same day it started and we made our way to the reception. We weren't inside the Country Club two minutes when I realized that I had, indeed, made the right dress choice and not just because the wedding was not as formal as it had first appeared. There at the bar was a young woman in the violet SPR08 dress.

There were 300+ people at this reception. Not only was the young woman at the same reception wearing the very dress I had pulled out and considered a few short hours ago but as luck would have it, she was seated at our same table (she, it turns out, is married to someone that Chris went to grade school with) two seats away.

My chemo feet saved me from the social suicide of being caught in the same dress at the same table at the same wedding reception as another woman. And trust me, I would not have won this dress-off. Did I mention she was young? And thin. And had long thick hair (brown, surprising I know...but she's obviously new to the crowd, after all she was wearing a SPR 08 dress).

Thus narrowly escaping social suicide thanks to chemo puffiness, I enjoyed a wonderful meal (chilled melon soup, Caesar salad, lobster and steak) and Chris and I spent most of the night dancing. Yes, I danced. In 4" heels. All night. Hey, it's not like I could look any stranger.

I'm pleased to report my feet hurt like hell today. But this time, I don't think the chemo gets the credit or the blame.

(P.S. the photo is not of the actual dress nor the actual girl. But close enough. On both counts.)


  1. Here in Portland one must only worry that the hipster next to you at the dive bar has the same Members Only jacket. :-)
    Hugs and Love

  2. I wouldnt be able to walk today had I danced in 4 inch heels. Awesome that you are out and about enough to commit social suicide.

    Kathy G

  3. Go you! But we need pictures of the duck egg blue----- and the shoes, please!

  4. I didn't bring my camera so I don't have photos from the actual night (and I'm sure the professional photographers were instructed to avoid the blue lagoon monster in the middle of the dance floor so those won't be available either. I can (and just might!) photograph the shoes. But the dress, well, let's just say it had an unpleasant encounter with a filet mignon. Rare.

  5. awwwshoot..i so wanted to see pictures ;(


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