crazy stuff,  my art is going to the dogs,  Newsbreaking Hair News,  shopping

‘Twas the night before the big gallery show…

from here to fabulous

Tomorrow is the big day and I’m starting to get nervous. I’m not a wreck but I could be. I haven’t blogged about it because it didn’t seem newsworthy (and I didn’t want anybody not coming just because they were afraid of germs) but…. I have had a cold all week and guess what, my voice is completely gone!

No voice! Imagine that! Arg. I’m crossing my fingers, drinking tea and hoping it comes back by tomorrow. I am pretty much better. I feel fine and I’m sure I’m not contagious but my voice, it has left the building. So if you are thinking of coming, PLEASE COME! Don’t be afraid of my germs. I’m harmless!

You know why you want to come? Because you want to see me magically transformed from this:

hippie chick

…into something fabulous! I don’t know how it’s going to happen or what I’m going to turn into but it’s going to be good. So please come and see. Otherwise the suspense is going to kill you.

How did I get to be such a slovenly looking hippie mom anyway? This sort of snuck up on me. It had something to do with having a baby and not being able to go shopping for clothes or get my hair cut. I like to think of myself as someone with style but lately the comments from my friends have got me wondering. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look it’s just that… well, I can’t be bothered. I have no time for vanity!

Except today I was crippled with vanity. I started thinking about all the people who are going to meet me for the first time and how my pictures on my blog don’t accurately portray me as the shabby hippie mom that I am. I started to freak out a little bit, actually.

I decided to go dress shopping. More for my self esteem than really needing a new dress. (I must be crazy. Who goes dress shopping to boost their self esteem?) I know everybody’s still going to like me if I wear that black strapless from 1998 or my old stand by “seagull poop” dress (as Toby calls it except he doesn’t say poop) that I wear all the time for any photographable event like going out to donuts for example. But I wanted to get something new.

Shopping is the pits for me. I hate it. I hate all the new styles. I hate all the new colors. I hate how nothing fits. I hate how I’m always drawn to styles that are not flattering to my body type. I hate how everything is for fall when it feels like summer. You want me to wear wool and brocade when sweat is dripping down my back? Fashion is crazy.

Baby Bug was a good sport but the endless hours in dressing rooms even wore her down. She was very frustrated when I would pick out something orange or green and not let her try it on too. She’s obsessed with orange and green.

Get this, while buckled in her stroller, Baby Bug tried to take her shirt off and put on an orange brocade dress from Anthropologie that was hanging on the wall beside her on a hanger. Her efforts were worth a gold medal. I’m not completely cold hearted so I gently let her put the five thousand-times-too-big dress over her head.

That turned out to be a big mistake. She got twisted up in the rolls and rolls of sweaty thick fabric and the more I tried to pull her out of it the more she cried. It was really really sad. We both left the dressing room feeling frustrated and completely deflated.

We wandered out of Anthropologie in a daze and somehow, probably because I just plain wasn’t looking, I walked straight into a couture boutique shop not even noticing that the dresses I was looking at had price tags of $700 and up.

I do not belong in such a shop. I don’t know what I was thinking but guess what, a miracle happened. Now that I think about it, I think I did say a little prayer of desperation to God while we were tangled up in the orange dress at Anthropologie. I think I said something like, Please God, help me get out of this mess. But I never expected my prayer to be answered like this.

There I was wandering aimlessly in a fancy boutique shop, probably muttering to myself, when this very friendly sales guy came up to me and asked me if he could help. I think I said something like, “There is no hope for us.” He laughed but I really meant it. He somehow got it out of me that I have a big gallery opening tomorrow and decided to take me under his wing. I think I might have said something about being a painter… in my hoarse whispering voice.

“Stay right there,” he said. “I’ll be back in five minutes with five fabulous dresses that will be perfect for your show.” He didn’t even ask my size. He just looked me up and down and was gone in a flash of fairy dust.

That was about when I finally woke up and noticed that the price tags had extra zeros on them. Uh oh. How was I going to tell this guy that I can’t afford to be trying on clothes in a shop like this? I decided I would humor him and just pretend I didn’t like any of them.

But he read my mind. He came back with five dresses in shades of dark grays and browns. “You don’t really want a couture gown for your event,” he said. “Your art is whimsical. You need something fun that you’ll feel comfortable in.” I looked at the price tag of a dress dangling from his arm. Phew… it was totally affordable.

How did he know? He must be an angel. I took all five dresses into the dressing room and proceeded to try them on with my eyes bugging out of my head. Guess what? Every single one of them fit. How did he know my size! I would have never picked any of them out myself. They just hung limp on their hangers, looking like nothing special.. but then when I put them on they became magic dresses! Hip hugging dresses with low scoop necklines and fancy sleeves that offset my um…generous pear shaped lower half. How did he know!

I wanted to hug him and do a little dance. The dresses, they fit! I didn’t feel ugly or fat or shaggy or unkempt. It was a miracle. He even played peek a boo with Baby Bug through the dressing room curtain so I could examine the hem and swoon over the pretty magic dresses. It was wonderful.

I bought one dress and I’m wearing it tomorrow. Maybe you’ll get to see it.


  • shy Victoria

    I may be a tad over-emotional right now, but this story totally made me cry : )

    I too, hate shopping with the not fitting, etc. and am so glad you found a magic helper and got a happy ending !

  • nikkapotamus

    I just had a moment. One of those jaw dropping, ohmygosh!, moments. That second photo of you looks JUST LIKE my mom. Ok, not my mom NOW, so stop worrying, but my mom when she was in her 20s. The hair and the eyes! It was just so darn spooky. It reminds me almost exactly of a photo I have of my mom looking just like you! Spooky crazy!

    PS. I also wanted to say Good Luck tomorrow! I know you’re going to have a great time!

  • BeachMama

    Wishing you all the best for your gallery showing today!! I so wish I could be there, but miles and a baby that has not arrived stands in my way. I probobly don’t need to say this, but take lots of pictures especially in your new dress and get ready to post them all tomorrow ;). Oh yes and have Toby take a few glamour shots of you as well as the paintings so we can all feel like we were there.

    Best wishes and thank goodness for excellent sales guys.

  • Mrs Mogul

    If I was in the area I would go!! Cool room, heck I feel like a hippie mom sometimes, I should really send you a pic of me today! GOOD LUCK TODAY!!!!

  • gorillabuns

    You’re show will go swimmingly and you will look divine.

    Best of luck! ENJOY YOURSELF and I know you will sell a lot of art!

    ***i wish i could be there.***

  • Carrie

    That is so cool about your fairy godfather! I need one of those.

    I think you look fantastic, even if it is a shaggy hippie style. You are a beautiful woman even if you don’t believe it.

  • Prisca

    Have an amazing opening tonight. You’ll look great, feel great, and be the star of the show! That’s how it’s supposed to be. Thank goodness for your shopping angel. I hope you got his card. ;)

  • Beth

    a small box of fine chocolates for your dress guy! a tiny ty!

    Best of Luck, you will do great, i can feel it! Enjoy your evening…Be A STAR!

    p.s. throat lozenges…something to keep moisture in your throat. your wisper may be heard!

  • sassy little punkin

    I’m going to get to see it! :) Can’t wait!

    What a great story. I love that one of your commenters said “was it Clinton from What Not to Wear?” because I had to go dress shopping this week, and I didn’t have a magical fairy-man (lol) swoop into rescue me, but I did have imaginary Stacy and Clinton-made rules for me, and could sort of hear them say: too short! or too tight! or wrong shape! or get another size! while i tried things on. which, granted, might make me sound kooky, but darn if i didn’t buy some amazing pieces that fit and flatter.

    it’s such a relief to buy a great dress, isn’t it? looking forward to the show! keep drinking that tea!

  • SmocknMama

    I can’t be there (being waaay down here in Louisiana) but I know it will be great. Enjoy! and I can’t wait for pics and posts about it all.

    And the guy in the boutique – awesome.

  • Kami

    A fairy dress fitter! How neat and so glad you found somethingthat you will look fabulous in but more importantly, FEEL fabulous in.

    Good luck with your opening:-)

  • anne

    Hooray for that guy!! :) And double-hooray for you! I totally understand the need to find something new and beautiful that makes you feel fabulous…

    Good luck! I wish I was on your side of the country and could make it over…I’d love to own a BP original for my baby room… :) Have fun!!!

  • sizzle

    I am sure you will look beautiful but I am glad to hear someone rescued you from feeling down. Yay for pretty dresses! Can’t wait to see the photos. Good luck at the opening. :)

  • Susan

    That is the most wonderful story EVER. I got little goose bumps reading it. I’m sure your dress AND your paintings will be a huge hit.

    Now show us the dress! Please.

  • whoorl

    Dog hair AND germs? BAD. Cupcakes and paintings? GOOD. Brenda in a new dress? EVEN BETTER.

    You’ll look just lovely and the party will be a great success. See you soon!

  • Kathryn S

    WOW! I want a shopping experience like that too! I can’t wait to see the dress. I’m in Illinois so I won’t be able to go to the show. I hope you post some photos. Congrats! (on the show and the dress :)

  • lynne

    And that my dear is what happens in the “real” shops, when shop assistants have a designers eye and know what will suit their customer. I’m glad this has happened to you and the dress was affordable. I know all about the shops which are way too expensive for scruffy little me to put a toe through the door, but sometimes when I’m feeling swish I take a deep breath and enter.

    The thing is I am developing a taste for expensive clothes, although my budget and job (freelance animator) don’t call for it. I wear jeans and graphic t-shirt’s most of the time and I don’t even have a baby, (just 3 jobs and a slight hang up about being vain from my Baptist upbringing). I looked in the mirror while persuing a dress shop in a fancier part of the town the other day, caught sight of myself with my messy (arty) hair, Manga t-shirt and jeans and thought ” could do better”. I’m 33 and I still dress like a 14 year old boy, might be time for me to get lay-dee-fied.

    Best of luck with your art exhibition, it’s evening here at the moment but I know right now you will be in the throng of all the excitement.

  • kristin

    ooh! what a good story! i love happy endings… and please share photos of your dress! unfortunately, i won’t be able to make it from michigan to cali today – though i wish i could!

  • PennyMichelle

    oooohhhhhhhh I am ssssooooo happy for you and i so so so wish i could come and take pictures of you in your new magic dress!! (im jumping up and down like a little kid over here!) aawww i wish!! i can’t wait to see pictures of your event!! i’ll be thinking about you! good luck!!!

  • Sam

    I love that you had a cute dress angel. What a sweetheart! I hope everything goes fabulously tonight. I’m sure that your paintings will rock that gallery like never before!

  • ~aj~

    That salesman was definitely a gift from God! Wish I had him to help me pick out just the right things.

    Best of luck tomorrow. If we weren’t separated by 1500 miles, I would SO be there!!!

  • amy

    Yr gonna rock it! I am going to be California/LA in a few days! I wish I could have come! I think yr in CA! Congrats and have a blast!

  • commonplaceiris

    What a fantastic shopping story. I’ve been feeling the need for new clothes and lamenting how difficult it is to try anything on with baby. Went shopping with husband too today and bought new things and it makes me feel so pretty (and they’re not fancy clothes or anything). I can only imagine how fabulous it must feel to have someone bring you clothes that fit and flatter and are affordable when you’re in a daze feeling tired and ill.
    Hope the show is great for you.