Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I Will Not Wear Ribbons Down My Back

So, I'm a theatre kid. When I was rushing headlong into my last face-to-face speaking encounter with Hopkins (the time I bumbled into Pizza Hut with my brand-new huge Rock of Gibraltar engagement ring doesn't count, because he dropped his order pad and literally vanished into thin air- I'm surprised he wasn't fired for it), I picked up singing my favorite lament from "Hello, Dolly!": 'Ribbons Down My Back', in which Irene Molloy sings about wearing an elaborate hat to get a gentleman to notice her.

It was the late Eighties. We were adherents to the "Big White Hair Bow" cult then-prevalent at SEC schools, and at that point I had a lot of hair- something that Hopkins had missed, since he was present for my getting it shorn, keeping it waaay short, and aware as to the logic behind it. It was halfway down my back, so I routinely pulled it out of my face and secured it with the aforementioned Big White Bow of two-inch grosgrain ribbon. Unlike most girls, though, I didn't have bangs, so I probably looked like a giant Shih Tzu...

It's silly, but I remember exactly what I was wearing when I fell down the stairs and basically stopped when he caught me (read: I slid into him, he managed to grab me, and he buffered our impact as we slammed into the wall).  It was a bubblegum-pink Irish fisherman's sweater over a white turtleneck (de rigueur), a long khaki skirt, socks, and dark waxed-leather Dexter two-eye camp moccasins with the leather laces twirled into tight corkscrews. I was also wearing the Anne Klein lions' heads earrings that every single stinking girl at the University of Kentucky owned and wore on an almost-daily basis. The fact that I remember it in detail and I'm still embarrassed about it should indicate that it was not a strategy to 'fall into his arms'- I tripped and slid all the way down a flight of stairs because my shoes' soles were slicker than owl poop. Suffering for fashion's sake, eh?

Saturday, I have a costume. I have stage makeup. Nothing is pink. There is no hair bow. The shoes have lug soles. My job is to get out there and be a relentlessly cheerful ship's computer. My grand entrance is on the line, "HI, THERE!"

There are also no stairs, so unless I trip over my own feet, we're good.

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