The Great Pretender.

I admit it...I am a fraud.

Let me tell you how I spent my evening...

I am in Las Vegas this week, staying in a veeeeeeery nice suite at one of the better resort/casinos. We are here because JC has a software networking conference, where a bunch of mega-intelligent tech people bandy about terms like "cloud-based solutions" and "interface innovations".

I dunno, it's all Geek to me.

Tonight, JC had some shindig to attend, and I wasn't invited.  So I took a long hot bath, dolled up a bit, and sallied forth to get some dinner, en route to window-shopping at The Crystals.

I went to a little cafe overlooking the slot machines, one that offered overpriced panini, and overblown French confections made of spun sugar and cellulite. I ordered a prosciutto sandwich.  I tried to find a table where I wouldn't be on display to the entire casino, and failed.  So I proceeded to delicately tear into the messiest sandwich I have possibly ever encountered in my adult life, in front of several thousand people.

There I was, elegantly and simply dressed, in my four inch stilettos and Wolford outfit... with unruly sundried tomatoes and prosciutto slabs that refused to be cleanly bitten into, and pesto sauce making the bread slide off the innards of my sandwich with every awkward, sloppy bite.

And I could swear, every time I had to execute a "save" - i.e., grab at an oversized hunk of food threatening to escape my sandwich or escape my teeth, and land on my elegant and simple outfit...that was the exact moment a group of people would walk past on their way into the casino, and turn their heads to stare at me, as I frantically tried to shove tomato, super-stretchy mozzarella, and the toughest prosciutto, ever...all into my mouth, without making any of it making contact with
my cheeks, chin, or clothing.  This was a four-napkin sandwich.

Yes. I could have ordered my sandwich to go, taken it upstairs, then gone back out to do my window shopping, but when you have on four-inch stilettos on feet that increasingly demand two-inch wedge sandals, there is a point of no return that happens, and that point of no return is the halfway point between my suite and the elevator.

I did not have a mirror in my purse, because I can be a forgetful dumbass sometimes. Like tonight, when I picked up my lipgloss but left my compact on the bathroom counter.  So I re-applied my lipstick blindly, and smiled at people with closed lips.  I surreptitiously dug around my teeth with my tongue, trying to dislodge some very stubborn Italian ham out of my gums, while I glided through the casino, trying to pretend that stilettos haven't gotten a whole lot harder to wear, now that I am taking more advanced ballet and flamenco classes.

I did do a test run of my smile. A woman was taking pictures of her family, and I stopped and offered to take the picture for her, so she could be in it. She didn't flinch when I smiled, and let me take the picture, which leads me to believe I had sucked all the pesto off my front teeth. I took the picture, picked up the cup of coffee that I am just now mentioning that I was drinking, and set off for a few hours of window-shopping.

The coffee plays a key role in the next part of our story...

Las Vegas is a melange of hot ice and wondrous strange snow.  In any given three-minute span, it is possible to go from arctic air-conditioning, to a 90+ degree outdoor setting, and back into a place that makes you wish you'd brought your leather jacket downstairs with you.  But when you do this with piping hot coffee, four-inch stilettos, and nylon-blended fibers, anything can happen.

What happened to me was this: my body, having had a massive dose of hot caffeine in rapidly changing temperatures, could not decide whether to form goosebumps or to sweat. So it did both.

Kiki de Montparnasse. Can we just make this the place where I live, please?

As I stood in Kiki di Montparnasse, admiring this store that so perfectly sums up my style aesthetic, I gradually became aware that my bare arms and legs had massive goosebumps, giving my pale and chilly skin a little texture. But underneath the Wolford garments, my underarms and thighs were trickling sweat. I managed to get out of the store before a bead of sweat trickled down the back of my leg. I discreetly brushed it away while pretending to daintily adjust my shoe.

Tom Ford, aka, Fashion Mecca

Never one to admit defeat, I finished off my coffee before going into Tom Ford to smell their fragrances.  I had another attack of cold sweats, as my body tried to decide whether it needed to cool down or warm up.  I hoped the sales staff wasn't noticing my legs, lightly glistening with sweat, while trying to decide whether Tobacco Oud or Plum Japonais was going to be my new scent this Christmas.

Not long after that, my body figured out which way it wanted to react (it decided I was freezing) and a dispatch was sent to my feet, instructing them to rebel in their fancy shoes - which of course they did.  So I glided back to the resort and got upstairs (I limped on the inside, believe me).   I stepped off the elevator and started down the first of several passages to our suite.

You know, ever since I was little, I have always awanted to be one of those flawless, elegant women.  I desperately wanted to be Eleanor Parker as the Baroness Schraeder: calm, cool, collected, unruffled.

"I'm better than you, bitches".

Sometimes, I almost pull it off.

But the truth is, I am a fraud. I am a pretender.   I can style myself as the modern-day Audrey-as-Holly-Golightly. The reality is, I am Carol Burnett, swishing down the circular staircase with the curtain rod still in my dress.

 I think this photo says it all.

It was a long trek back to the suite, too long to glide effortlessly.  Ever seen 'The Shining'?  Remember that long hallway that streeeeeetches and never seems to end? About twenty feet off the elevator I realized I was in one of those hallways, so I peeled my shoes off my feet, taking some valuable toe-skin with them, and limped back to the room. I took off my makeup, pulled on some socks and collapsed on the bed, still in my elegant outfit. And uniformly freezing my arse off, while I rummaged through samples of Tom Ford scents.  I may be the Great Pretender, but damned if I am not going to be the most elegantly dressed, deliciously perfumed fraud there is!

So if you will excuse me now, I am going to go change into all of my lounging clothes, and curl up with some Stephen King.

I'll try for Baroness Schrader tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day.


Pret a Porter P at: October 16, 2015 at 1:36 AM said...

you poor thing. dont feel bad. I can walk around nyc for hourrrssss, but blew my leg out in vegas, so i've been there limping on the strip too. ;)

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