Oh make me over, I’m all I wanna be

The editor of a local magazine contacted me in early May to ask whether I’d be interested in getting a makeover. I agreed to do it before I had time to think about all the reasons I shouldn’t agree to do it. As the days wore on and the makeover grew closer, though, I had plenty of time to think about those reasons:

  • I don’t like to be anywhere near the center of attention.
  • I avoid mirrors.
  • I tend to make very strange faces in pictures.
  • I would have to try on clothes.
  • The clothes-trying was especially worrisome. It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to lose weight for years. I’ve been trying to lose weight because I’m way overweight, which means the clothes at “normal” stores don’t fit me. The magazine works with locally owned boutiques for their makeovers. Locally owned boutiques don’t generally stock plus-size clothing. I wasn’t sure what they would try to stuff me into or what they’d do when they discovered that they didn’t have anything that would fit.

    So I worried and worried, and then Monday arrived. Shopping day. My friend Robin went with me, because she is a good person. They made me try on an orange shirt in a medium. It was a cute shirt, but I don’t think I’ve ever worn a medium in my entire life. It was not a beautiful moment. It was an over-stuffed-sausage-casing moment. I think I tried on three or four outfits, and none of them felt like they fit. But the editor and the shop owner agreed that one of the dresses would work, and I trusted their judgement. Mainly because I didn’t want to try on any more ill-fitting clothes.

    On Tuesday I worried that I would be sweaty and I would look ridiculous. That the dress didn’t fit and I would look ridiculous. That I would make stupid faces and I would look ridiculous. On Wednesday I worried that I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands and I would look ridiculous. That there wouldn’t be a single photo they could use because I looked ridiculous in every last one of them.

    On Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday I worried that it would be a “Fantasia” hippo ballerina experience. Children everywhere would laugh at me, and then I would accidentally crush a crocodile. I wanted to call the whole thing off. I should’ve been looking forward to this thing, and I was dreading it. I wanted it to be over so, so badly.

    And then it was. It was Thursday afternoon, and it was over.

    It wasn’t nearly as traumatizing as I’d built it up to be. My totally awesome regular hair stylist was doing my hair and makeup, so that bit of it was pretty relaxed. Except for the part where we got locked out of the building for a little while. And the part where I drove her crazy by not keeping still when she tried to put eyeliner on me. (Apparently I have a fear of being poked in the eye, which doesn’t seem all that irrational to me.) But for the most part, the hair-and-makeup portion went fine.

    The photo shoot itself was a little weird. Indeed, I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I’m sure I made lots of odd faces. But I got through it, and it was even a little bit fun.

    And the days passed, and I forgot about the whole thing for awhile. But then we started to get closer to tomorrow. June 1. The day the magazine would be out. As May dwindled, I’d think about June on the horizon, and my stomach would twist and turn. I tried to stop thinking about June. But now it’s nearly here. June 1. The day the magazine comes out.

    I haven’t seen any of the pictures yet. A friend of mine who’s dating the magazine editor has seen them, and he says they’re “great.” But he does not have my neuroses flittering about in his head, so no offense to him but what does he know? I also haven’t read the accompanying article yet, but I’m pretty sure Butterscotch Sundae will be in it, as will the children’s real names. And so my pseudo-anonymous cover will be blown. Oh well. (I’m still going to use their pseudonyms here. Because that’s how I plan to continue rolling.)

    Sometime tomorrow I will leave the house (maybe) and get a copy of the magazine. And then, even if the pictures are as bad as I’m imagining them to be — “Mommy, that hippopotamus is wearing a dress!” — I will scan the page and put it up here so you can what I look like wearing all the makeup in the world.


    Until then — and most likely all the way until July when the June issues are no longer out and about — I will remain stomach-churningly anxious.

    UPDATE! Here it is…

    The title’s from Hole’s “Celebrity Skin,” and it was in my head all day on makeover day.

    Thinking about an extended stay in the great outdoors

    We went hiking yesterday — only the second of the 15 Family Hikes on my Mighty List — and it left us thinking we might like to go camping.

    The last time I went camping was probably at least 20 years ago, and it was definitely not my idea of a good time. My parents loved (and still do love) camping and fishing and boating and many other activities that pretty much require being outside, so there were a few nature excursions in my childhood. I did not inherit the outdoorsman gene. I’m outdoorsy in that I like reading in a hammock.

    But my children love tramping through the woods and splashing in rivers and squishing through mud, so outdoors we go.

    (Pete especially loves mud. He wrote a song about it while we were hiking:

    Mud mud mud!
    All the beautiful mud!
    Mud mud mud!
    Oh, how I love mud!

    And then he asked me to “make some mud” for him at home. We’ll see, kid.)

    Rockford has never been a camper, either, so we don’t have a single bit of camping equipment. Nor do we really have a good idea of where to begin. I’ve looked into tents and sleeping bags, etc., and it looks like it would be a not-at-all-small outpouring of money to become People Who Camp. I’m hesitant to spend that much on something we might end up only doing once. (Just because the kids like playing out there doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll like sleeping out there, right?)

    My ideal campsite would be the Thunderdome,

    but Sky Mall probably wouldn’t accept that many returns. So I’m wondering:

    • Should we attempt this camping thing?
    • Is there such a thing as a Rent-a-Tent business for novice campers? There should be.
    • What’s your best camping tip?

    Updated to add: Here’s some advice from Facebook!