Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wedding Dresses

Considering all the weddings I've had, it's weird that I have never tried on a wedding dress.

There is something about those fluffy, slinky, opulent and expensive dresses that scares me. I have never even dreamed of wearing one. Of course, it's not too late. I guess I still could, but I have a strong feeling I never will.

For my first wedding, I wore a white "cocktail dress". Another wedding I wore a cream colored tailored suit. Another wedding I wore a pale blue leather dress. I just could not imagine myself in any confection anything like the photo above.

I've been married in judge's chambers, and by a justices of the peace.

I did have one "church" wedding performed by a lovely Episcopalian minister named Max. There were a number of family members present and some friends. I've never felt so stupid in my life. I felt like a fraud and if I had been wearing a big billowy dress, I would have died of embarrassment right there at the alter. (If I had known where the marriage was headed, that might have been preferable to going through with it.)

After Alex and I married in Lake Tahoe, we went directly from the chapel to a place called "Carlos Murphy's" and downed double shots of tequila. We then went back to the condo where we were staying. I put on my gold lame teddy that was designed by Cher's stylist, Bob Mackie. We drank champagne and watched movies. I'm not traditional bride material.

My neighbor, Mary, called me this week. She wanted to invite me to her wedding. Mary's husband of 25 years passed away about a year and a half ago. She met a man and they are getting married in May. Mary is having a traditional formal wedding. It's her third marriage.

Mary will be wearing a long wedding gown with a train and a veil. She will have three bridesmaids and a matron of honor, plus a flower girl and a ring bearer. I was somewhat astonished when she mentioned there would be about 150 guests for the wedding and reception which would be held at a lovely local hotel.

I am thrilled and shocked in equal measures. A woman of 60+ does not usually have a big formal wedding. Nor do women usually have a big formal wedding for their third marriage. But if a woman wants to, she certainly should.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Always Remember Your First True Love

At ten years old, I fell madly, deeply, passionately in love for the first time.

The moment I saw Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, my heart nearly burst in my chest. I felt amazing twinges in places I never knew I had.

My mother complained that he was "dirty" because of the way he moved. I wasn't sure what she meant but I certainly liked Elvis's brand of dirty. He sang "Don't Be Cruel" and "You Ain't Nuthin' But a Hound Dog" (containing such profoundly meaningful lyrics I nearly cried).

I used every dime of my allowance to purchase 45 records so I could listen to Elvis over and over and over again. I dreamed about Elvis and I wanted to marry him. I stole money out of my mother's purse and bought movie magazines that had Elvis on the cover. I saw all his movies more than once. I knew if I were to actually meet Elvis, I would faint dead away, (and not be faking).

I was obsessed with Elvis. He was in my thoughts, day and night. I was sure I would love him forever. And I did love him for at least two years, maybe two and half years. It's sad, but fervent as young love can be, it can also be somewhat fickle.

By the time I was 13, Elvis was history. Oh I still "liked" his music, but I no longer thought about having his children.

Oddly enough, my mother developed a major crush on Elvis just about the time I was through with him. Mom and her sister, my aunt, actually went to Graceland in Memphis just to look inside the fence. My mother even liked him when he wore the sparkly jumpsuits and played Las Vegas.

I really sometimes wondered about her sanity.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fascinating Women

Many years ago, I worked in the field of "high tech" at a start up company in San Francisco.

The Taiwanese owned company was an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) that supplied computer monitors and keyboards. The president was a very interesting Chinese guy named Jack.

Jack hired a young lady who was an instant enigma to all of us. Her name was Gladys Ho and she was hired as an office manager. She looked a little out of place in the office because of her extreme glamorous style which every day included false eyelashes and amazing cleavage in very expensive clothing.

Gladys was not friendly in the slightest to most of the employees. She spent most of her time in Jack's office. Nobody ever saw her use a keyboard or answer a telephone. Three or four times a day, she would come by my desk and hiss "Come with me!" I would follow her out to her new Mercedes convertible and we would drive somewhere to get expensive coffee drinks.

I was about 37 or 38 at the time, and I think Gladys was a few years younger. She came from Hong Kong and lived in San Francisco's Chinatown were the only two things I actually knew about her. Oh, and she was boinking the company president. That was it.

I have never seen a wardrobe like Ms. Ho possessed outside of a movie. Nor had I ever met a woman so consistently glamorous. She sort of fascinated me.

About a month after Gladys was hired, a series of thefts occurred in the office. Wallets went missing out of bags and suit coats. A security team was brought in to talk to the employees. If the culprit was ever found out, nobody told me.

Another month passed and Gladys abruptly quit the job and was never seen again that I know of. Police officers did come in at one point to question people about her whereabouts because she was "wanted for questioning" in a police matter.

Who was this woman who had a taste for expensive clothes and coffee?

The photo is of some Chinese actress. But I wanted you to get the general idea of what she looked like even at 8 AM.