Monday, October 3, 2011

Dressing Room Rules For Royalty ~ The Tale of The African Princess

I walked into my favorite department store with one mission in mind: Find a pair of black pants.
Somehow in the midst of the sport known as "shopping" a few other things landed in my dressing room.

Levi 501 jeans, five shirts, a skirt and brown be exact.

Before I entered the-little-room-of-unmerciful-mirror-truth, I noticed a tall, confident and attractive African American lady in the store. She must have been 6 feet aloft with her hair swept atop her head. She carried herself with an air of ....well....royalty. That's the only way I know how to describe it. Regal. 
 I thought to myself, "Now she looks like an interesting woman. I'll bet she has a story to tell." I'm such a people-watcher. 

I went about my black pants shopping until it was time to enter the dreaded room of slinging hangers and never enough hooks. (male readers will not get that, but it's OK) The last time I had such a fit in a dressing room was long about the fall of 2008 when I decided to unzip the Queen in the presence of the blogosphere. 
It was a shocker of a blog day.

Little did I know I was about to get a shock of my own.

Rule #1 Never never never EVER lose your wherewithal in a public dressing room. You are not at home in the privacy of your boudoir. You are essentially undressing in the home of the common masses.
Rule #2 Never ever ever ever NEVER leave the door unlocked to said dressing room lest the masses are exposed to your...umm....mass.

Rule #3 Never ever ever forget Rule #1 and #2

Well. I got distracted. You saw that coming, didn't ya. 
They were tall, they were slim, they were Levis and I was in love with them.  All of them, sitting nicely folded with their perfect waists and skinny legs and boot cut varieties on the yellow dressing room chair. Soon I had willy-nilly unfolded the lot of them, thrown caution to the wind and onto my waiting-to-be-denim-clothed lily-white limbs. Levi and I had one heck of a party in the closet. 

Now you see, I have a system.  I'm in the zone. "Favorites" go on the tall hook. "Maybes" go on the short hook. And "I'm buying you" goes on the door handle. See how simple that is? 
 Nothing on earth is worse than someone interrupting a full throttle dressing room frenzy. 

Unless you are an African princess. 

There she stood. 
There I stood. 
(Tall people scream so much louder, I noted.)
I had just turned to place a Levi-begging-to-live-in-a-castle on the sacred "keep me" door handle. As luck would have it, I was facing the door. And the door (as MY luck would have it) was facing the whole entire store. Why? Because it was my favorite lucky dressing room and I am nothing if not ridiculously consistent. 

I would have to be wearing bright bright yellow. 

Did I mention she screamed?
Looking down at my (I'm sooo glad that's a Biblical name. It makes this much more tolerable) bare feet and only God knows what else hanging this way and that. It went something like this. "AYYYYYIIIIIILLLLLLOOOOOOLLLLAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" (said the lady)
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyooooopssss!" (said moi)

(said the lady in what must have been a prayer language)
"AaahhHHHHH!!"(that was my amen)
"Oh Lord oh Lord Oh Loooorrrrd you scared me!!!"(grabbing her chest)
"Oh! Oh! I'm sorry ma'am. I'm sorry!"(what am I apologizing for? SHE opened the door.)
"Well, I...I just...Ohhhhh! Oh Meeercy."(you can say that again)

And then and only then did it occur to me to wonder if I was dressed. This is somehow troubling to me now. Shouldn't that have been my FIRST reaction? Apparently, immodesty doesn't fall far from Bloggingham's trees. 

How do I get myself into these pickles?

The beautiful African Princess is hyperventilating by now (did I see a wisp of perfectly coiffed hair fall down?) and alas we weren't at the grocery store so I had no paper bag. It occurred to me round about the fifth aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaOHHHHHHHHHHHYYYEEEEEEEE!! from her that she indeed was quite startled. We had both jumped off the department store ground about 3 feet in boo! gotcha fashion upon the fated sudden opening of the unlocked door. I didn't have as far to land as she, ergo the elongated dramatics. Only another royal could out-drama me. But since I didn't want to have to explain to God and everybody watching (including security camera D) that I had caused the death of an African Princess, I thought I'd better ask..."Are you alright, Ma'am? Do you feel alright? Are you ssuuuurre you're going to be alright?"

"Oooohhhhhhh.....I..I..I think so. But you sure scared me!!! The door was shut and I just wasn't thinking and walked right in on you. Ohhhhaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeezooowie (or something like that)" and then it started all over again.

I stepped back a moment, at least as far as I could manage to hide behind the little door handle (do you think by now it should have occurred to me to just shut the door - I'll save that one for my therapist) and let her have her ceremonial ritual of weeping and wailing that only a proper southern fainting couch would have halfway cured, while I watched, fascinated that I was standing in the shadow of such beauteous undoing. Imagine. A princess stripped of regal robes at the mere sight of denim. The whole time with one hand across her chest in flag-salute fashion, the other full of hangers and princess-doings clothes, you would have thought she'd seen the second coming of Sarah Palin. Of course, unbeknown to her she was in the presence of a Queen - however unlikely that must have seemed to her. I didn't tell her. How could she have known? Queens generally don't wear jeans.

Standing there with the door open still, I looked up at her careful not to actually LOOK in her eyes because my LORD we were naked as naked could be by now anyway and said,
"Well at LEAST I wasn't naked!!!" and then "Am I?"
at which point both of us broke into laughter only befitting two royal misfits in the fitting room. It was fitting.

After a few minutes of giggling and raucous abandon, she managed to waft clear down to the far end of the dressing lounge hall and find an empty room. Well! She could have at least stayed around long enough to tell me if she liked that color on me.  I finally shut the door and assessed the damage to my pride and my wallet. **Green shirt keeper, brown pants NO, one pair of jeans yada yada and you KNOW Mimi you're going to write this blog post so snap some yellow pictures. **

I got dressed and went out to find greenish shoes, passed by a rack of pants and ended up going back to "my" dressing room three more times just to make sure I'd made the right choices. The things women have to endure. 

I hope the next time I decide to people watch in the department store, it will be a little less revealing. 
I've ordered this sign for my next shopping trip.

But really. Barring all episodes of fright and public screaming, there's not a more enjoyable pastime for a spinner of tales than sizing up the clientele in populace places here and there. I'm always running into homeless people I just know are really millionaires in disguise, lawyers in obvious clandestine drag, children who must have been spawned of the devil scampering under clothes racks and trying on the very shoes you want to sink your foot into, not to mention bilingual speed talkers standing in the post office whom I'm very sure are undercover covert operators for the CIA or Department of Immigration.  And amazonish bronzed beauties. 

She'll always be an African Princess to me.

Join us for BlogBlast For Peace Nov 4, 2011


katherine. said...

Now where are you shopping that they have locks on the dressing room doors?

hey there.

Travis Cody said...

My mom was usually pretty decent about not taking me clothes shopping with her, especially when she knew she was going to try stuff on.

I remember one time when I was about 7, I had to go with her. I recall spending the time sitting on a little stool just inside the fitting room with my hands over my eyes.

Now I did enjoy a trip with Pam a couple of years ago...she's a great model and I enjoyed telling her what I thought of each dress.

Wait...don't tell anyone that. I'll lose my Man Card.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - Like they did me any good!

Travis - Oh, Baby Boy has had to do the turning around thing a time or two. He just sighs and bears it.

You are a good sport. I won't tell anybody in the Man Club.

Anonymous said...

How's your heart? lol
I'm glad you weren't naked but next time lock the door!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said... you will not. Helping your lady find clothes that make her look wonderful is a sensual act IMHO

Mimi...those levis and the heels in the picture...THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

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