Black Tie Anyone?

On Tuesday evening I received an email from one of my bosses asking me, well, more like telling me….to attend a gala dinner on the Thursday (yes…the Thursday that fell 2 days later, not the one 9 days later!)…..’I think it would be really good if you could come along.’  Hmmmmm……only a man would give a woman 48 hours notice for a black tie event.

Men just don’t get it.  ‘I have nothing to wear’ was all I could think.  ‘I need more time’ to prepare for something like this.

When I expressed this concern to DH, he responded with his standard reply, and without diverting his gaze from the sports commentary he was reading on the internet said, ‘You always say that.’

Only because it’s true I answered in my head.  In less than an hour, I was regretting my decision to attend.   I have nothing to wear, and no time to go shopping.  I was (and am) sure the event will be attended by model-esque looking clothes’ horses wearing the latest Autumn designs, dripping in expensive jewellery and vertigo-inducing, red soled shoes.  After all, this is Dubai; more often than not, the walk to the classroom from the car park resembles a catwalk.

Since the arrival of the first of my bambinos 7 years ago, black tie events and the like have not factored in my life as a Mum.  Not that I was a regular glamorous party-goer before the arrival of the family, but at least I would have had the time to shop for something suitable, and more importantly, had more of a clue of what to wear.

My plan, i.e., the only viable plan, was to stop off at the shops after the school pick up the following day, whizz around a couple of stores, and if I didn’t find anything, I would wear the black dress I bought the last time I had nothing to wear!  Not the easiest plan to execute with 3 tired, post-school, shopping-hating kiddies in tow.  But what choice did I have?  To make the shopping trip less  painful for them (there was no hope for me!) I bribed them with sugar!

I know it’s October and summer hols are long gone.  For some reason my brain and tummy do not want to accept this fact, as they continue the holiday food binge.  Exercise has taken more than a back seat…it’s trailing behind the car on a very, very long piece of string, like battered, old cans bouncing behind the car of the newlyweds who married 2 years previously.  Looking and feeling like the one who had eaten all the sugar treats, I lwhizzed around one store, picked up a few dresses and tried them on.  Mental note: changing rooms are not designed for 4……As pretty as some of them were, I couldn’t justify the price tag for one event, especially as I know I will embark on an exercise routine which would mean the dress would need to be altered for the next event…..well, I can dream!

I left the store with a pair of AED90 silver dress heels…..the kind that will cripple me with every step I take, and a Spanx slip which I am sure will cripple me everywhere else……Forget breezy elegance tomorrow night; enter rusty, robot walk.  Mental note: bring flip flops as a change of footwear.

When I got home, I tried on both shoes…tight, uncomfortable and guaranteed to give me corns; tick the ‘Night Out’ box!  As for the Spanx….I have heard soooo many great things about this wonder undergarment.  As I eagerly tried to pull it over my head, I realised I may need the help of a 2nd party (adult one at that!).  Now, DH was not around and there was no one else in the house to help.  I twisted, squirmed, tugged, pulled and am sure I heard the sound of stitching rip……Finally, sweat dripping, tummy pulled in, boobs pushed out, I observed my slightly less bumpy outline in the mirror.

If I am being honest, I was disappointed….I thought Spanx promised the ‘red carpet’ effect.  That is, I wear it and I look like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, take your pick……transformed, perfect, fresh.  Far from it.

Disgruntled, I wanted to rid myself of this 21st Century contraption immediately.  Peeling it upwards from the hem, I managed to get it to my head.  But then I got stuck.  Did I mention I am claustrophobic?  Edging the clingy lycra closer to my face, I sensed my life flash before my eyes.  I couldn’t breathe.  Feeling smothered, I panicked.  Man, this lycra stuff is sttrrooonnng.  I battled against it.  It fought back vigourously.  I was defenceless.  I twisted, turned, contorted.  I thought I had lost.  Spurred on by the thought of my death cert reading ‘spanx suffocation’, I gave it one last  ‘push’.  Thankfully,  it flipped off my head and landed inelegantly at my feet.  Seriously, childbirth was a doddle comparatively!

‘In your face’ I spat.

Seriously, going to the gym more frequently and eating 3 healthy meals a day (none of which should include choc or vino), is a much more attractive option to getting into, and looking perfect in that little black dress with the assistance of Spanx!

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