You may notice if you see me in the carpool line this week that I look a little more pleased with life than usual. Oh, I'm still busy chauffeuring the kids around town, making lunches and doing laundry, but lately, the burdens of motherhood seem a little easier. After all, just a handful of days ago, I walked the runway during New York City Fashion Week.
I realize this seems highly improbable, but these are the kinds of things that can happen when you're a mommy blogger. One week, you're cleaning up from the losing battle against your potty-training 3-year-old, the next, you're strutting down a catwalk while TV darling Kelly Ripa announces your name.
The show was staged to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, pet cause of appliance brand Electrolux and Ripa, the brand's ambassador. As a model for the event, I, along with eight other bloggers, was asked to put together an all-white outfit paired with teal accessories (the color symbolizing ovarian cancer awareness).
"I have two options," I told my husband. "I can do the obvious thing and wear a classic white dress. That would be safe. Mom-like."
"Uh-huh," Hubs said distractedly.
"But when am I ever going to get to model during New York Fashion Week again?" I asked. "What I really want to do is find a shirtdress that has the look of a men's oxford, and wear it with teal platform stilettos."
That got my husband's attention. "I could see that," he said, smiling broadly.
"I mean, menswear on women is a hot look for fall," I continued. "It would be just a little bit daring. And isn't that what runway is all about?"
"Do it," Hubs said. And so I did.
I brought my finds to New York and presented them to Sam, stylist to the stars, the day before the show.
"You thought this was a dress?" Sam asked dubiously, eyeing the oxford tunic. What would Naomi Campbell do? I thought to myself, but discarded the notion when I realized it called for me to slap him. I put on the top over a white tank dress. It was short, but with the heels, a wide belt and oversized gem-encrusted cuff bracelets, I realized that I actually had the potential to be fierce — a particular brand of fierceness that had nothing to do with convincing my son to eat his dinner.
The next morning, we were spirited off to a Manhattan warehouse. My makeup artist was a meticulous industry veteran. My hair stylist listed Gisele among her clients. Two hours later, I smiled at myself in the mirror. My hair was a tousled mane of sexiness. My makeup was exquisite. My clothing? Fierce. I was ready to Work. It. Out.
As Ripa called my name, I pranced down the runway in my impossibly high heels, going for what I hoped was a casual strut. I ignored the audience (possibly getting an unintended look at my Spanx) and focused on the cameras at the runway's end. Undecided as to whether I should smile like a good mom or wear an "I don't get out of bed for less than $10,000" pout, I settled somewhere between the two and hoped for the best. Once off the runway, I felt fabulous. I had rocked it — I could tell. And by "rocked," I mean that I didn't fall down even once.
Back in Nashville that night, I found the video online, and called for my husband to watch it with me. When it was my turn, I held my breath, ready to see that short-dress-wearing, Gisele-haired Glamazon strut her stuff.
Instead, I saw a mom, wearing what looked like a shirt and no pants, stumbling down the catwalk. Her expression, neither smile nor pout, could best be described as a befuddled smirk. I stared dully at the screen: Was that woman really me? Hubs and I were silent until the video ended. "Well," I said. "That was awkward." He laughed a little.
OK, so I won't be signing a modeling contract any time soon. I also won't be watching that video, ever again. In fact, that video has been stored so deeply in my psyche that it will take a very skilled therapist to extract it.
Instead, I choose to remember how I felt before I saw the evidence. Beautiful. Powerful. Fierce. I walked the runway during New York Fashion Week, dammit. And that's all anyone ever needs to know.
Read more Suburban Turmoil at www.suburbanturmoil.com.
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