I am not a model. I have never been a model. I have not aspired TO be a model.
But yet. There I was …entering what seemed to be an innocent little modeling contest.
Long story short. Tagged by a friend with the phrase, “Lisa, you should enter”. Immediately. I scoffed. How sweet of her I thought. I’m old. In fact…I typed those words on her post… ha ha ha, that’s too funny. I’m old. Age. It seems to be playing games with my head lately. Not that I fear getting older. More like, how the heck did I get to be 46? I think I’ve missed a few years. That makes me sad. And as is said. Beauty is fleeting.
I think it was the “missed a few years” that triggered something within me. “ENTER” said the little voice. No. Said the big voice. Mind you…voices in ones head are weird and I don’t recommend talking back to them, because then you seem weird. However. I do. All the time. Ok, I said to the one voice. I’ll look at the application. Local well established jewelry store, looking for the face of 2016. Negative voice made that coughing scoffing sound – “face of 2016? you’re old”. Shut your pie hole. I’m reading the application. It wasn’t big on head shots. Good. Link to your Facebook profile. Ok. That’s easy. The question. WHY. Why would you make a good face for Siegel Jewelry store. That part I could answer. Baby, I know jewelry. I mean I really know jewelry. I know what women like, I know why they like it, I know how to make it. I know how to tell if it’s made well. I’m a goldsmith for Pete’s sake. This is my thing.
Fine. Write down those words in a much more elegant way. Press enter. No. Really Lisa, just press enter. This is dumb. Press it. You’re dumb. Now I’m mad. Enter. Walk away. Are you seeing how crazy it is in my head sometimes. Hang on. It gets worse.
I felt like I won a little battle with my self esteem. I entered. I believed in myself enough to do so. Smile. Back to work.
Friday. Home from work sit at my desk read email. Excuse me? I was selected for what? Over 100 entries. 20 finalists. Me. Confirm. Show up Monday for a professional photo shoot hair and makeup ready. I’m not even going to let you in on the conversations in my head on this one. That evil voice. Well, she is not kind. Not. Kind. I wrestled. I debated. I asked friends. I said yes.
I bought false eye lashes. I watched make up tutorials. I curled my hair. I burnt my fingers curling my hair. Clearly heat in my life needs to remain at the jewelry bench. I’m just not good elsewhere. I drove to Grand Rapids.
Again, not letting you in on the voices. Cranked music. Demi Lovato. “What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being. What’s wrong with being confident?” It wasn’t working. One Direction. Better.
Walk in to the shoot. You know those moments when you feel like the world spins around so everything is focused on you and you aren’t quite ready for your “moment”. Yeah that. Oh wait. It gets better. Not only are they all amazingly beautiful women. They are in evening wear. Who forgot a dress? This girl. See. At first I saw this as panic, then my out. And I was so ready to be out. This is not your gig Lisa. Go back to the bench Lisa. Go play with fire Lisa. The heat of this moment? Beyond you.
You have plenty of time she said, go buy a dress. If you are a woman and you hear the phrase “buy a dress” there are two people and two reactions. Pollyanna. Oh yippee. I love dress shopping. 99% of the rest of us. Holy no way. I’m dead.
Keys in ignition Nordstrom Rack. At this point panic is setting in. Do I drive 45 minutes back to Grand Haven and get my dress? Do I try to find something. Yup, now I’m sweating. Makeup fading? Most likely. I’m like a freakin mad woman pulling dresses off the rack. Small Medium Large 6 8 10 – I can’t even remember my size at this point. Dressing room. Now I’ve messed my hair up. This is not going well. Too big. Too tight. Good Lord too tight. Too low. I have no boobs. That whole “winning battle with self esteem” well that is long gone – I’m ready to wallow in every flaw my body has to offer.
I literally throw the dresses and the number at the poor girl in the dressing room. Fighting tears. I run out of the store. I’m going home. This was the sign I looked for when the stupid email came in. I am NOT supposed to do this. Next time I’ll listen to evil voice. She was right. Car. Keys. Ignition. I drive out of the parking lot, run a stop sign, almost get hit and find myself in the parking lot of David’s Bridal. Funny joke. Fine. I’ll go in.
Pretty sure the sales girl saw the wild in my eyes. She was sweet and calming and I relaxed a hot second into the dressing room. Five dresses. Now I’m convinced I have the largest behind on the planet. This is really not going well. I burst out of yet another store. So now I’m not only old I’m fat and old. And stupid. Don’t forget stupid. Because I forgot the dress.
But. I’m also a bit stubborn. The mall is across the street. Yes, I know it’s Christmas. Yes, I know I never go to the mall. I make a deal with myself. Macy’s. I’ll go to Macy’s. If I find a dress. Fine. If I don’t. I go home.
Now. One would think in Macy’s. At Christmas. At New Years. Dresses would be everywhere. Maybe this is the year of the ugly dress. Maybe I don’t know how to mall shop. Maybe that makeup I caked on and those eye lashes are fogging my vision. I see NOTHING. And I mean NOTHING. I end up in the only section I feel comfortable in. FreePeople. One dress. Black. Long. Plunging neckline (that was a requirement by the way). Size? No clue. I pull it. Dressing room it fits. Sort of morticia adams takes on bohemian princess. I can do this. One problem. The dress is lace. And by lace I mean. You can see completely through it. If I was one of those beautiful girls at the shoot I might be tempted to wear my bra and undies under that see through number and rock it. Reality. I’m a 46 year old mother of 4. Not gunna happen. Lingerie. Floor 2.
Dear old lady folding panties in the department. Question. Why are there always dear old ladies working lingerie in department stores. Anyway. I tell her in the strongest voice I can muster up at this point because I am fairly close to tears. Help me. I am pretty sure I spewed forth the whole story to her. She with barely a batted eye took me by the hand and said, “honey, follow me”. I love her. No slips. Nothing. Shape Wear. I don’t do Shape Wear. Except now. There is literally one shape wear slip dress in my size. One. She guides my to the dressing room and I put this “thing” on. Ladies who wear this stuff, I commend you. I thought I was going to die. I slithered that puppy up my body and by the time I had it fastened in the back I had boobs. Not kidding. I think it took all of my fat from my thighs and stomach and pushed it so far up there was nowhere else for it to go. Insta boobs. Hello girls. I put my lacy little FreePeople number on. Yup. This works. Sold.
Out of the dressing room my lingerie angel was gone. New sweet little old lady in her place. Again she looks at me with those calming eyes…I sputter forth my story. I say, can I just check out in this? She grabs a scissors and begins to find tags and free me from them. Of course all the tags are hidden around my newly found breasts and she’s basically fondling me. I don’t care. She loves me. I’m sure of it.
I throw on my boots. Don’t bother to zip. Thank her probably more than I need to. Oh crap. Shoes. I don’t have shoes for this. Back down to floor one. I start wandering amongst the vast array of black shoes until I run into sales lady number 3. Bless her heart. She was brutally honest. Well THAT’S an interesting look. Lady. Sweetie. Honey. THAT is why I’m in this department. Do you see the dress and the hair and the makeup? THIS is not a normal mall shopping look! Am I agitated? Possibly. I find shoes. I buy said shoes. I wear said shoes. I march out of Macy’s looking slightly like a lady of the evening and head back to the photo shoot.
I walk in frazzled. But dressed. I think I mentioned wine. Amanda gave me wine. I accessorize in gorgeous amazing heavily carated jewelry. I can do this. Touch up makeup. Fluff hair. My turn. Are you ready for this? I’m too tall in my shoes. Too. Tall. Dear, can you take them off? I just bought the dang shoes AND wore them outside. Of course I can. And this is when I remember I AM NOT A MODEL. This is when I remember my hands? Well they look like this…
I don’t know how to pose. I don’t know how to stand. But I do it. Tim is wonderful. Done.
THIS is how I come to the point to ask for your vote. Why? Because I did this. I conquered an awful lot of fears and obstacles to get here. And you know what? I would make a great face for Siegel jewelers. I am older. Wiser. Inked. Real. I know jewelry. I know women. This IS my gig. So if you want to humor me, I ask that you click my photo…or click here…and cast a simple “like” via Facebook. I will be ever grateful.
As for me, I am going to wear this dress often. It will be my reminder of the day I beat fear at her own game. I shut up the voices. And I did something very very brave.