Photo: Take that, Juicy Couture.
I saw my future last night, and it was depressing, at best. A group of women were at a table nearby us, celebrating an unknown occasion; no 'Happy Birthday' was half-heartedly sung, but they were drinking like classy hillbillies (out of wine glasses, by the gallon), and had a festive mood about them. Each woman represented something I never want to become, which is how I know I'll morph into one of them first. Hey--it's a cruel world, but someone has to live in it.
I'd put their ages somewhere in the 45-55 range, maybe even higher. I studied this group throughout our two hour dinner, and these were the women present:
Woman #1 was a goner. Ruddy, uneven skin, alcoholic Santa nose, blond streaks too brassy, haircut too edgy, coral jacket too trendy--I see this woman everywhere. This woman owns a mirror, but when she looks into it, she sees a tanned, youthful, shiny 25-year old; I'm sure I will, too. (I already do.)
Woman #2 was sitting across from Woman #1; they were in the middle of a deep, yawn-inspiring conversation about children, and to whom they were more fulfilling. Woman #2 was All Bangs and looked like SuperMom circa 1982. She possessed modern-day mall bangs that started in the crown of her hair and soared, like a flying minivan on fire, all the way down to her clumpy eyelashes. She wore a striped t-shirt under an over-sized blazer (over-sized because of the shoulder pads, methinks), and tapered jeans that fell short of their sky-high, ankle-reaching goals. You could tell she had discovered this look in the eighties and never looked forward again; the future, her clothing said, was for the birds. She was so into their conversation, she didn't even notice that Woman #1 had "accidentally" consumed all of the wine between them, even her own glass; I thought that was tacky until I overheard Mall Bangs Lady say she had six children. If I had to sit through the verbal ticker-tape parade this woman was spewing about her six sticky, stinky children, I'd drink all of the wine, too, and throw in some crystal meth for good measure. Six children. Call me crazy, but after watching Woman #1 drink two bottles of wine and then teeter off to her car, I still considered Woman #2 the most dangerous and irresponsible. Six children, my ass; China could teach you a thing or two.
Woman #3 was All Business. She was harried, hurried, and had little time for small talk. She was wearing a Business-y Business Suit with the sleeves haphazardly pushed up, as though she were Getting Down to Business. She wasn't wearing the Power Suit that day (black and black with a side of black), and you could tell; the taupe-colored suit was supposed to make her more approachable, and give off a Casual Summer vibe. She just looked uncomfortable, and talked too loudly about her career goals. She never looked anyone in the eye, and was the only one in the group who inquired about hard alcohol.
Woman #4 was the MILF of the group. She was the only one with the right shade of blond hair (very light blond), the only one who hadn't succumbed to the Mom Haircut, the only one with tasteful breast implants; her make-up was flawless, and her outfit was only about ten years younger, which worked for her. There's always one in every group, who the rest of the group must publicly acknowledge as their physical superior, and this gal was it: "Oh my God, LOOK at you!" "You are SO THIN! How do you DO it?!" "Margaret, look at her, just look at her. She's practically a TEENAGER!" "And you have HOW many children?" "You make me sick, you really, really do." "Look at your HAIR, I remember when I used to have long hair." "You must be living the good life, girl!" All of these phrases were said, of course, through gritted teeth and with a murderous glint in their eyes; that's how it works, everyone knows that. The MILF was gracious enough to deflect their barbed compliments with a self-deprecating wave and a shake of the head, but I could tell she secretly agreed with them.
Woman #5 was openly hostile around Woman #4; you could tell she thought #4 was a waste of space. She kept theatrically rolling her eyes at the woman, and dismissing her opinions with a sharp wave, a move that reminded me of a murderous meat cleaver. Woman #5 was an angry attorney--she was angry as a woman, as a minority (Mexican, I think), and as a lesbian. After hearing her rant about The Man--namely her boss, who didn't understand what it was like being a woman, a minority, or a lesbian (since he was male, white, and straight)--I could only think, thank God she's not handicapped, because this woman does not need anything else to bitch about.
Woman #6 looked exactly like Lisa Rinna; too much makeup, severe fake tan, and epic implants. She smelled a little desperate, and drank with gusto. She also laughed really loud, like I did when I was 13 and wanted attention from strangers. Of course she was wearing a pink Juicy Couture sweatsuit, with *J*U*I*C*Y* spelled out in fake bling across her old, flat ass. I had a Front Row view of it when she walked past me, heading to the bathroom; it took everything I had not to vomit on the spot. That outfit--seen everywhere--doesn't even look good on the targeted audience it was made for (pre-teens? prostitutes?). It doesn't even look cool on celebrities.
Woman #7 was the soft-spoken, ignored one. She drank nothing and fiddled with the gold cross around her neck all night. When she laughed, which was rare, she was caught off guard by the sound of it. I liked her the best. You could tell she had been friends with these women, way back in her past, before Jesus was her homeboy. I thought she was endearing, if a little bit mousy.
Woman #8 was the world-traveling yuppie (although in her mind, she's probably a hippie). She basically looked like a walking Om, another white woman in Seattle wearing a sari, metal jewelry, and authentic slippers made in Angkor Wat; another Microsoftie in disguise. I was surprised she wasn't wearing a bindi (forehead decoration) or carrying a didgeridoo, or even nursing African babies with her own useless breasts--but she did speak at length about the Southeast Asian Cleanse her meditation partner suggested, and mentioned a 'shaman' at one point. That was enough for me to stop listening, and start plotting her demise.
Obviously I'm hoping to be in either the MILF category, or the world-traveling yuppie category; both are appealing, in totally different ways. Being a MILF might help my flagging self-esteem in the years to come, which I assume will just continue on a consistent, downward spiral until I've perished. But traveling around the world would be cool, pretending to be not-white and buying a lot of flimsy, ineffective clothing made by village children. I wondered how all of these incredibly different women had become friends, and how they had stayed friends. I wonder if that's how my friends and I will look in the future--if I'll bring back mall bangs and wear rhinestones on my ass, or if Auticia will have six children who unknowingly drive me to drink. I seriously hope not. Then again, as I get older, I am increasingly less interested in how I look, and more interested in how everyone else looks (as long as their looks are worse than mine). Maybe it's inevitable, and this is how it begins. The end is nigh, I can feel it.