Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BEIGE and other indignities
This outdoorsy moment was brought to you by an outdoorsy mother. I was home hiding and being achey.
On Monday we had a snow day. T went sledding with her friends. I had a cold virus that somehow latched on to my myofibralgia and caused me to have muscle and nerve pain throughout my body, but mostly in my lower legs and back. I could not move. That was until my vanity got the best of me in the second part of the day and I realized that I still didn't have anything pink or beige to wear to the photo shoot. I put on my snow boots and shlepped out into the mess. Stores don't open in Lucca on Mondays until 4 PM and they close at 7 PM so I had blessed little time because at the rate I was moving I didn't get both boots on until 5 PM. Through the slush I slopped, dropping my umbrella in the umbrella holder by the front door of each shop, then off to the changing room to peel off the seven layers I had on. It was one horrendous pair of beige sweatpants after another. I ended up buying the most flattering tone of pink I could which was a bright, almost electric rose color but I could only find a shirt and a sweatshirt in that color and no bottoms other than a three euro mini skirt on sale at the Benetton outlet. The skirt was a bit too wide and it was a kind of linen blend that wrinkles if you look at it too hard. Then I found a pair of dark beige leggings and a long oatmeal colored tank top. I packed a bunch of black and gray stuff I would have preferred to wear, just in case. But nobody told me that the color scheme was supposed to be based on this picture:

I got to the gym, not even sure if I had the day and time right for the photo shoot. Italian. The phone. Two things that don't go well together. I had my hair done just in case.

Here I am feeling that something bad was about to happen. See the pink. WRONG pink.
 When I came in the nice receptionist named Evita told me that I should wait in the cafe until it was time for the swim instructor Chiara to take us to the photo studio some twenty minutes away. I saw the owner of the gym having his lunch, but he didn't say hello to me or signal for me to join him, so I just sat with my back to him and put on my ipod. This was not a move I would have made if I spoke Italian more fluently, but I just couldn't think on my feet.

Chiara was really sweet to me on the drive over. The photo studio was freezing cold. At first they told me there was no bathroom, but I really had to pee and thank goodness there was one. I went into the "changing room" which was really an adjunct room that the men kept opening the door of every other minutes about eleven times to try different options. After all 70 euros worth of my fuschia options were rejected, I was left wearing an old lady onesie that showed every flabular particular of my mid section. Beige is not my friend. I have an olive complexion and I am really short and on the curvy side, for the record. I tried to turn to the side and to hide behind the others, but the photographer insisted that I face front. I tried taking a wide stance that I thought looked better, but he told me I had to put my feet together. I tried to borrow stuff of the other women, but they didn't let me have anything except for one kind of stretched out ballet pink leg warmer to put on my arm. Yes, I don't know why. Did I forget to mention that my new colleagues apparently subsist solely on cigarettes and self tanner. Two of them wore bikinis. Thank you lord for not making me a water aerobics teacher. I was the biggest girl in the room. One of the women wore a playboy bunny bikini with the playboy logo on it and everything. I remembered her as the one with the sick body from last year's campaign. I felt like her before photo.
They put us in small groups and some solo shots. The rest of the staff is going to do their shots a different day and then it will all be edited together. While I had my turn, the owner of the gym reviewed the photos. He looked embarrassed for me. The other women stopped chatting to watch. I would have felt more relaxed in the snake tank on the set of Fear Factor.  Several times during the shopping and modeling segments of this installment I thought about going home to cry, but then I remembered that the worse my life gets, the funnier our blog gets. That thought gave me hope.
I am pretty sure that one of two things are going to happen: one they are going to edit me right out of that campaign or, if I am really unlucky, my old colleagues at the other gym are going to have a pretty hearty laugh when they see me in my fat suit onesie flanked by my new buff colleagues as they drive by the billboard on the entrance to the autostrada.

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