I unzipped the garment bag with the dress that I was planning on wearing to a wedding in a mere matter of hours to find out that it had a stain on it and I had to come up with a plan B, which I most definitely did not have in me, considering I was running on a different time zone and a few hours of sleep.
I cursed under my breath. That’s a lie. I swore loudly with my living room window open, wondering what I could possibly pull out of my closet to wear to a wedding that was taking place at the Seattle Art Museum.
Plus I was told no black. So that eliminated my entire wardrobe, and I was running on fumes.
I’ve been to enough weddings in my life where I take into strong consideration the ones at which I actually want to show my face. Particularly since time is an incredibly sparse commodity for me at this moment.
When two of my good friends who were married earlier last year decided that they were having a massive ceremony this year on a Monday and Tuesday, I was dragging my feet. Not only was this my time, but two days of it, and weekdays.
I agreed as they have been good friends to me since my stay in Seattle began, but I knew I was going to miss day one of the festivities, as I would be flying back from DC that Monday.
And so it goes, my flight was delayed for hours. I dragged my exhausted body through my door at 2.30 in the morning, mind abuzz with things to do, and didn’t make it to sleep until 4am.
I worked from home in the morning, then giving myself plenty of time to get ready, but nothing seemed to be going my way.
I could not put my hair up for the life of me. I wear my hair in a bun half of the week due to laziness and lack of creativity and was in no mood to try something new and exciting. For some reason, the bad hair day gods were with me, and there was a point where I had to stop trying for a few minute as my hands hurt because I was losing circulation from having them on my head for so long.
So I started putting on makeup, and pulled the classic, “I’m in a hurry so I’m going to jack up my eyeliner and make it look like I put it on in a moving vehicle” look.
That’s when with half of an updo and one David Bowie-esque eye I decided to get out my dress only to discover that I couldn’t wear it in public with that stain.
I almost quit then. Which I appreciate retrospectively sounds incredibly dramatic. But I am abnormally emotional when I’m running on days of low sleep, so it seemed rational to me to get back into sweatpants and catch up on the Real Housewives of New York episodes that I had missed while I was on the road. I would let them know I gave it my best shot but was incapable as an adult human of getting ready for a wedding on a Tuesday afternoon. I was sure they’d understand.
But I rallied. And like every morning, stared into my closet waiting for something to magically appear. I landed on the only semi-appropriate, non black dress I owned, and I knew I had to suck it up and that it would have to work.
I threw on my Manolos, as that’s my secret power when I’m feeling a little blazé. So I strapped those puppies on and headed out the door, texting a selfie to my friend in New York who I knew would not hesitate to say “go back home” if I looked unpresentable.
I got the green light from him as I stood on the corner waiting for my Lyft like a weirdo in eveningwear at 2.30 in the afternoon.
I walked up to the Seattle Art Museum in time for the few hours that the couple had allowed for guests to walk through the exhibits. Being the nerd I am, this was half of the reason for me showing my face. I hadn’t been to the SAM since I’d been in Seattle, and it was definitely on my bucket list. Plus the infinity mirrors exhibit from Yayoi Kusama I’d heard rave reviews about was there.
I smiled at the woman guarding the door, clutch in my hand, pep in my step, and told her I was with the wedding. She looked at me and said, “Oh everyone is just regrouping outside of the museum. You can come back for dinner.”
“I thought we were supposed to be able to walk through the museum.”
She looked at me like some kind of poser who had accidentally gotten an invite, thrown on a dress with messy hair and a fucked up looking eye, with the sole purpose of getting into the museum unwarranted.
“You can come back for dinner. No one is here for the next few hours.”
So feeling defeated and sleep deprived, I did the only thing I knew. Walked to the nearest wine bar and downed a few glasses, texted a few of my friends my tale of woe about how this is typical Seattle rejecting me like graft versus host disease (shout out to my friend, Katie, for putting this into fancy medical terminology via text during this conversation while I was drinking alone at the bar—thank God the medical degree is finally coming in handy).
I considered for a second time texting my friends, “Well. I tried. I literally can’t get into the venue so I’m done.”
But I rallied. I needed to show my face. It was my obligation after this shit show of a morning. Seattle would not reject me again.
So I showed my face at the door for a second time, got some cocktails in my system, and then we were actually allowed to go through the entire museum while it was closed to the public. It was magical and worth the hours of struggle.
There’s nothing quite like having free reign of a museum with no crowd there to fight you. It was something I’m incredibly grateful to have seen and will likely never get the chance to do again.
Sometimes the victory is sweeter after there’s some struggle involved. It made me appreciate it more after my insane morning. Plus once a friend of mine showed up and everyone was eating dinner downstairs, we were able to go back up to see the exhibit again, and it was basically only the two of us there.
I felt this childlike excitement about the whole thing. I was waiting to be woken up from the dream and realize I was still on my turbulent flight and the woman who decided to throw a whole blanket over her head like a ghost had just fallen onto me like a corpse.
My friend and I went back downstairs, ate a fabulous meal, and danced the night away—and that is a testament to the fun of the night, considering how terrible of a dancer I am.
I was going to leave at eight, but soon realized it was almost midnight, and I needed to leave this magical land that I didn’t belong in before my clothes turned to rags and my ride into a pumpkin. I gave my well wishes to the bride and groom and danced my way into my Lyft, happy that I’d opted for Manolos and art over sweatpants and trash tv.
3 thoughts on “Night at the SAM”
Funny you would think of Manolo’s as your super power. As a kid you thought “Manolo” was the name of one of the Power Rangers.
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love those shoes which make all things possible
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You Have Manolo’s? Damn, I am jealous. Concerning the rest of your story: I wanted to give you a hug when I read it. Poor but brave you. X
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