When I was in high school, I got a call from the manager of a department store in town, saying that I was chosen by a teacher to model in an upcoming fashion show. It was to be a selection of sportswear and prom gowns...was I interested? I envisioned wearing a Twiggy mini dress and replied an eager YES. Days later, a notice came over the school intercom: "Would all girls who were called about a fashion show, please report to the office?" Upon arrival, not only were there a couple of dozen girls from all grades, but waiting for us was the principal-a nun with a hawk-like nose and blue-eyed stare that scared the bejesus out of you. With her was a police officer who, in actuality, couldn't hide his amusement and the very upset real store manager. It seems that there was no fashion show, and all of us had given away vital information to the guy on the phone.
We told him our bra size and whether or not we owned a black one. In the eyes of that nun, the Rosenbergs passing atomic secrets to the Russians was less serious. Whoever the "manager" was (and my guess is one or more guys in school) became the first phone-scam criminal on record. The Chinese and Russians took lessons from that prank to get social security numbers and bank accounts from unsuspecting people decades later.
Wingman's college roommate and his first wife started a photography business as a side hustle. To help them out, three women and I did a photo shoot, modeling our own sportswear and bridesmaid dresses in lieu of prom gowns. When the official photos were finished, the guy pulled me aside and asked if I would consider doing some "tasteful" nude shots that they could include in their portfolio. In my mind flashed not only Vanessa Williams giving up her Miss America crown over nude pictures, but the steely stare that nun gave me a decade before over just revealing my bra size. I politely declined so no one needs to troll the internet to see if any nude photos of me exist today.
Flash ahead almost 40 years and the idea of modeling was the farthest thing from my mind until the company I work for sent out a notice that they were looking for associates for the upcoming holiday catalog. I looked at the photos from the previous year's catalog and the only "senior" in the shots was half-hidden behind a gay couple. What the hell-I sent in my photo and resume.
Being photographed that day right before us was the perfect family: the blonde mom and her four blonde haired, blue eyed kids looked like they stepped out of Ralph Lauren. Meanwhile, a makeup artist was breaking out in a sweat trying to minimize my under-eye bags and wrinkles. The two other much younger women from my store spent probably half the time TOGETHER in hair and make-up than I did.
And without needing to look in a mirror, I knew that my RBF had turned to ABF…ACTIVE Bitch Face. Not only was I already obsolete in press but in days ahead had to face the onslaught of shoppers returning all of the clothes worn by those smiling faced Generation X/Y/Z’s.
By the way, if you haven’t returned those Christmas gifts you don’t want yet, YOU’RE LATE. Don’t humor me with your excuses, I’ve heard them all. Just like Miranda.