A couple of months ago, I had lunch with two of my friends from work. Together, these two women rule over the empire that is the Embassy co-op, restaurant, snack bar and pool. They are arguably the most powerful women at the Embassy, what with their total control over all pork products and margarita mixes that enter the country. You want bacon with that strawberry margarita? Better be nice to them.
So there we were, eating lunch, when one of them mentioned that she was thinking of organizing a fashion show. "It would be fun," she said, "if we could get a representative from every section." I nodded in agreement. "We could have it by the pool," she added. I nodded in agreement. "We would bring in someone to do hair and makeup, and maybe we could bring a photographer, too." I nodded in agreement. "Maybe you could be the representative from the Political section?" she asked. I nodded in agreement.
Did you notice what just happened there? I nodded in agreement. Oh, yes, I did, when what I really meant to do was shake my head vigorously back and forth in a manner that indicated my complete disagreement with her plan.
But, no. She took my head bobbing to mean that I would love to model in her fashion show. The fashion show that I promptly forgot about after lunch.
A few weeks later, she asked me why I missed the fitting. "The fitting?" I repeated slowly, feeling a vaguely troubling sensation in the back of my brain.
"You know, for the fashion show," she said. "It's tomorrow."
I mumbled an apology and felt relieved to have missed the fitting. After all, if I hadn't been fitted, I couldn't possibly be a model, right? Right?
"Wrong," she told me cheerfully. Apparently I was destined to be in this fashion show, unless I could somehow develop a bad case of strep throat in the next 24 hours. I prodded at my lymph nodes hopefully, but nary a one was swollen.
I had nightmares that night. Seriously. Me, in a fashion show? (Jenn D, I can hear you laughing now all the way from Bahrain. Stop it. Stop it now, or you're uninvited to Jordan.) My idea of high fashion is when I switch from a white t-shirt and jeans to, say, a white t-shirt and khaki pants. When I really want to make an impression, I brush my hair. If I can find a brush. So when you think "international fashion model," you don't necessarily picture me.
The dreaded day dawned bright and sunny - perfect weather for a poolside fashion show. My lymph nodes remained unhelpfully healthy, and so I had no choice but to go to work.
Some random guy did crazy things to my hair with a brush and a hairdryer. Another guy slapped on waaay too much make-up: green eyeliner and bright pink lipstick. Then I tossed on a way-too-low-cut gown, poked at my lymph nodes one last time, and stumbled toward the pool for my fashion show debut.
Oh, it was painful. But the pictures came out okay. You can't even see that I was totally and completely broken out in hives in front of all of those people.
Still, I think it's safe to say that my career as an international fashion superstar is over. I'm just not cut out for that kind of thing.
Next time, I'm eating lunch by myself. Just me, a margarita and a BLT.