Friday, April 23, 2010

Getting purdy

I suppose if it was my own wedding I would have been more careful, but I woke up at 6.30 last Sunday morning with the distinct feeling that someone was sawing a serrated edge of some sort into my skull. I had intended my fake fiance debut to be calm, cool and headache-free but instead I opted for numerous beers, a bottle of white and two glasses of champagne the night before. This was definitely not the way to look radiant and heavenly.

I felt trapped in our 17th floor hotel room with nothing resembling a drugstore in walking distance and open at that hour. It was like being on a roof when someone's stolen the ladder. Plus there was the small matter of the 7.30 am salon appointment I had to make a few floors down. Just as I was descending into a pit of fuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccckkkkkkk, I thought I remembered catching a glimpse of a lone Advil at the bottom of my make-up bag months ago but a) didn't trust my memory and b) even if it was there I had probably already used it to quash another bout of irresponsibility. I held my breath as I approached the clear bag and would have shrieked in joy upon finding my saving grace would it not have set off another round of throbbing pulses in my head. I brushed off the lint and darkish smears and popped that sucker fast.

I somehow made it to the salon looking vaguely presentable (clothed with make-up and wild hair), marvelling to myself at the quick-acting Advil. The beau's mom and aunt were also getting their hair did so we sat in a neat row in front of the mirrors, caped in 1960s salon pink. I had numerous conversations with the beau in the week leading up to the Event of the Season and while he wanted me to go with something very grown-up and chic, I was thinking something more along the lines of subdued 109-girl. I refrained from relaying this to my stylist but we briefly discussed what to do with my bangs and that the main theme for the back was volume. This was about all I could handle at that hour and I fervently prayed that despite my lack of instruction, I wouldn't walk out of there with Southern beauty pageant hair.
After getting rollered, the stylist began to craft what I can only describe as a mini-Antoinette do on the crown of my head, with a subtle nod to traditional Japanese hairstyles at the front. I figured with the volume I had happening at the back, I really didn't need any more ornamentation but she talked the beau's mom into buying me a kanzashi (hair pin) to stick in the front part of my nest. Yes, it contained both diamantes and pearls, but was more Breakfast at Tiffany's than princess cosplay so I let it go.

Our next stop was the dressing room, where we all took advantage of their kitsuke (dressing) services. I had planned to do it myself but I knew with an early morning deadline and the sheer pressure of the event, I would start schvitzing just looking at my kimono, so I tacked it on to my salon appointment. There is nothing like getting dressed like a professional - you simply can't get that much torque on your own - and the dresser had me cocooned in a matter of minutes. Going in, I wasn't sure what to do with my obi, as again, the beau and I had conflicting ideas about what was appropriate. He said I should go simple and elegant and just do a double taiko (drum) bow, which is what his mom and aunt would be doing as it is the most formal style. However, since I'm not married and am younger than Baby Mama and Baby Daddy, my kimono teacher said I could also do a more fun and elaborately shaped bow. My dresser and I compromised these two ideas, and she tied a double taiko in the back but with wings coming out of it (um, yeah). If we get to the heart of my feelings on the matter, just because someone didn't use a condom doesn't mean I should sacrifice the eligibility to wear a louder style that my age and single status affords me.


As we left the salon, I felt like I was being sent off to prom by ten Japanese women, and until the elevator doors opened, both my dresser and my stylist hovered around me doing last minute touch-ups. What can I say, it was showtime.





In case it isn't obvious, I am the slightly taller one at 5'6.

17 comments:

Lulu said...

God that photo makes you look a lot taller than 5"6!!!

The kimono bow part of the story cracked me up- thing the taiko drum bow with wings probably looked pretty damn cute.

さらまり said...

Hehe, I agree, you do look taller than 5'6. I like the height variation however^^

That's too bad you couldn't have more vibrant styles to match your age. But I'm sure you looked more than fabulous.

Tokyo Moe said...

Wow! You ladies look soo elegant. Did you, mom & aunt all coordinate your kimonos? Stunning! I am waiting for part II to hear about how you were received, and what you learned about Baby Mama's family. .

kathrynoh said...

Wow, awesome. You all look great :D

Anonymous said...

haha! You look like a giant! I'm only 5'7 and feel like godzilla when I'm downtown Vancouver....

I think it looks very nice the way you all match.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Thanks guys! My kimono is actually a houmongi but because it is black, it looks similar to the crested kuro-tomesode that mother and aunt are wearing, which is the most formal style. We didn't coordinate but the style they wore is the only option as family of the wedding party and since mine is black, it looks a bit matchy matchy. In the future, I can do several things to make my kimono more young looking by playing with the accessory colours and the bow at the back. Ultimately though, this is a kimono I can wear for the rest of my life!

ELSN said...

You look great! I can't wait to hear more about the wedding!

Lisa said...

Awww, you look fantastic!

aimlesswanderer said...

Oh noes, kimono clad beings with red splotches as faces were loose in Tokyo.

I hope you suitably awed the baby mama's relos with your alternate gaijinness and flashes of civilised behaviour.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Thanks ELSN and Lisa! I am quite partial to dressing up :)

aimlesswanderer: "flashes of civilised behaviour" - |Too fitting! Can I use it some time?!

Apryl in Wonderland said...

What did "the beau" wear? Traditional Japanese garb as well? Perhaps you can show us some red-splotch face pics of the men. Beau and Baby Daddy?

Judith said...

Haha, I love the height differences in the picture! I went to Japan once, and I towered over quite a few of the women there and I'm only 5'3.
Can't wait to hear more about this wedding!

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Apryl: Don't they look vaguely heart-shaped?! I don't have a very steady mouse hand. The beau wore a suit. Men rarely wear Japanese clothing at weddings here and if they do it is usually only the groom at a shrine wedding ceremony. I will put up pics as soon as I draw some more heart splotches!

Judith: I've never felt big at 5'6 but being around the beau's family I am definitely the white godzilla.

Apryl in Wonderland said...

You are right...they are heart shaped. Or, in Japan, peach shaped! I do so love the traditional manly clothes...there need to be many more excuses to wear them.

aimlesswanderer said...

Yeah, sure, you can use that whenever you feel like it!

I thought that given just how bizarre Japanese notions of "how gaijin behave" are, they would be alternatively shocked by your inexplicable "gaijin behaviour", or your moments of "civilised" (ie Japan approved) behaviour.

I hope that the inlaws inlaws were suitably awed and alarmed after spending so much time in your august presence!

aciditongued said...

fear not the godzilla whitie, for she has acquired a formidable houmongi to civilize herself! hurrah!

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

acidtongued: That made my day.