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.