Fake, Entirely Fake
This was the early 70’s, when everything was real and honest especially after the crazy 60’s. My husband and I didn’t get out often. We worked hard and had three little ones, two boys and a girl. I didn’t mind not having a social life, for my children were my life and there would be plenty of time for me when they got a little older. That’s why I looked forward once a year to the Ironworkers dinner and banquet. It was so much fun for me to get out dancing and visiting with friends.
This particular year I was extremely excited about it because I bought the most beautiful long flowing dress I had ever seen and couldn’t wait to get all dressed up to go. I bought a hairpiece also and died my hair to match it exactly. I even bought false fingernails and spent all day getting ready for our fun night out. My parents came down for the weekend to watch the children since it would be such a late evening.
Our neighbors up the street were also going, because Bob was an Ironworker too. His wife Joan was nice enough but for some reason she always took great enjoyment out of criticizing me. No matter how nice I was to her, it never made a difference. She just didn’t like me and I could never understand what I ever did to her. So I tried to avoid her as much as possible, but our husbands were great friends and I adored Bob.
Well, after much primping I was finally ready. My hair matched my hairpiece perfectly and my nails looked great too. The dress, oh, the dress was so gorgeous that I felt like a fairytale princess.
It was such an extremely hot day and didn’t cool down much that night either, so by the time we arrived at the banquet, we was parched. The only drinks they had at cocktail hour were cocktails and I didn’t drink. Besides, I was so busy trying to get ready all day, I didn’t eat a thing either. So when Jim handed me a drink, I drank it right down and he quickly got me another and I repeated the process. By time we sat down for dinner, I was feeling no pain. I never experienced anything like that before (or since).
We sat with friends that Jim worked with and his parents sat right behind us since his Dad was also an Ironworker for many, many years. They sat with the BA, the superintendents, officers and very influential people.
No problem, I could handle this. The waitress came and put a plate with a wedge of lettuce in front of us. I couldn’t leave it alone, I never saw a salad like that before and had to comment on it. Well, I not only commented but I also talk with my hands too. I picked up the wedge to bring it closer saying, “They call this a salad?” and it literally flew out of my hands that were unused to the fake nails, and flew right in the center of the table behind us where Jim’s parents were sitting. Our table went crazy laughing, Jim too laughed, I was so embarrassed but I could handle that couldn’t I? I hardly said a word during the whole meal and quietly excused myself to go to the ladies room afterwards.
As I entered the full ladies room, I noticed Bob’s wife Joan, standing in line. I said hello and she just looked at me. “Bonnie, I saw you yesterday and your hair was as short as mine. How in the world did you put it in an upsweep?” she asked. Everyone hung on her every word and I could feel my face getting red. She kept asking and I kept avoiding answering. I knew I was going to have to say something so I just told her, “Joan, you know I’m a beautician, I can do wonders with my hair.” I was too embarrassed to say anything else. As I reached for the handle of the empty stall to the bathroom, my finger hit the handle hard and my thumb nail popped off. It was like in slow motion, as the nail was assailing in the air everyone’s eyes were on it as it came cascading to the floor right in front of my foot. Oh, my God, I can never tell them now, that my hair was fake too. I had to get out of there quick. But Joan just wouldn’t quit, she kept asking and asking. “Okay, Okay, I finally said, its fake, it’s a hairpiece!” I ran out the bathroom door. “Oh, what an embarrassing night,” I thought as I headed back to my table.
Back in the mid-70’s women danced with women because only a few men knew how to fast dance, including mine. They were okay with the slow dances but wouldn’t even tackle anything fast. So a wife of my husband’s friend asked me to jitterbug with her. Of course I said yes. Out on the dance floor we flew and I was so relieved that I couldn’t embarrass myself here, for I was a pretty good dancer if I must say so myself.
How was I to know what would happen next as I turned my partner in a fast spin? An object popped out above her chest, yep, a falsie as clear as day, smack dab right in the middle of her chest like it was glued there. Oh, how in the world do I tell her?” By now people were standing around laughing and staring and the poor thing had no idea why. Talk about humiliating. Where was Joan when I needed her, she’d have no problem telling her. “I just want to go home, all I want to do is go home,” I thought over and over again. As the dance ended, I quietly told her to look down. She did, and ran off in tears. “That’s it,” I’m out of here, I stated.
My children looked better and better to me as we drove away from the most embarrassing night of my life. I don’t think I’ll go to a lot of trouble next year for this event, matter of fact, I don’t think I’ll go period.