By Theresa Timmons
For The Herald Bulletin
— First of all, let me say that I am unquestionably, without a doubt, entirely heterosexual. I am married to Seth, the guy with the deepest voice in Madison County. So this column has nothing to do with my sexual preference. I am just sayin'. What this column has everything to do with is my clothing preference.
See, I am going to the Ball. The Mayor's Ball. And you know what that means: I have to wear a dress. And not just any old dress. A FORMAL dress.
It's a problem.
For those of you who have not personally met me, here is some information that is not widely circulated. When I was born, I cried for two weeks. My mother thought I had colic.
I miraculously stopped crying when she stopped dressing me in pink. Apparently I had a preference for blue, and a particular preference for denim. When I was seven ears old I wanted to march on Washington in support of pants for girls year-round in public schools. (I was pretty sick of the daily reveal of the color of my underwear on the monkey bars — and forget about phys ed class and the "bear walk" relays. That was just obscene). And when I was 15 years old I asked if I could have the word "Levi's" tattooed on my ankle.
So I called my good friend Glenda in North Carolina for technical dress support. Glenda understands my aversion to all things inseam-less, as well as my figure flaws and my inability to walk like anything female (even a female chimp). In the past she has accompanied me on bathing suit shopping trips. She likes to spend about an hour making me try on the most unflattering garments she can find, with the purpose of adding a few years to her life due to the hysterical laughing — then the final five minutes are spent trying on the single bathing suit she had saved for last, the suit she knew would look fine.
Even with all the trauma and abuse she puts me through, I know she is a true friend.
She answered the phone on the first ring.
"What's up?" she said.
"I am going to a ball and need to find a formal gown."
"Good lord." There was genuine concern in her voice. "So we have to find a formal for a beach ball shape. We must immediately rule out anything orange and yellow."
"Agreed," I said.
Over the next week numerous emails were exchanged, with links to dress styles that would be most flattering. We browsed the Internet, discussing shades of black, empire waists, and ruching.
"Lots of things are strapless or off the shoulder," she noted.
"Which means I will have to skin a small furry animal and drape the pelt around my frozen shoulders. Then I will have PETA picketing the Paramount. I wonder if I could find a poncho like Clint Eastwood wore in those spaghetti westerns?"
"Only if it is embellished in rhinestones. Hey! You need to get a choker! That would be so pretty," she said.
"GLENDA. I don't have a neck. Remember? My head just kind of sits on my torso now, like a bulldog." We haven't seen each other in a couple of years, so I had to remind her.
"Oh yea. Well..try PetSmart. Maybe you could get a dog collar with sequins. But it MUST match your shoes...are you going to get a girdle? Or a corset?"
"I have been thinking about that a lot," I replied. "And I think I can accomplish about the same thing with duct tape. Seth fixes stuff on the car with it all the time."
"Shave your abs first — it will matter later," she advised. She is always thinking...she's practically a genius.
I am going to the Ball.
Does anyone have the number of a good Fairy Godmother, with references?
Theresa Timmons' column appears every first and third Sunday. She is an Elwood resident and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.