~ Charlie Chaplin
Tomorrow evening, for the first time in about eight years, I’ll step onto an airplane. I’m a little anxious about this. Not because I have a fear of flying; I don’t. Rather, it’s the destination itself that’s making me anxious. After a few years of tossing the idea around, Jen and I are (finally) going to see our friend Emilie in New York. And not in Albany, Buffalo or Rochester, but New York, New York.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to NYC to take a bite out of the Big Apple with Emilie and Jen.
(Does anyone know why we call NYC “The Big Apple?”)
This is a city that panders to some of the most beautiful people in the world. Matt Damon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio…. Leonardo DiCaprio (am I the only one who thinks he’s worth a second mention?). It is the most fashionable city in North America, and the second most fashionable city in the world, according to Global Language Monitor. And when the main character of Jude Deveraux’s “Sweet Liar,” Samantha Elliot, moves to New York City, she muses that the streets of New York is where one finds “the impossible fashions you see in magazines and wonder who wears in real life being worn in real life by impossibly beautiful women.” I’m paraphrasing that by the way, but if I look hard enough at my mom’s house I could probably find a copy of the book somewhere.
And here I am. This short, at-the-larger-end-of-the-plus-size-scale plus-size woman with decent hair and a big mouth with a tendency to laugh in awkward situations.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, being a larger person sometimes makes you invisible. Or the butt of jokes. Or garners a lot of unwanted attention in a circus freak / pitying sort of way. If I wasn’t traveling with Jen, I’d be freaking out about being the person everyone watches while making my way down the aisle while they shift uncomfortably in their seats and pray they’re not the one I’m seated next to. I’m also dreading checking in and being told I need to purchase an additional seat though that’s a worse case scenario, though there is a strong possibility I’ll have to ask for a seatbelt extender.
My boss and I were discussing my trip on Monday and I asked him to compare NYC to Chicago. He said, “You know, New York is the kind of town you can walk down the street naked and no one is even going to notice.” Later that afternoon, I told Water Buffalo about this and I said, “But you know, if it were me, I’d be walking down one side of the street naked and everyone would be on the other side avoiding me.”
I. Am. BEYOND. terrified.
I am racking my brain trying to figure out my wardrobe. I’ve decided on a black and white palette, with red and pink thrown in but then the other questions remain. Do I wear skirts? Capris? Shorts aren’t an option as I always seem to look like a potato on toothpicks in them. Which is fine in the northern woods of Michigan or at Eastern Market on the weekends, but in New York? No. Is the dress I bought at Macy’s last summer too casual? Too bright? Is this adorable polka dot dress too prone to wrinkling? Am I going to be able to get into it or will I be bloated? But most of all, I’m worried that I’m going to look like I’m trying too hard.
Furthermore, I’m concerned I won’t be able to keep up with Emilie and Jen. I’m chugging water like it’s going out of style so as not to be dehydrated. I’m filing and scrubbing my feet to get them soft and pliable, prepping them for walking the streets of New York. I’m carefully trying to choose footwear that will be both comfortable and stylish and really, the best I can come up with at the moment is Keds. If you have any suggestions for comfy shoes, please, by all means….
And pictures… I desperately want to take them. I desperately want to be in them. I desperately don’t want to look at them because I know I’m going to be disappointed in how I look.
On the other hand, I’m thrilled to be going. I’m going to New York! Shopping capital of the country (though honestly, I don’t think I’m going to be doing much shopping). We’re going to see Cyndi Lauper’s “Kinky Boots” which just won 6 Tony Awards. We have a fabulous room at the Hilton in Midtown. We get to meet Michael, the man who chose to run beside our friend Emilie rather than try and tame her. Emilie and I get to do round two of Emmo’s Surveys!