I’m in a revealing mood lately – wait, that doesn’t sound right (and sounds far more suggestive than intended). Let me rephrase that so as not to scare my mother, I have been in a nostalgic mood lately; and hence, with nostalgia comes sifting through the mental memory box and reliving those times that bring endless amusement and fear all in the same breath. The fear bit of course contains the thought, ‘dear lord what was wrong with me back then, and why did I act like a moron.’ Ah youth, such a learning curve.
This one memory I was reminded of the other day is for some reason one of my sister’s favorite stories from my, ahem, colorful past. All I have to do is say to her, ‘silver surfer suit,’ and she closes her eyes and shakes her head in that older sister way, whilst trying to mask the laughter of imagining me running through London dressed like the Silver Surfer. Yes, I owned a silver suit damn it, and I rocked it, or I certainly thought I did.
So the night in question began as any night does in one’s early twenties (okay, late twenties, but let’s pretend I wasn’t so slow to mature) with a six pack of something. In my case, a beverage called Hooch (I suppose a U.S. equivalent would be a wine cooler). In England this is a beverage for teens learning to get their drink on. Don’t ask…for some reason this was my poison that month. At the time I was coming off a bad breakup and let’s just say I wasn’t behaving at my most rational or demure, fine I was downright erratic, but if I recall I had moments of demure behavior.
So that night I was determined to get my party on, hence why I broke out the silver suit. Now, before you go judging my sartorial decisions, I bought it at Barney’s (a very nice department store in NYC for those of you non East Coasters) and at the time it was considered quite chic. Oh who am I kidding, it was hideously ugly and to make matters worse, the jacket was long and sort of padded and the pants (trousers) were short and tapered and the whole damn thing was shiny. I’m sure Victoria Beckham would’ve thought it was totally hot. :-)
So anyway, that night I was feeling like I was the proverbial sh*t. Apparently shiny outfits and a lot of Hooch does that to a person. I was at a birthday party for a friend and there was a good-looking friend of theirs that was clearly appreciating my silver suit…or was wondering where I parked my spaceship, I'm not sure which. Regardless, we got to talking and he told me he was currently riding horses as an extra on a film set and would be returning to the set that night. Well apparently I thought this was just the greatest thing in the world, especially when he told me that Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger were the leads in the film (turns out I think I invented that part, and in my defense, that was back when Mel G was normal). I exclaimed that I grew up riding and just LOVED horses.
Next thing I knew, I was in a very small car with this guy and his five friends driving out to the middle of the countryside at one in the morning (Mom, take a deep breath, I’m fine now and live like an 80 year old woman). How we all got into this car is beyond me due to the fact that his friends were Maoris from New Zealand, and each one was as big as a fridge freezer. I know I know, why I thought it was prudent to go anywhere late at night with a bunch of men is beyond me, I did not say I had good judgment back then. [King, do NOT do as your mother did, she was a total idiot]. Anyway, the guy I was with was close friends with mine, so I figured I was in safe hands, or at least I knew where I could send the police if any of them decided to get out of line.
So there I was in a very small car, surrounded by five appliance sized men and my ‘date’ for the evening on the way to the film set where Mel Gibson may or may not be residing. We get there and I end up getting the choice to either sleep in the trailer with half of New Zealand or in a tent outside. I chose the tent. I will of course skip the kiss and tell bit – there wasn’t much to report really (nothing worthy anyway), but needless to say, in the morning light of sobriety, I realized the guy I was with was a total egotistical pig and my suit didn’t look so hot now that I wasn’t hopped up on Hooch. And to make matters worse, I had a hangover to rival the heavens, had lost one of my favorite earrings, and had a wicked case of bed head. Needless to say, all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there and get back to civilization.
So as Mr. Ego barked at me that he and his new Zealand posse were going to the food tent before they saddled up, so I better hurry up if I wanted to ride one of the horses. I of course made up some excuse to buy me a few minutes…knowing me I probably said I had to clean up the trailer as the sight of it was challenging my OCD. Next thing I know, I was flagging down some trucker carrying film equipment and had convinced him to drop me off at the local train station. I’m sure by the sight of me he was thrilled to death that he didn’t have a daughter.
I of course called my sister from the platform and told her about my walk of shame, or very long train ride of shame back into London, in my suit which now looked like a used piece of tin foil. As it turned out, I also discovered that I was in Farnborough, the very place where my mom went to convent school. I remember thinking at that precise moment, I bet that’s where my mother would send me if she could see me now....oh, and I gave away the suit as soon as I got home.