I've lost eighty-one pounds and can really see a difference now. I went to Bloomingdales the day before yesterday and tried on clothes. Still in the "large sized women's department" but it was exciting to not only be able to fit into things that used to be too small for me, but to have most of them be too big. I was telling Scott last night, after I ate too much dinner and my stomach was hurting so badly, that this whole experience feels like a foggy dream. I keep thinking I'm going to go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning just as fat as I was before my surgery.
I like looking at my body in the mirror and feeling bones where I never felt them before. But I don't like the way my skin wrinkles up, or maybe I do because it means I've lost weight. I like to play with it, I grab the skin on my thighs and pinch it to see how many lines it makes. I've also discovered that I can't eat oatmeal, something I love and always had for breakfast before. Yesterday I had five small bites of just oatmeal with a little rice milk on it and one bite of a veggie strip and I was in so much pain I just lay my head on my keyboard and wept. Then I felt so sick I knew I wouldn't make it to the bathroom in time, something I have always been good about, and instead had to throw up in my wastebasket in my office, yuck -- embarrassment, tears streaming from the corners of my eyes. But I tell you, I would still do this surgery over and over again in a short heartbeat.
I'm looking forward to seeing Sea Biscuit although I have to admit that I had bought in to all of the negative press about Tobey Maguire and haven't been as thrilled about seeing him in films as I once was. Why is that? (But I do dig that he's a vegetarian like me and describes my diet exactly, "I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian, meaning I eat dairy and things with egg products, although I don't like eggs and I'm not particularly fond of dairy, either.") How can I let myself buy into stuff that I know is distorted? I read that he had become difficult, demanding and a big pain-in-the-ass prima donna, and that may not even be true, so I know it's unfair of me to let that taint the way I feel about him. Although it's nice to see this written about a man for a change. As an actor I think he's fascinating and have seen pretty much everything he's been in, (but then again I see pretty much everything that comes out, always have). Plus none of this should really affect my liking of the movie that much.
My Mom is excited about it because her good friend Lou, (Louise), Howard's husband owned Sea Biscuit, and she's fascinated by the story. Although a friend of ours saw the movie and said that it never mentions her and that his wife in the film has a different name. Hmmm, I wonder if we're wrong about this. I do know that Charles (SeaBiscuit's owner) Howard's brother owned a really popular hotel in Palm Springs that was called Howard Manner and he was married to an actress named Andrea Leeds. I just think my Mother's stories about her friends are so endlessly fascinating. I love history and the more personal the better.
This whole fashion show idea, (I've been collecting my Mother and Grandmother's vintage dress designs for about five years now and want to do something with them), is looking like it may really happen some time next spring. I have only my wonderful, talented, old high school friend Mary to thank for this. She suggested the idea of doing a Peggy Hunt/possible Jeannette Alexander fashion show to the people at The Art Deco society when she was modeling for them in their spring show this year. She's made this dream of mine come true, without my even asking her to. She really is an amazing person and I admire her so much. It makes me sad to think how many wonderful people like Mary I lost contact with through the years.
Funny how we think we need to go out in the world to make our friends when there they were all along right under our noses. We worked on plays together but because she was a few grades younger and wore big thick glasses, (yes I'll admit this, I was shallow as well as blind), I never pursued a friendship with her despite the fact that I liked her. Stupid, stupid me. Although I was so lonely and desperate to be loved and popular at the time, and my entire focus was on getting the lead in every play so that I could become a famous actor one day, that I think I missed out on a lot of really good friendships I could have formed. Plus all I really cared about friend-wise was my best friend L. (well, that and finding a boyfriend which didn't happen until I was in college). Thank God for the Net and Classmates.com for helping us all reconnect now that our lives are more settled. I still suck at friendships though, I love people and want to be with them but I'm sort of a hausfrau. I tend to hibernate and stick with just one or two of my most trusted.
Anyway regarding the fashion show of my family's clothes, I called and spoke with the woman who coordinates the whole thing and she was excited and said she'd like to meet with us and move forward on this. We'll pick out fifty of the best dresses, hoping to find some earlier pieces so that there will at least be something closer to the art deco period, (but she knows the majority of these dresses are forties and fifties and doesn't mind), and she'll handle the invitations and write ups, the models, the rental of the theatre, the storage of the dresses, and everything else. I couldn't be happier. I have been hoping to throw something together for about four or five years now and procrastinator that I am I may not have pulled this off during my Mother's remaining years here. Now all she has to do is hang in there until next spring. I get to do the commentary and hope I'll be thin enough to wear one of their dresses.
I've recently expanded my vintage dress hunting search to include their earlier labels, dresses that Granny made from nineteen-eighteen through nineteen-thirty-eight or so. The first Label was Fairy Frocks but they later changed it to Jean Carol, an amalgamation of my mother and grandmother's first names, when someone teased Mom about the fairy label in school. There was a soap at the time called Fairy Soap and the slogan for their advertising was, "Have you a little fairy in your house?"
My Grandmother's first dresses were all little girl's dresses in sizes two through six because those were the sizes she made Mom's dresses in and knew the best. Then as mother got older the sizes grew up along with her, until Granny was exclusively making fine women's cocktail, evening, and formal wear. The children's dresses were innovative because they were the first little girl's dresses with waists. Most children's dresses during this period hung from the shoulders and were straight up and down but Granny's had what was called a Basque waist, and people just adored this new look and snapped them up.
Because of their success in selling these dresses Granny gave up her job playing the piano/organ in the silent movie houses and together with my grandfather opened a factory on Eighth Street in downtown Los Angeles, later moving to Los Angeles Street. This was the very first clothing manufacturing factory in California, and they sold these little dresses as fast as they could make them. Mr. Winnette who owned Bullocks Wilshire began buying their dresses in nineteen-twenty-nine just before the stock market crash, and Grandma created his Collegian, or Collegiene, (not sure about the spelling), department because he wanted to sell clothing for young girls who were thirteen or fourteen and still in high school, but who wanted to feel a bit more sophisticated in their style of dress.
I have to stop writing to you and go walk on my treadmill even though I really, really, realllllly don't want to. I've promised myself, (and Scott), that I would walk at least thirty minutes every day. Since it's been so hot in LA lately I want to walk on my treadmill inside during the day and then take the dogs out for walks at night when it's cooler. My surgeon wants me to get a pedometer and make sure I take a thousand steps every single day.
The intercom at our front gate just went off and I had the following conversation with someone who can't be more than three or four years old.
"Hello, can I help you?"
"Heh heh hello?"
"Who is this?"
"Who is this?"
"Who are you?"
"Oh, are you here to see Irma?"
"Okay, come on in, I'll get Irma."
"Alley, Alley, dog, doggie."
Irma's friend Ana likes to bring the twin boys of my neighbor over when she's about to go on a walk and they like to pick up our littlest dog Alley and take her walking with them. I think I'll join them, that's got to beat walking on the boring treadmill.
Okay well that's it for now, I'll come back and catch up with all of you later.
Big loving hugs, Jacqui
PS: Apparently Liza Minnelli and David Gest have separated, at least according to her rep. You know I know they seemed like a weird pair, and that wedding, whoosh, but I was really hoping we were all wrong and that he was straight and that they really loved each other.
PPS: I'm back from my walk, I think I'll head on over to obesityhelp.com and look for a shoulder or two to cry on in their chat room. Beau's at a friends for the night and Scott is in the studio with his producer/friend so I will be all by my lonesome trying not to give in to my desire to medicate my feelings with pain pills. I actually developed a rash or hives from taking them so much -- not good. Now I'm taking Valium to try to get off the Vicodin, then I'll wean myself away from the Valium, or I'll knock over a bank somewhere so that I can afford to check myself into a celebrity rehab center somewhere and try to do some good shmoozing for my career, not. Try not to judge me too harshly over this. Oh and as usual I had nightmares about my old friend L., (I must dream about her at least twice a week, I wonder if she thinks about me at all), and my ex-husband, (at least I think he's my ex-husband, I'll have to call my lawyer on Monday), and my ex-mother-in-law, I'm having to censor myself here...
PPPS: Poor Irma took a bad tumble down the stairs. She got her foot tangled up in the vacuum cleaner cord and the two of them went hurtling down the stairs. Thank God she didn't break anything but she's pretty bruised poor lamby-pie. I offered to take her to the doctor but she doesn't want to go so I sent her home with tons of Advil and three ice packs.
PPPPS: Scott is playing his new version of Jacqueline for me over the phone. It's much better than the earlier version although I never like anything that he's had produced as much as I like it when it's just done acoustically, Scott alone with his guitar, but this sounds really good, reggae fun, I hope he'll share it with you.