Last week I wrote about what a great time I had at the AFI Fest. Indeed, it was lovely. Lovely, minus the wardrobe malfunction.

Lemme back this one up a bit… I have a problem getting ready on time. Yes, it’s true. I am a female stereotype. When I should be out the door at 9am, usually I leave by 9:15am. While shooting for 5pm, I’m gone more like at 5:10pm. Then I dash across town, road raging and pleading with the clock to slow down because I hate being that person: the late arrival that everyone else silently judges. So on the night of the Hamill premiere, I actually started to get ready early. Hair and makeup? Done and done. The only thing left to do was get dressed, and I still had nearly an hour before my 6pm departure time. Perfect.

I slide on my dress and attempt to zip it from behind. It goes about a third of the way and then refuses to go any farther. I try again. Again I am denied. Hmm… Is it caught on something? I take it off and then zip it. Goes all the way up with ease. Okay, let’s try this again. Slide. Zip. Denied.

Now I know what you’re thinking… “Um, Anna? Maybe you’re just too fat for the dress? Did that ever occur to you?” Yes, my dear smartasses, it did occur to me. That is why I tried on the dress four days earlier to make sure I hadn’t plumped up since the last time I wore it. And guess what? It zipped on the first try.

You can then imagine how perplexed I am. But it’s only 5:30pm. I still have a half-hour. No worries. However, I decide to distract myself for a few minutes because I can already feel a panic attack looming. I make sure my ticket is in my purse. I brush my teeth for a second time. I… I need to get that dress on. I try again. No. I try harder. Nope. Yet this time I feel something give. I take it off. A tear. Awesome. Stupid Forever 21 dress.

I try a different tactic. Maybe gravity will help me. I arch my back ala luau limbo style and then try to zip, but no luck. Okay, time to get serious. I get down on the ground and once again arch my back again ala camel pose (for all you yogis out there) and try to zip. Nada. However, I do manage to crack my back all by myself.

And now sweating begins… I let out a not so silent scream. This damn dress has been refusing to comply for over a half-hour, and now my slippery fingers can barely hold onto the zipper. Time for reinforcements. But who? My landlord? Could this be considered a maintenance issue? And then the Force speaks to me: “Elise! Call your friend, Elise!”

In this town, having a friend within walking distance is a very rare and wonderful thing. And until six months ago, I didn’t have one at all. I don’t even associate the words “friend” and “neighbor.” But then I realize that yes! Yes, I do have a friend in the neighborhood. I just pray she’s home.

“Hi, Anna! How are you?” No time for formalities; I cut right to the chase.

“I need your help right now! Can you please come over?” The girl is at my door in less than five minutes. Just one problem – she can’t zip it either. To demonstrate that the dress is deliberately taunting me, I take it off and show her that it will zip all the way. Even she tries a few times to make sure she’s zipping correctly. I put it back on. No dice. Poor girl. I can hear the frustration in her silence. Well, we had fought the good fight. Resigning myself to wearing one of my much less cuter dresses, I try one last-ditch maneuver. Twisting my arms around, I guide Elise’s hands to clutch the dress and grab the zipper myself. Pulling, pulling… The dress zips.

I spin around. We look at each other in shock. Then with multiple hugs and many thanks, she and I are out the door. It’s 6:20pm. Oh well…

But wait! There’s an epilogue to this story. Fast-forward a few hours. The Roosevelt is done. The movie is done. Nothing left to do but make a quick trip to the ladies’ room and call it a night. As I head to the sink, a voice calls over my shoulder, “Excuse me! Can you please help me?” I turn around to find a very exposed woman in the corner, her dress so completely unzipped that I am staring right at her bare bum. She apologizes for her nakedness, but we both know that she’s not embarrassed at all. This woman is the quintessential LA stereotype: blonde hair, tanned skin, smokin’ body. Anyway, her dress zips on the first try. Of course it does. It’s a Herve Leger. You don’t pay a $1000 for a dress that doesn’t zip on the first try. She thanks me, and I walk out smiling.

That, my friends, is what we call paying it forward.

Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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4 Responses to “Roll Out The Red Carpet – Part II”

Hilarious… your storytelling is kind of gripping, even when talking about zipping up a dress!

November 18th, 2010

Thank you, Grant! Believe me, it was a high pressure situation to say the least. 😉

November 18th, 2010

Geez, and here I thought I was the only one who experiences these weird wardrobe malfunctions! Love the blog…

November 22nd, 2010

LOL… And that’s the only one I bothered to write about! What we women have to go through, eh? 🙂

November 22nd, 2010