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The solace of samosas

Monday, September 26, 2016

Absolute mortification. That is the only way to describe the fate that swept me from being an aspiring cute person to a misfit in all the wrong clothes. The fall from grace was literal. One minute I was waving hello. The next I was a crumpled mess on the clay tiles with my left foot folded under me.

At least, a strong, dark man rushed to my side and helped me into an upright position—even if he was already married to me.

Instantly, my thin ankle ballooned into a melon which would never fit into the pair of heels I had packed for the next day’s event—the dream destination wedding of a good friend, where I had to make a toast and pose for photographs with the wedding party.

No, there was not time to rush out and buy an emergency pair of pewter ballet flats that might have saved me from the clutches of the Fashion Police. The calamity occurred late at night in a beach resort where everything shuts down after sunset, except the mosquitoes and waiters serving margaritas.

The carefully curated black and white polka dot outfit (super cute with suede turquoise shoes because you need an unexpected pop of colour in there) had to be abandoned because it would have been criminal to pair that outfit with the leopard slippers, which were the only footwear that I could squeeze my swollen foot into. 

So, I had to pull an Anya—a deft technique named for Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee who could, overnight, whip up a runway gown from a handkerchief and a ball of twine. 

The flirty polka dots had to be replaced by black palazzo pants, with serious camel-toe tendencies, and a black tank top, with a faux black leather jacket flung about my disconsolate shoulders. Well, the leopard flats added a bit of adventure and, possibly, I looked as though I had planned the whole thing—like a school-marm who decided to live a little for one day.

Not the look I was going for.

Plus, despite our warm friendship, my bridal friend had neglected to mention that during her sojourns abroad she had become almost famous, and so a flock of dignitaries from Foreign were guests at the wedding. I am talking a private plane with leather seats and women who had botoxed even their armpits so they would not sweat in their designer gowns. I had imagined a chic, tiny event with sea breezes coquettishly caressing our cheeks while we danced barefoot on the sandy shores during a barbecue reception. 

Instead, all I could think of was the hot lights illuminating my stupid limp and too-long pants. I looked like a wedding crasher whose house was on fire and she grabbed the only rags she could save before she leapt from a window. 

An ice pack was produced and my ankle was reduced to more manageable size. The pain was mostly in my heart as I propped up my pride. I consoled myself with a plate of spinach samosas. There was too much free food and alcohol involved for anyone to offer more than a modicum of compassion. Even my rescuer fell short of knightly status.

He: “You walk with your head in the clouds. You never look where you are going.’’
Me: “Now is not the time to quarrel with me. I am in pain—and unfashionably so.’’
He: “Remember the time you nearly took a sprawl on the escalator in the airport, and the other day when…
Me: “I get the point! Do I look very silly in these pants?’’
He: “Oh gosh. Women! Stop obsessing.’’
Me: “Good thing I lost weight. Now you can carry me upstairs.’’ 
He: “Wait right here while I get a wheelbarrow.’’

• Accepting condolences at [email protected]


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