I was on my way to New York City to meet a stranger. Well, not a complete stranger.
A guy that I had met at Ristorante Bolognese in Rome, Italy—a last minute trip that was thrown at me a week after I got my breast implants.
What the fuck was I thinking?
I was dressed in my usual go-to outfit: tight jeans ($9.99 from Winners discount store), a white tank top (from Loblaws grocery store, $2.99), my grandmother’s gold jewellery wrapped around my neck like wreaths on a Christmas tree (priceless),[RP2] and a $900 pair of boots from BCBG, a present from “a friend.” These boots were amazing—beautiful soft calf leather with sparkly gold insides. I wore them everywhere. They had just enough of a heel to get me feeling better about my near-midget size. I had my hair in a high ponytail, with some added extensions for length. I thought the addition of hair might give me an edge.
An edge for what? Who knows.
I was waiting on the security line prior to the gate. As I inched nearer and nearer, I noticed everyone taking off their shoes. Crap. This was only a few years after 9/11, and security measures were still random depending on the airport you went to. I wasn’t trying to sneak in anything, but was more reluctant to take off my boots because I had pulled my mismatched sport socks up over my jeans to prevent them from riding up out of my $900 boots. This was pretty much the story of my life: on the outside, a bangin’ hot body (or so I was told) that strutted around like it had the world in its palm. But it was just a cover; on the inside, underneath the extensions and fake nails, I was a mess, my life holding on by a few mismatched threads. I was petrified of being exposed. Exposing the real me was my biggest fear. Why? Because I couldn’t be myself, because then, no one would love me.
Alas, I jump twenty-seven years too far in my story. I will get back to that trip in a bit, oh yes—the time I spent a few days in the presidential suite at the Waldorf Astoria, one of the many things I did in my life that I spent years regretting, and the many years I spent chasing happiness by trying to perfect my appearance.
That was me, before me.