I remember this television commercial from back in the late nineties. It was an ad for Caress Lotion and featured a woman getting ready to leave her apartment. As she gets to the door, the footage stops on a frame and begins to roll backwards. You see her begin to undress, starting with her shoes, followed by her jacket, her trousers, her blouse, and her ‘lacy underwear’. She then of course puts on the lotion and the footage fast forwards as she replaces the clothing on her person and smiles at the camera before departing.
I’m not going to lie, this ad captured my imagination. I would literally channel surf, looking for this commercial. These are the kinds of hoops we would jump through before the internet, kids! I tried to talk about this ad to a friend years ago and all they thought I was describing was my adolescent spank bank material. *eyeroll*
So why did I go to the detail of describing this ad? Because this was one of those moments for me that exposed something I desperately longed for. I caught a glimpse of this ritual of a woman preparing to face the world. As ridiculous as it sounds, I found it beautiful. I truly got wrapped up in the story of this woman. Why did she choose those clothes? What other things did she do to prepare for the day? Where was she going? It connected to a deep desire that I had to have my own special rituals, but at the time, that was an impossibility. I didn’t have the privacy, the grooming products or especially the clothes to have such a ritual. All I could do was day dream and wonder.
It wouldn’t be until my mid twenties when a combination of all three of these elements would finally come together for me. Even then though, I would often get frustrated and depressed with my lack of knowledge and experience with such things. I was a newbie and a confused one at that. For the longest time, it felt like I was never going to have the experience I was hoping for. What experience was that? That ritual for me was about being the person I wanted to be and being confident in my identity. I guess I thought there was going to be some perfect, magical experience, like a glass slipper, that was going to change my life.
Back in reality, life doesn’t actually work that way. In fact, it took me years to learn the proper application of makeup and how to dress myself. I can’t even tell you how many nylons were laddered in the last few years. At points along the way though, experience took hold. It was small victories down the path that helped shape me into the person I wanted to become. Without them, I don’t see how that vision would have ever been achieved.
This brings us up to what’s currently happening in my life and it connects into the photos I posted for this weeks entry. As I was getting ready for this session, I had a couple of glasses of wine before I got ready. My clothing was laid out on the bed, my makeup was ready in the bathroom and I had a nice downbeat song playing in the background. Taking stock of everything around me, it reminded me of the commercial I spoke about above. It dawned on me that somewhere along the way, I found my ritual. That realization took me aback. I couldn’t help but smile as I began to get ready. Every step along the way from putting on makeup, doing my hair, slipping on my nylons and heels and finally the donning dress – it was electric. It’s a euphoric feeling that I never had experienced before. Gazing at myself in the mirror, I could clearly see that I was no longer chasing this idea of who I wanted to be, because I now was that person.
My story is far from over though and I have definitely written enough here. I shall be back next week to share more of what is happening in my life and the adventures I will set off on. Until then…
Escape The Ordinary,