The editorial staff at Real Simple is always searching for real women to feature in their magazine. You know, a group of friends who travel together every year, a woman who needs help organizing her closet, women who change their hair color frequently and so on. When I get these search queries, I often pass them on to women I know who might enjoy them. (Email me if you want me to add you to the list—it’s now my goal to get all my friends and family in Real Simple!)
The message that will find me in the pages* of Real Simple had to do with women meeting with friends to play games, something I love. At my previous job, I worked with some bright, interesting people whose company I enjoyed. Being the wordy types (we were in the COMMUNICATIONS office, after all), we passed around a fantastic book, Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players by WSJ sports reporter Stefan Fatsis. I challenge you to read this book and NOT play Scrabble. It’s that compelling. Seriously. Click on the photo to read more.
Well, for those of you that play, you know how addictive Scrabble can be, and we began playing a few times a week. Several years later, the core group of Scrabblers work in different places, so we play online as life allows.
So Real Simple decided to pick us, along with four other groups of women, to talk about the joys of growing friendships through playing games. We’ll net about 300 words of the 10-page feature, which is about the length of this post so far. They took photos of each of us, but instead of shooting us together, they wanted to play up the online element of the story, so we were each photographed at home with our computers.
THUS the hot rollers:
The Good Parts:
1. On a separate day, I got a free haircut by, as my Scrabble friend Karen put it, the Jose Eber of my town, who was SO NICE.
2. The stylist and makeup artist CAME TO MY HOUSE and did my hair and makeup, right there in my kitchen. IN MY HOUSE.
3. The weather was dry, and I didn’t have to worry about the curly halo. In fact, my hair stylist said, “Your hair is behaving MUCH better today.” (It had been raining when he did my haircut, and he had visibly winced at the frizz factor when he started blow drying it.)
4. My friend Crista loaned me tons of cute clothing items to choose from and came and took pictures. Her mom loaned me her laptop.
5. The photographer and his assistant were really nice and it went quickly. Plus we shot outside. (Still nice to have a clean house, anyway!)
The Not-So-Good Parts
Well, it would have been more fun to be photographed WITH my friends, plus I know we would have figured out a way to sneak in a game!
Other than that, the photo editor at Real Simple had asked us to choose several outfits and have them ironed (!) and ready to go. The photographer would make the final choice that day. She advised lots of color and/or small prints, summery, fun, casual, sundresses, capris, etc. Whee!
Monday morning dawned, and I was ready.
Six outfits laid out on the couch? Check.
I showered, and threw on a long, flowing skirt and, at the request of my hair stylist, a wrinkled white button down shirt (to protect THE HAIR). Since it wasn’t part of my carefully crafted collection of outfits, I just pulled the shirt out of the dry cleaning pile. I sat patiently and got my hair and makeup done and dispatched the photographer into the living room to choose my outfit.
He comes back into the kitchen, looks me up and down, and says, “I think I like you best in this. It’s really natural.”
Did I mention I was wearing a wrinkled shirt HEADED FOR THE DRY CLEANERS?
And NO SHOES?
And a FLOWY LONG SKIRT WITH NO COLOR?
I thought so.
And that, my friends, is how I came to be wearing my dirty laundry while being photographed for a national magazine.
( I did convince him to let me wear sandals and change my shirt halfway thru the shoot, but who knows what they will use, plus, you should SEE THE WEEDS BEHIND ME. If this photo was bigger, you would. Argh.)
*Coming to a newsstand near you in August, 2007.