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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mr. Doubtfire

This is one of my former weekly newspaper columns that ran back in February, 2006...

       "I feel pretty.
Oh, so pretty..."

Nope, no matter how many times I try singing that little Broadway number, I
don't think I'll convince myself, much less anyone else that this guy is anything even
close to attractive in a dress.

So why then am I wearing a dress, you might ask? Well, you can thank my
cousin, who has invited me to a Valentine's Day "theme" trivia party, based on popular
Hollywood movie characters.  Her inventive idea of a sense of humor was to invite me
over as Mrs. Doubtfire, the movie character made famous by Robin Williams.

Now, right off the hop I suppose I could have protested just a bit more, but after
stamping my feet and whining for several hours to no avail, I reluctantly rose to the
challenge. My one provision -  I would NOT, will NEVER shave off my mustache. I've
only done that once before, back when I also had a full beard, and regrettably somehow
failed to connect with the notion that the last few days of summer might not be the best
time of year to try sporting a clean-shaven look. Imagine my surprise after the removal,
glancing in the mirror, and discovering that the top half of my face was nicely tanned
from the summer sun; the bottom part looked like I had bobbed for apples in a tub of
talcum powder...

So, for this party, Mrs. Doubtfire would have to live with a furry lip warmer,
which for the record I did at least try to cover with makeup. The bigger challenge was the
costume itself. My wife owned no dress nearly as stretchy as some miracle fabrics claim
to be. I had to go out, in public, and buy one.

To purchase the dress, I drove until I found an out-of-the-way thrift shop in one of
the city suburbs (far enough away from my own neighborhood, almost Alberta actually),
entered, and casually perused a few selections in the plus-size rack. The older volunteer
salesclerk was clearly as uncomfortable as I was in the women's wear section, but she
eventually mustered up the courage to ask me if I needed any assistance. I smiled, and
said that I was picking up a gift for my mother, who just happened to be about my size.
To her credit, you could barely see her eyebrows rise...

We managed to select for "mother" a nice dress, comfortable shoes, and a
brassiere that I had to take the clerk's word for, regarding fit. Leaving the store I drove
back home, but felt a little like I was trying to smuggle opium into Utah. Obeying every
speed limit along the way, I was never before so happy to see the inside of my garage.

A wig and some makeup has completed my outfit. And now here I stand before a
full-length mirror; lime-green, flowered dress; a visible mustache, covered in runny
foundation; men's glasses; a five o'clock shadow. No matter how late it is, at any bar in
the world, this gal won't be looking any better at closing time. I must remember to
properly thank my cousin, when I see her...
"I feel pretty..."


Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Oh wow. I remember the column and I have a picture that forever captured how great a Mrs. Doubtfire you were. A wonderful tribute to Robin Williams. What a shame.

ThatDanGuy said...

Unreal for sure...