Wheaton’s Way

With some colourful events under my belt in recent days, and CayMAS coming up this weekend, I have been trying not to wear so much black all the time.

I’ve always liked dark clothing – I think I’m a bit of a goth at heart, but beyond that, you can spill almost anything on it and the stain won’t show. Black outfits should be worn by the clumsy, and I include myself in that group.

I marvel at women who are constantly elegant – able to wear white silk to a dinner celebrating all-things meatballs, and leaving with nary a mark upon them. I’m one of those people who ends up with lettuce in her teeth, yet hasn’t been anywhere near a leafy green.

Speaking of elegance, if you’ve never ridden in a limousine, here’s something you may not know: It is nigh-on impossible to exit one with any kind of class. I don’t know how celebrities do it. There must be lessons they take… months of training, which covers everything from emerging in style while not resembling a drunken praying mantis, to avoiding bashing your head on the door frame. In the few times I’ve taken a journey in one, it’s always looked like I’m being birthed by the car as I shuffle, slide and pour out of it, legs akimbo.

“It’s a girl!”

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Anyway, I’m getting off-topic here. Back to the fascinating stories of my wardrobe and Vicki’s slow transition from ‘Godfather’ widow to butterfly.

Last week Thursday, best friend Lynne and I were invited to a soirée at Next Door bar, adjacent to Agua in Camana Bay. This was to give some friends and family a sneak peek of the venue before it officially opened to the public.

I pranced into my closet and instinctively reached for a black velvet top and black boots, along with my present faves – black PVC leggings. I feel very Sandy-at-the-end-of-‘Grease’ in those leggings, in that they look poured on, even though Olivia Newton-John was a size -2 back then.

As I was about to grab the shoehorn and vaseline to get them on, I stopped. This was supposed to be celebrating the opening of a bar, the birth of a new venture. I shouldn’t be dressing up like I was attending its funeral.

Pivoting on my heel, I turned towards the few white items I owned. Buying them had become a necessity. White parties seem to be popping up all over the island and, as I’m not Cher, I don’t feel I can march through the door in a vibrant Bob Mackie costume, deliberately flaunting the rules.

As I donned my white pants and shirt, I discovered another reason I like black clothes: They are kinder to body wobbles. When you’re in white, the fat has nowhere to hide, and I was muffin-topping in those pants.

One Spanx-like undergarment and a lot of pulling and adjusting later, I was ready to go, slightly unstable in gold sequined wedges.

The evening at Next Door was fantastic. It had a very speakeasy feel about it with soft lighting and ambient jazz. We bumped into many people we knew, with at least four of them boggling that I wasn’t in black.

I did manage to spill a small amount of cocktail on myself, as well as a hint of tuna tartare, but beyond that, the outfit escaped relatively unscathed. It probably helped that we left before I decided to indulge in some impromptu dancing, as mincing steps in those wedges was about all I could muster. The Charleston would have wreaked untold havoc.

Buoyed by my public appearance in something Robert Smith from The Cure wouldn’t be caught dead in, I set about preparing for my next event: Gay Pride.

I had been asked to emcee the party at Palm Heights on Saturday, and beyond the fact that black clothing in that heat would have put me in the ICU, let’s face it – if one is going to wear colour, Gay Pride is the day for it.

That being said, I wasn’t finding many rainbow tones on my hangers. What to do?

It came to me at 2am: I could wear my big feathered carnival backpack! I was so excited at the notion that by 2:07 I was walking around in my bedroom, sporting a huge rainbow hitched onto my pyjamas, taking care to avoid the ceiling fan.

Of course, trying it out in an empty room was one thing, but putting it into practice with crowds was quite another. I’d never actually participated in carnival, so I had no idea what it was like to manoeuvre with something that size attached to my person.

I wore a white top and skirt (killin’ it now!) with a red bustier, the backpack and rainbow-hued fuzzy slippers when I rocked up to Palm Heights. Everyone was already there from the earlier parade and the atmosphere was amazing. I immediately had to turn sideways and edge my way through the crowd, still managing to poke, jab and temporarily blind people in my wake. I was a walking hazard.

Thankfully there was space by the main stage, so I tended to keep to that area, only venturing out when it was absolutely necessary. Getting up the steps to the microphone was interesting, but I’m happy to report that I didn’t fall over once.

That afternoon was some of the best fun I’ve had in a long time. Attendees were celebrating, the speeches were moving, and the entertainment was fantastic. If you’ve seen pictures of Governor Martyn Roper speaking to the crowd, I’m the peacock back and to the right behind him.

Near the end of the evening, the Miss Delicious drag act performed and beckoned me to come up and dance with her. I’ve since seen the videos and all I’ll say is I have no idea what I’m doing with my hands when I’m boogeying, but I need to curb that habit immediately.

We got home around 10pm, sweaty but happy. I peeled the outfit off and the backpack was hung up for a well-deserved break.

After going outside my comfort zone for the past week, clothes-wise, I think I’ll try to continue the trend. There’s no way I’m giving up my beloved black entirely, but I’m willing to mix it up a bit.

That said, it was when I went to do the laundry that I realised another reason I love solely wearing one hue. Who has time to separate colours?

Guess I’m starting a Morticia Addams mas band. (Snap, snap.)

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