There are two types of people in Hollywood. The people who other people want to know what they are wearing so designers give them free stuff to wear. And the people who no one cares about what they are wearing, so when they ask designers to give them free stuff to wear, the designers just stare at them blankly, then get back to dressing Lupita N’yongo.
We fall into the latter.
However, its not like we are sitting around doing NOTHING worthwhile in the entertainment business. We do have STUFF TO ATTEND. But to ATTEND STUFF, you have to WEAR STUFF. So what that looks like is us trudging wearily all over downtown Atlanta (where the cool people shop) searching for the perfect outfit for whatever premiere/screening/event we have to go to, trying to find something that makes us LOOK LIKE we are the type of people that people care what we are wearing when really we have found it, styled it, and put it on our own selves.
We are the Arya Stark of fashion. The family wears no one.
I am forever indebted to Catt Sadler of E! News. Mackenzie was 14 and walking on the biggest carpet I have ever seen for her tiny role in Hunger Games, in which she played the tribute from District 8. The dumb one who lit the fire and was killed by the careers? Anyway, when Catt called Mackenzie over, I was simultaneously thrilled that she ranked high enough to be noticed by E! News, and terrified that Catt would embarrass Mackenzie by asking who she was wearing, which was no one.
Kenz, ya looked gorgeous, but this was no Dolce and Gabbana. I saw Catt assess the dress in a quick glance and then simply say ,“Mackenzie, you look absolutely beautiful tonight! Did you enjoy working on this movie?” And that’s how I know that Catt is a kind person and I would like to send her a box of all her favorite things.
By the way that dress was never worn again. Why? Because once you are photographed at an event of any kind, the pictures will be all over the internet so when you say to your teen daughters, “Hey, I know, how about you wear one of THOSE dresses to your prom and save some money?”, they are all like, “Dad, you need to take mom to rehab because she is clearly addicted to crack. We do not repeat outfits. Like EVER.”
We are the Kaucasian Kardashians and I was not informed.
So when Matt was invited to the premiere of his next movie, Free State of Jones, I inwardly groaned. I was going to have to shop. And I would rather hang from a cliff by my eyelids than shop. I actually sent my daughters out by themselves to find their prom dresses, which is arguably one of the most important mom/daughter rites of passage there is, aside from shopping for their wedding dress. Oh God…..do they want me to go with them to shop for their wedding dress?
I am not a good mom.
Anyway, back to the Free State of Jones premiere which would not be FREE at all. We begin by entering a literal apocalypse of traffic to head down town ON A WEEKDAY. An hour and a half later, Matt is snarling at me for making him physically BE with me on this mission of doom rather than bringing him home choices to try on. He wants choices to try on, ya’ll. And then I can just return all the things that don’t meet with his approval, he says, because he is a millennial and doesn’t actually DO THINGS.
I need a sweet tea from Chick Fil A just to write about this. I’m feeling warm.
We follow our hour and a half of travel with two solid hours of walking into stores, staring listlessly around, and walking out. Too stupid. Too babyish. Matt is a fashion impossibility right now. He is 15 and ready to venture out into making more of a statement with his clothes, but his body is betraying him by being too small to make that happen. He’s sort of like Fashion Simba who is trying to roar like Fashion Mufasa, and Top Shop is Fashion Mufasa who just chuckles, pats him on the head, and says in a James Earl Jones voice, “Son. Journey to the nearest department store. There you’ll find what you seek. In the children’s section.” Then Fashion Simba snarls irritably and swipes his paws at the nearest family member.
In desperation, I begin texting my fellow stage mom friends like Shari Drucker, mom to Jason Drucker (newly minted star of Diary of a Wimpy Kid), and I say, “Hey! That looks cool! Where did you find THAT!?”
And she names all these great stores, not one of which is within the confines of Lennox Mall in Buckhead. Thanks Shari, that’s great. You’ve been such a help. So then I try my friend Beryt, mom of Joshua Rush (Andi Mack, Parental Guidance) and say, “HEY, where did you find THIS? This looks amazing!”
And she says really unhelpful words like, “Oh my husband handles all of his styling. I don’t know where they got that.” Thank you so much, Beryt. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to end our friendship now.
On to Christi Spink, who’s son Brandon was in Miracles from Heaven with me and looked ADORBS at the premiere. I facebook messaged her from my phone outside of Jamba Juice: WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS?? I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW??????? (I was shouting.)
Her reply. “Oh! We had some help with that one. A stylist sent it over!”
I took a moment to question my existence, and then:
Meanwhile, Fashion Simba has not hunted all day. He is famished because I “forgot to remind him to eat” (srsly?), which brings on the following exchange:
Me: You see!? This is what happens when you don’t eat. You cannot shop for an outfit that you absolutely HAVE TO FIND on THIS PARTICULAR DAY without fortifying yourself ahead of time.
Matt: Mom if you tell me I need to eat one more time I am going to turn into one of those ungrateful child actors who are entitled and treat their moms with utter derision.
Me: Happened an hour ago.
(5 minutes later)
Matt: Let’s go, I think I just need to eat.
I stare straight ahead and wish for Jesus’s return, because aside from the rapture occuring, we CAN’T GO. We have to walk out of this mall with a hang up bag over our arm. You cannot walk a red carpet entirely nude, Matt. You are not Shia LeBoeuf.
Finally, FINALLY thank you Jesus and all of his angels who did not defect, we find something that could work. From where? You guessed it. Macy’s. Which is also right at the nice little mall in my nice little suburb of Atlanta and would have saved us A LARGE QUANTITY OF TIME AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.
But I don’t even care because I love Macy’s right now! I watch its parade every Thanksgiving with avid attention and now Macy’s is returning the favor by providing me with a nice steel blue suit by Ralph Lauren who IS a designer after all, and it FITS! I am joyous, happy and free!
So Matt flies out to LA with Marc, because I just do all the work around here and don’t get to actually have the fun, and the night of I’m trying to dress him via text message and when I demand photos they do guy things like send me photos from the neck up. But from the neck up he looks good! I ensure that the second button of his shirt is movie star UN-buttoned, that he’s tucked in, and we are CARPET READY.
The Getty Images start pouring in. Fruit of labor realized. Matt looks put together. Handsome. And dressed. By someone. No one need know by who. If Catt were there, Matt could proudly say, “I’m wearing Ralph Lauren, of course.” Then Catt would smile indulgently. “Of course you are Matt, why wouldn’t Ralph want to dress you!” Back in Atlanta, Jesus and I look at one another, wink, and fold our arms across our chest in satisfaction. Somewhere in the distance, a lion roars.