Chapter 6: The Red Lip - A Sexy Moment
I am a mum of three amazing boys, but also many other things. I am a restaurant owner. I am a chef. I am a vegetarian. I am a divorcee. I am a woman. Being a single mum and a small business owner means I often forget the other parts of myself. As the only woman in my house, I spend more time playing with Legos than styling my hair. Not that I don’t like to dress up and feel beautiful. I just can’t remember the last time I had a good reason to put a little more effort into my appearance.
Which is why I am freaking out a little about my blind date tonight. My friend Anna is setting me up with a single dad, Simon. All I know is that he is a widower with a daughter who plays on the same football team as Anna’s twins. Anna is a fashion designer, so naturally, she has already asked me several times what I’m planning on wearing. She suggested a casual black dress and simple heels, but for me wearing heels never feels simple. I put off my decision until Thursday, the night before my date when I slipped on (ok squeezed into) my go-to date night dress. It was a bit snugger than when I wore it last. I realized with horror the last time I wore it would have been on a date with my ex, and we’d already been divorced for 4 years. I can’t wear it. It’s for the best, it would probably only bring negative energy.
Trying to manage my panic, I texted Anna asking if she could style me before the date. My panic intensified when she reminded me she was out of town for the weekend with her family. I decided to try some local shops tomorrow after the lunch rush at my restaurant. A large party arrived late in the afternoon and I knew it would be a miracle if I found time to go shopping. When the last customers were leaving, it was already time to pick up the boys from school. After I dropped them off at their dad’s and negotiated our co-parenting schedule for the following week, I had only 1 hour to get ready for my date.
I considered canceling. What was I thinking going on a first date? I didn’t even know how to date anymore. I wasn’t exactly a great catch with my packed schedule, 3 kids, and a temperamental relationship with my ex. Maybe I should save us both the effort and tell him I can’t make it. But then I thought of Anna who had gone through so much effort to set us up and had already sent me lots of excited texts. I decided I would go for just one drink.
I put on the black dress again and looked in the mirror as uneasiness set in. I didn’t look my best, and it didn’t feel like me. The woman who bought this dress thought a sexy date night would salvage a failing marriage. Now, I was single but happier and a better mum. Since I last wore this dress, I’ve taken a chance on myself and opened a successful vegetarian restaurant. The uniform of the new me wasn’t tight dresses, but jeans and button-downs. Timeless and casual, the uniform of a woman who is managing her own business by day and winning Nerf gun battles by night. So I put on my favorite jeans, a white button-down shirt, booties, and my Jackie Brown Wool Coat. I searched for my keys in the bottom of my bag and found them next to my vegan lipstick in bright red, called “Hot Mama.” Before I had time to second guess myself, I put it on. No matter what happened tonight, I was proud of myself for taking a chance again on love. I felt sexy with a red lip, but most of all for being my authentic self.