Well, I Was A “Star”

There are days when you just look your best. Most women I know can point to just a few times when the stars are aligned – when we are simply movie star beautiful. Every hair is in place (or perfectly out of place). The dress hangs just so; the pearls, even though fake, hang at just the right length. The dress accentuates the right things and hides the imperfections.

Perfect. Stunning. Memorable.

I had a new dress to wear that spring day in 1984 . I had waited to wear it until I needed the perfect combination of professional and sexy.  This was it.

A meeting with clients in my DC office. Lunch with an old friend. A date.

So on that Friday morning I put my new dress on. After all my health problems and surgeries, I was finally looking pretty damn good again.  But this was my best.  And I knew it instantly.  I would remember this day.  Unusually, I primped in front of the mirror.  Everything looked perfect.

The dress was black, with three-quarter sleeves. It hung straight at the sides with just the hint of a curve at my waist. The six-inch white stripe down the center added a little bit of elegance to the dress, and to me.

My shoes, slightly professional black pumps with two-inch heels, worked. The pearl necklace – yup a perfect accessory.

My curly reddish-blond hair was swept back into a French braid, but wisps of curls invariably straggled out, softening the lines around my face.

I looked like a movie star. At least as good as Marilyn.

Google Image

Google Image

Or Audrey

Google again

Google again

Or Eva

Eva Marie Saint

Heads turned towards me as I walked to the metro. A man offered me his seat and then flirted with me until I got off. More heads turned as I walked the two blocks to work.

My office was at the end of the hall, and I passed my colleagues.

“Wow, Elyse!”

“You look great.”

“Nice dress!”

“Got a date tonight?”

With each compliment, each appreciative look, I preened just a bit more. Smiled a little bit more. Walked a little taller. I couldn’t help it.  I looked gorgeous!

When I arrived at my doorway, I turned to go in.  I looked back down the hall feeling as if I’d gotten off the runway at the Paris fashion show.

Ed, the lawyer who sat in the office across from mine, got up from his desk to see me.

“Elyse!” Ed said. “Wow!  You look like a movie star!  You look just like Pepe Le Pew!

Le Google

Le Google


See?  I was a star.  And a star’s a star.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Criminal Activity, Fashion, History, Huh?, Humor

82 responses to “Well, I Was A “Star”

  1. You are still a star. Always. <3 <3 <3

  2. When you feel that good, even Pepe le Peuw couldn’t bring you down!

  3. Was that in reference to a “tail” of white toilet paper clinging to your shoe?

    • Nope. No TP (this time). The dress had a verticle white stripe down the front so it really did look rather, ummm, skunk-like. In an incredibly elegant way, though.

  4. Pepe Le Pew? Damn … Ed is one heck of a guy for kind words.

  5. Man of man, it’s been a while since I had a reaction like that. I guess I should clean up every now and then, but it would take a lot to reach movie star status.

    • Well, Barb, this happened 30 years ago, so … I would not be confused with any movie stars today. Except Kathy Bates and maybe Roseann Barr … which is pretty sad if you ask me.

      But back then? I had a moment or two.

  6. You are now and will always be a star in my book!! I would have hidden an open jar of pickled herring in his office, on a hot day for at least the entire day.

    • Val you are a gem! The thing is that I am sure that I had give Ed every reason to bring me down a peg or two … that’s how we interacted. He’s a good guy, Ed. I should have added that to the post. Or maybe I just didn’t because I could get away with it.

      I think I need to let Ed know about this post …

  7. You have to be grateful to him for this great story. :)

    • I agree — he is a good guy and he cracks/cracked me up! And you know, whenever I think I look good, I check to make sure that I don’t look as good as Pepe!

  8. Great punch line! (I think we all need a friend like Ed in our life at one time or other, eh?!) But from your description, the movie star images are a good reflection of how you felt and looked that day! :)

  9. Snoring Dog Studio

    That was a hilarious comment! Sometimes we all need a wit around to bring us back to reality. Not that you didn’t look gorgeous, but I’m thankful for people who keep me from getting a big head.

    • My head was very much deflated by this comment, have no fear! But Ed is a good guy. I should have made that more clear in the post … Oh well. Ed doesn’t read my blog. Yet!

  10. Hahaha! What a funny arse, that man. Nothing like someone’s quick wit to knock you down a few notches ;)

  11. Luanne

    OH MY GOOD GRIEF. Hahahaha, I never saw it coming! What a jerk!!!

    • Noooooo. Poor Ed. He was just being funny. And that was the basis of our friendship — we insulted each other. Had he said something nice, well, I wouldn’t have known what to do.

  12. Twindaddy

    Ed sure knows how to please the ladies, it seems.

  13. My guess is that every single time since that day, when you’ve looked in the mirror and thought to yourself that today was going to be one of those smokin’ hot days, you couldn’t help but remember Ed’s comment, and despite your sexy, you had to smile a tiny bit. Cute story. Almost as cute as you. :-)

    • You’re absolutely right — I have that line in mind whenever I start getting a swelled head. But that doesn’t happen too often any more. I look like I’ve been sick for 40 years… And hardly even like Pepe!

  14. Awwww, I feel your pain. I was waiting for you to say that the price tag was hanging off the dress (that happened to me at a job interview) or toilet paper was trailing on your shoe heel. :) Glad to read that the dude was your friend but I still would have clobbered him. Cheers!

    • Nope. No price tag. No TP. A totally Ed-made disaster! And I assure you that Ed got as good as he gave! We had a lot of fun insulting each other over the years.

  15. I didn’t see that ending coming! Great and funny story, my friend!

  16. Brilliant. You gotta love people like Ed. If nothing else, they give us good story fodder!

  17. He didn’t say “smell like Pepe Le Pee”, or “act like PLP”. He say you look like PLP, and he’s a pretty cute cartoon animal as far as the looks go.
    Did you know that people actually keep skunks as pets? (after removing their smell gland, of course).

    • Actually, Ed said exactly what he wanted to say — and it was a clever zinger. But I don’t/didn’t hold it against him — it was hilarious and well timed. I am happy to be a target to clever insults, and Ed and I sparred all the time. He’s a good guy.

      And I think skunks are pretty cute. I just don’t want to wear one!

      My dad had skunk story. He was riding his bicycle and rounded a curve. There was a skunk right in the middle of the road. “It looked me in the eye,” Dad said, “and then it pointed that tail at me and P.U. My mother made me bury my clothes.”

  18. Everyone needs an Ed to keep us humble. happen to think Pepe Le Pew was a very attractive star. One of my favourites. He could have at least said, “A female Pepe Le Pew” or even “Pepe Le Pew’s Girlfriend”. She was adorable with big, big eyes and she was really a cat with a white stripe painted down her back so there was no odour implied. I know you looked stunning and I suspect that happens more often than you let on.

    • Ed was very good at making me feel humble — except when I nailed HIM with a clever insult, and then, of course, I was, ummmmm, less than humble!

      It was a great dress, Michelle. Wish I still had it. Wish I still fit in it …

  19. I am certain, based on your description, you looked fabulous! There is nothing more attractive than when a woman feels attractive! Pepe was French after all…perhaps Ed just could find the words for chic!

  20. Paul

    That’s hilarious Elyse. It is amazing how the rare time you KNOW you look pefect or have done something perfect – like throwing a bowling ball and as soon as it leaves our hand you know it’s a strike. You can turn and walk back to your seat and not even need to watch – it is just perfect. With all the variables in our lives and in time, you wouldn’t think we would ever get that feeling – that perfection would be approached asymptotically and never reached.

    Believe it or not, I had a friend – Elroy – who was just like Ed. He could leave people speechless so fast you couldn’t see it coming. I could amuse myself just hanging out with him for a day. We were both contractors with our own tractor-trailers leased to an American company. The owner of the comany – Dale – was the son of the man who started it. Dale was, how shall I say?, meticulous and proud of his looks. He was “tres fashionable” in a quirky way and you could never know if he would be wearing a cape or using a walking stick or dressed in 1800’s formal wear or whatever. One day, Elroy and I were, running (trucking) together and pulled into the head office terminal. It happened to be a warm day and Dale was walking across the yard. He had, for the years I had known him, a bushy red beard, a moustache, bushy eyebrows and long red hair. This day his head was shaven completely cean – no hair no moustache, no eyebrows, no beard, and his skull was polished. He saw us coming and walked over in our direction. AS he walked up Elroy appraised the situation and drawled: “You know, the last time I saw something that looked like that, there was piss coming out the end of it.”

    • That is brilliant. What a hilarious line! Although, I’m hoping that the two of them got along so that it didn’t start a feud! You should post that — it’s a good story.

  21. My wife got me with a little black dress. It was a man trap. I was helpless.

  22. Dan

    At least you could take comfort that the guy across was not your date for the night.

  23. Eva

    To look great and smell bad is a quite a feat.

  24. 1jaded1

    Odor l’Ed…pew…Great story though.

  25. Hmm, guess I’ll give Ed the benefit of the doubt and assume he finds skunks very sexy, and such a comparison was his highest form of praise. If not, then Ed should be seen, not heard, when it comes to fashion. I bet you were (and are) gorgeous. Funny though, I imagined you as a brunette. :)

    • I don’t know Ed’s feelings towards skunks, but he is one funny, funny guy with a great sense of timing. And I loved that dress — but I couldn’t help laughing whenever I wore it.

      Nope, not a brunette. Reddish blond, very curly — very Irish. Somewhat like Maureen O’Hara. When I visited Ireland, I kept seeing my hair on other people’s heads!

  26. Ed was either a bubble -popper or that good friend who kept you grounded. Funny, nonetheless.

    • He was a little of both, actually. I think back on this and laugh. Ed’s a good guy, a fact I conveniently left out of the story, After all, it’s MY story!

  27. If I’m ever an Ed, I hope someone calls me on it on the spot… wow, soooo smoothe. I’m glad based on comments above that you’re still buds.

    Great build up Elyse, didn’t know where you were going with this. For the record, I have to say that I find Pepe le Pew fairly attractive and debonaire, at least for a cartoon skunk.

    • For literary purposes, I did leave out the fact that Ed and I had been verbally sparring for years. This was, however, the best of the best of Ed’s insults. I still laugh upon hearing it. I’m pretty sure that Ed wouldn’t have ever said such a thing to me if he thought I might be hurt, or not think it was funny. And it WAS FUNNY! It still is, 20 years later. Oops. 30. Shit.

  28. What?!? No way! He stinks!!

  29. Ha! Who needs enemies when you have friends like that?
    I bet you look movie star quality every day of the week.
    Except when gardening.
    No one looks good gardening.

  30. He could have at least added a Pepe LePew line “VIVE LE DIFFERENCE!!”
    I have no doubt. Your words convinced me. You looked ravishing.

  31. Hilarious! I love it! Oh, BTW, I was in Cambridge the exact same years as you were. So did you study at HLS? Maybe you knew my ex…He graduated in 1979. Was a member of Lincoln’s Inn Society.

    • Thanks, Cathy.

      What a fun coincidence. I didn’t attend HLS, I worked there, and I am one of the few people who really had fun there. But I doubt I knew your husband — he was married! I worked for the Board of Student Advisors and for a couple of profs”. And I was very involved in the Law School Show. Lincoln’s Inn always threw us a cast party, so we might have met. Still a funny coincidence to have met in the ‘sphere!

  32. Let me guess – Ed’s divorced now, isn’t he?

Play nice, please.

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