I hope you all enjoyed Part 1! As you can see we were having a pretty good time.
I’m going to go on a quick diversion for a minute. The Parker was also the site of one of my favorite episodes of television “Valerie Relaxes In Palm Springs”. If you don’t know The Comeback, and especially this episode, watch it now. No seriously, right now. I’ll wait.
Are you done? SO GOOD RIGHT?! In this episode, everyone’s favorite underdog Valerie Cherish (played by my hero Lisa Kudrow) heads to the desert to get away from the stress of her failing TV show (been there, done that). While there, she reconnects with an old acquaintance that recently fought breast cancer (been THERE, DOING that!) and now has a brassier and more frank attitude toward life. Valerie, who’s main character flaw is her need to control everything, is majorly uncomfortable with her friend’s ballsy new outlook. In a touching scene, her friend plainly and poignantly says to Valerie, “You have to stop worrying so much about what people think. You gotta love yourself, warts and all.”
I bring this up for several reasons. 1. I take any chance I get to proselytize about the genius that is The Comeback 2. Even before cancer was a part of my life, this scene challenged and excited me. The marked difference between a woman who gripped tightly to the way people looked at her (who I have been at times) and a woman who let a traumatic experience set her free (who I want to be) was never more clearly illustrated than at that moment. Finally, 3. We were at the exact hotel and location where this scene was shot and coincidentally, I ended up needing this advice a little during our trip.
I have always loved to experiment with fashion. Even as a young kid I had the purple Dr. Martens instead of the black ones. Sure, that meant getting teased a bit for not blending in, but good fashion thrives on a touch of rebellion. However, we all know that no matter how free we want to think we are, there’s a limit to how “out there” we are willing to go. And I reached mine.
THE BATHING BEAUTY
I had so much fun dreaming up all these looks for the weekend. Different eras, different wigs, different uses for thing I already had. One of the challenges was finding ways to cover my head enough to shield it from the sun without getting too hot in the process. Then while perusing some stores, I found a lavender 1920’s style bathing suit at TopShop on sale for $20 and I took it as a sign. I was going full bathing beauty! I ordered a vintage bathing cap from an adorable shop on Etsy and couldn’t wait to display the result.
Turns out it’s all fun and games until you actually have to WEAR the bathing cap at the pool in front of 40 or so hot young things. A wave of anxiety hit the back of my neck like a baseball bat. Everyone is looking at me. I probably look stupid. Is everyone wondering who this weirdo is? The thoughts rattled on and on. Then, just in the nick of time, my brain latched on to Valerie Cherish. You have to stop worrying so much about what people think. You gotta love yourself, warts and all. Tumor and all. Baldness and all. Bathing cap and all. This is what cancer and this blog is teaching me. Change is mightily uncomfortable sometimes but if you can allow yourself to stop caring so much, you can actually have a ton of fun. My shoulders melted back down to their original position and I dove into the cool water with renewed gusto.
My new found ability to embrace my look came in handy on our next pool trip. I wanted the feeling of a 70’s era yacht princess. Lots of gold and lots of skin. Luckily, skin is something I have even more of these days! It was time to step out with some baldness. I actually found this much easier both practically and emotionally than I expected. It was cool and comfortable and I owned it. I loaded up on the sunscreen but also added the hat to be extra careful. Side note: this suit is from Target which is my favorite place for suit shopping. They have a year round selection and their stuff is as cute as it is cheap. The body bracelet is Forever 21 and I am totally obsessed with it.
EVERYTHING’S COMING UP DAISIES
For my last outfit I wanted to give in to my surroundings. Everything is so 60’s on the grounds of the hotel. The vibe is like a trippier Brady Bunch: indoor fire pits, wicker chair swings suspended from the ceiling, bright oranges and pinks everywhere. So I attempted my best Marcia. I kept the hat from before and added the long wig which had been waiting for its public debut. For the face, I drew a wing tip with my eyeliner, glued on some lashes and used a matte lip for that hippie touch.
I already owned this daisy romper but hadn’t busted it out yet. I’m so glad I waited! It perfectly completed my love child look.
Once dinner was over it was sadly time to pack up everything and go home. Our skin was a little tanner and my head was a little higher. I had unleashed a hidden femme fatale and quieted some demons. Sometimes a weekend in the desert is exactly what you need to get your head on straight. Just ask Valerie Cherish.
All photos by Peter!
Color correction and editing: Adam Deen. adamthomasdeen.tumblr.com