The other day I auditioned for a reality television show. Yes, of course, I'm aware of what an idiotic idea that was, but it paid $4,000 for six days work, and it's not like I had to eat bugs or sing. Besides, though I sent in a résumé and photo, I never expected them to call. But call they did, so off I toddled three days later.
While I haven't received official confirmation, I feel it's safe to say that you won't be seeing me on the boob tube anytime soon. I've already described the incident in excruciating detail on my blog (www.dategirl.net), but the thing that struck me most about this particular exercise in humiliation was how similar the audition compared to a lot of bad dates I've been on—awkward, mortifying, and embarrassing, and in the end, I didn't get laid.
As usual, when I learn a valuable lesson, I like to share the wealth. So here are a couple of items of interest that may aid you in your quest to find everlasting love (or just a few hours of horizontal high jinks).
If you're going to get hair removed, don't do it day of. I couldn't get hold of my hairdresser, so I touched up my roots myself and focused all my energies on my caterpillarlike eyebrows. They needed taming, and while I usually have them threaded, this time I decided to go to a fancy salon and get them waxed.
Lesson No. 1: Just because something costs three times what you normally pay doesn't mean it's not going to suck. What I lost in eyebrow hair, I gained in eyebrow scab. Thanks for burning my face, fancy salon!
Lesson No. 2: Dying your own blue-black roots can mean a neck and ears mottled with blue stains that will prove impossible to remove in the amount of time you have allotted.
Lesson No. 3: Showing up for anything—whether it's a date with a dude or a date with superstardom—with a blue neck and a giant scab on your face will seriously fuck with your confidence level.
Wear something comfortable. I know that if there's one thing Hollywood likes, it's a skinny dame. So in order to increase my odds at superstardom, I attempted to create the optical illusion of being 10 pounds thinner than I actually am (which still didn't render me skinny, but whatever). I did not resort to smoke and mirrors (too clunky to carry on the bus); instead, I poured myself into a restrictive garment designed for such purposes—the Spanx body-shaping garment. This thing "shapes" your body by confining and molding your flesh to its unyielding barriers. Wearing such a thing is uncomfortable to start with; wearing one on a sunny summer day is unbearable.
It reminded me of a miserable Supersuckers show I once attended—the band wasn't miserable (I love you, Eddie Spaghetti!), but I was because of my stilettos, which were every bit as painful as they were sexy.
Lesson No. 4: It is impossible to be charming when you are in excruciating pain.
Lesson No. 5: Unless you have a very unusual face, you probably don't look your best while grimacing.
Not every thought that flits through your brain bears broadcasting. I've never been one to keep my feelings to myself—this goes double if I'm uncomfortable. Though this is the exact wrong tact to take, I've often found myself disclosing highly inappropriate information at exactly the wrong time. Once I was out for cocktails with an attractive gentleman who was appalled when I announced that there would be no kissing as I had a honking new cold sore about to burst onto the scene. He hadn't noticed. Oops.
During my audition, I could think of nothing other than that my guts felt like they were twisted up like a pretzel. I imagined the people looking at me could see nothing but the festering scab above my eye, and so I reacted accordingly:
Interviewer: What do you feel embodies the American spirit?
Me: It's not fair that female writers have to be pretty and perky and skinny—we should just be allowed to stay home and not wear makeup. Nobody cares that Christopher Hitchens is a big fat gasbag.
Lesson No. 6: Silence actually can be golden.
Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.