What did it mean to be sexy, not cute? I was still learning with help from the Man of Mystery, but just when I thought he had it all wrong, a text message proved otherwise. Maybe, just maybe, we were both on to something.
On Tuesday morning, I called the Man of Mystery and told him I needed a versatile outfit that would not only look great while I worked the Tribute to James Cameron, but also one that I could wear well when I left the office and met with Chris in Century City, after he was finished at the firm.
I pulled out a 60s-style cocktail dress; a mosaic of brown and black squares plastered across the front and back. I took a picture of it and sent the text.
Man of Mystery responded.
“Unless you’re going to church or a funeral, take that off. You look like a cute, composed girl and it’s um, how do you say, BORING. Makes you look frumpy.”
Frumpy! Seriously? Boring! Go to Hell. No, listen Rip. Listen to him. He may be on to something. But I paid big bucks for that dress that he dissed in a matter of seconds. What does he know anyway? He’s a slore. Okay, those are fighting words. STOP.
I took a breath, shut off the internal dialogue and responded.
“Well what do you suggest?”
We started with a pair of black leggings. Pulled them up to my waist. Took down a black dress that greeted my thighs halfway. My feet slid into a pair of grey, suede BCBG boots that have a small heel on them. I wrapped a black belt with a silver buckle right below my breasts and carried a black and grey snake print blazer in my hands. Straightened my hair, threw on my hoops, squeezed some black bangles on my right wrist, a silver watch on my left, dismissed my glasses for recess, played with some makeup and ta-da. SEXY. Sexy? Seeeeexxaaayy. Yes, sexy. Not cute? Cute! Cute…Cute with edge? No, not cute. Sexy. Not trashy, but inviting. Not cold.
I jumped into the mute T100, made a right on Wilshire, a left on Santa Monica Blvd. and not before long, I slammed on my breaks. What the—
Deep breath. I made a left on Canon Drive. Drove all the way down to Sunset, but didn’t get far before I slammed the breaks again. Screeeeeechhhh.
I spotted one, two, three policemen. They surrounded Beverly Hills, circled the area below, while the chopper circled above.
Was he here? The president? Obama. Yes, of course it had to be him why he was at The House of Blues the night before. How do I look? Cute? Sexy?
I sat tightly in my jank— I mean gorgeous truck and asked myself these questions in the rearview mirror. I was already late for work and warned that I couldn’t go anywhere until Mr. President passed through so I was in no hurry, especially since I had a long day ahead of me that could end tumultuously with Chris.
I parked the truck on the street and got out. Walked to the corner and looked out at Sunset. No barricades before me. The policeman opened his mouth. I cringed. What did I possibly do wrong now? Sure, I disregarded the red light ticket in the mail a few weeks ago, but that was after I read how the City of Los Angeles couldn’t effectively enforce them, so could he have run my license plate?
I’m gonna die if I get another ticket, I thought.
I pretended like I didn’t hear him. I turned around to walk towards my white vehicle and I was almost to the door when he said:
“Hi ooo-ffff-icer,” I stammered.
“Well hello…just wanted to tell you those are some boots you have there.”
What? Is he serious? Who talks about boots on a Tuesday morning at 9 AM? He’s worse than the Man of Mystery and his opening sets.
This guy was cute, but he was just being a protector of the law, I assured myself. Simply complementing my boots.
Does that mean I look more than just cute?
I smiled and asked him if I could walk to the side of the street even though there weren’t any barricades between Sunset and I.
Twenty minutes later, the Presidential Motorcade zoomed by. It was surreal. One of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed, just like a scene out of Air Force One. Agh, I did rock the boots and now I stood on the corner, waving relentlessly to the black entourage of cars, wondering if somewhere, somehow, Obama was looking out. Out at my boots, the boots that had come to embody my warmness.
Maybe Man of Mystery was right. This outfit was sexy, not cute.
I continued on to work, entered my office and looked out at Sunset below. So much had happened this morning and there was still more on it’s way.
I headed down to the lobby at 5:30 PM, checked over the guest list and once the clock struck seven, I found a red, suede seat in the back of the theatre. Jon Favreau and Josh McLaglen sat with the man of the hour, James Cameron. My heart could no longer go on.
This day couldn’t get any better. According to Man of Mystery, I looked sexy. I watched Obama buzz by and now my eyes welled at the realization that the man who made one of my favorite films of all times, who I had quoted repeatedly and reenacted the scene with Jack Dawson and Rose, was sitting on stage talking about his craft. His life.
And what he said about Titanic, I’ll never forget. He said once you took away all of the visual effects and cranes, it was the story and relationship between Jack and Rose that the viewer was after and if as a director he allowed the movie to emotionally peak before it was prepared to do so, there wouldn’t be anything to drive the characters and have the audience feel what it did in 1997 when the film debuted.
Jack. Chris. Rose. Me.
Man of Mystery, cute I was. Sexy I will be and I see that you were right. The red light flashed on the Blackberry. An unopened envelope awaiting the touch of my finger.
“Great outfit 2nite btw.”
Ha. We were still afloat. Chris and I. But somewhere beneath the calm waters were the currents of our hearts wanting more than friendship?
Stay tuned next week for more of Rippin’s The Man of Mystery on Brown Girl. Until then check out the therippinblog.com and the official Man of Mystery facebook page!