Fifty First Dates

I have a no-fail first-date skirt. It’s a red pencil skirt that I bought a few years ago at a surf shop. I love surf shops, and not just because being there means I’m on a sunny beach vacation. They just make me think of my alternate universe, the one in which I own a glam beauty shop by the beach instead of trudging to auditions in a smog-filled city.

When I wear the red skirt on a first date, I always get a second date (even if it’s one I don’t want). It’s not outrageously flattering – it fits me the same as any other skirt – and it’s knee length, so we’re not talking micro mini here. I even get whistles when I walk down the street. Maybe it’s a Pavlovian/running with the bulls thing.

So since I usually think of first dates as an audition (for him, not for me), why not think of auditions as first dates? I wore the skirt to an audition for a profit share show that’s going up to Edinburgh next month. The lead actress got a job as an understudy in the West End, and they needed a last-minute replacement.

I thought the audition went well. Afterwards, the director asked me a few questions, complimented me on my teeth, and said he’d call the next day.

Two days later while still waiting for his call, I wondered: “Did I rely too much on the red skirt and not enough on talent? Or maybe he lost my number? Or maybe he tried calling, but couldn’t get through. Or maybe he left a message, but misdialed and left it on someone else’s voice mail? Why, why, why hasn’t he called?”

I considered e-mailing him just to follow up, but what if he doesn’t check e-mail very often? Instead I thought I’d send him a text message. How much trouble could I get into in 150 characters or less? I entered the carefully thought out message: “Hi Bobby. I had a good time at the audition. Hope to hear from you soon – Lucy”. Straight to the point – not too needy.

I stopped myself just before hitting send. Who was I kidding? It would make me sound desperate. I popped in my Shakespeare in Love DVD to take my mind off the audition. I bet Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t have to wear a red skirt to get that part.

The next day I got back from the gym to find Bobby had left a message. Apparently he knows the three-day rule.

I love that skirt.