A Cat, A Princess, And an Ill-Fitting Dress

[fb: Today I walked up the red carpet in jelly high-heels and sat in front of Kate Middleton. London is cray.]

…so it turns out London hadn’t quite finished with throwing random stuff at my sweet, wide-eyed face (maybe I should wear my reading glasses all the time to protect myself. Or just goggles: practical and cool). But let’s take a few steps back to the beginning, because a magical evening comes with a whole butt-load of stress.

It all began with an email at work. There was a spare ticket going for the premier of A Street Cat Named Bob on Thursday, did I want to go?

I fully just sat there staring at the screen like “No. Just say no.” But my fingers started doing the typing thing like “Yes please, that would be great!”

Great. But I was in a new city, I couldn’t just spend all my time at work reading books and then go home to read more books, could I?? Yes. I’ll go.

The next day a woman from another department found me at my desk and handed me the official, card-board tickets. She looked me up and down, taking in my semi-casual attire, my green hair, my nose ring. She did not seem pleased.

“Wear a cocktail dress” she repeated three times during our brief exchange, like she was certain a cocktail dress was something I didn’t own. I mean, I didn’t own a cocktail dress, but I wasn’t about to let her know that.

“Yes of course.”

I had one and a half days to find a cocktail dress.

In my lunch-break the next day I rushed out to buy one (after image searching them first to make sure I would get the right thing). It took me twice as long to find the store as I thought (thanks google maps!) and then I managed to get myself stuck in one of the dresses in the changing room. Panic-y arms flailing about it took about ten minutes to finally undo the zip and wrench myself free. I’m surprised it hadn’t grafted to my skin! Then, empty handed, I rushed back to my desk.

That night I was so over the whole affair. Shopping is the worst. After finding nothing I liked (or things I did like that were over 200 pounds), I desperately bought the only thing that was remotely flattering and didn’t cost more than a week’s rent. I mean, it was slightly over-sized, and could easily be worn to a funeral, but that’s just the way things go.

The next evening I was sitting at my desk, dress stashed in a tote bag, when the woman who’d given me the tickets came back to check I would manage to get there on time. By this point I was terrified. But I nodded and smiled. No big deal…

Dress on, jelly shoes and red lipstick in place, I scurried out of the office before anyone could see me, and jumped on the tube.

What does it say about me that my fanciest footwear is made of plastic??

The whole time walking to the cinema I was repeating “what am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing??” The pit in my stomach was a writhing mass of shadows lamenting all of my life choices.

Spotlights and a small crowd told me I’d found the right place, and I stood around awkwardly with the other nobodies as the cast walked up the red carpet to a million flashing cameras. A break in photography meant it was our turn and we were ushered up the carpet and inside while the photographers and fans waited for more famous people to arrive. It was really strange. And the cobbles under the red carpet made it tricky to walk.

Plus Bob was there, as in A Street Cat Named. I never thought I’d share a red carpet with a scarf wearing cat.

I found my seat and then the announcement boomed “When the Duchess of Cambridge arrives, everyone must stand as she enters the theatre. When the film has finished, no one must leave the theatre before she does. You are not permitted to take any photos and all mobile phones must be switched off. Thank you.”

England, whaaaat???

We sat there for over forty minutes, waiting for the future Queen of England to grace us with her presence. Which she did to the sound of sirens as her police escort drove up.

We all stood and she came in, looking as beautiful and regal as ever, and took her place at the back. I could see her if I looked over my shoulder.

England, double whaaaat???

And then the movie started and all our hearts were warmed by a homeless man and his cat. And then the movie ended and her majesty left as people awkwardly stood in rather sinister silence, not really knowing what to do. How weirded out must Kate feel having that every where she goes?

In the spirit of classy-ness I finished the night by grabbing some Mcdonalds on the way home. High roller right here. But really, by the end of it I was glad I went. Even in my weird dress and children’s shoes. I mean, I got to see a famous cat, didn’t I!

And so continues my adventures in London.

If you haven’t checked it out, my first week of moving to London is documented here: Foxes, Aussies, and Making Pals

Also, as I want to continue writing about my living in London experiences, please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover (I will do some more serious ones too).


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