I listened to her bubbly voice as I sat on the plastic IKEA chair in my nude thong and silicon nipple covers stuck to my boobs, awaiting my turn to put on a $5,000 Oscar De La Renta dress we were shooting for a boutique’s website. My prom was 10 years ago, and I actually didn’t even go because I had no one to go with. I went to a rave in Detroit instead. Mushrooms and techno music sounded much more appealing to me than dancing to Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” in the basement of a Radisson hotel with people I would only ever see again on Facebook once I graduated.
It was day 2 of this job, catalog work, which is similar to showroom work, but every outfit I wear needs to be photographed perfectly. My body actually hurts from standing up straight for 8 hours and arching my back slightly to make the clothes look perfect. It’s not Vogue, but the pay is decent and they have really good snacks in their kitchen area (like those Asian panda chocolate filled cookie things). I’m also not supposed to wear makeup because they don’t want it getting on the clothes. Any job that requires no makeup is already my favorite job.
After I took off the dress that cost the same as 4 months rent, I stared at my phone while I obsessively refreshed the page where Future Islands tickets were about to go on sale. It was 9:58am, two minutes left. Don’t fuck this up, Melissa. I missed my chance at tickets a few weeks ago because I was at my sister’s house in the middle of nowhere and I wanted to avoid the Internet because it was causing me anxiety, so I turned off my phone for 24 hours, thus missing the last ticket sale announcement. See what happens when I try to remove my connection to the digital world? Backfire.
“Melissa you ready?” The stylist handed me a dress and I reluctantly put my phone down on the chair while stepping into the white silk dress that completely changed my mind about marriage. While she was zipping up the back I picked my phone up and hit refresh one more time. The sale is on! Fuck! I selected 2 tickets and pressed continue, I was at some sort of waiting room page.
“Are we waiting for something or…?” The annoyed photographer said.
“Oh, sorry.” I put down my phone reluctantly and walked to the set.
I stood there staring at the camera, waiting for the first click. The stylist changed her mind about the shoes and told me to come back. I grabbed my phone and saw that I was on the next page where I had to enter my payment info. I quickly put in my email address and credit card number. There was a timer on the page that said, “6 minutes to complete info.” Ahh! Why do they do that? I forgot my credit card number, of course, and then the photographer asked for me to come back. No, I need to do this! Fuck. I didn’t want to annoy anyone so I put my phone back down and ran back to the set.
Each garment needed 4 shots- front, side, back, and close-up. It should’ve took 3 minutes tops, but I kept having to adjust my body because miniscule wrinkles were ruining the photo. I was counting down the seconds until the ticket page expired and I lose out on seeing my favorite band again. Coincidentally, whoever was in control of the music was playing Future Islands on Pandora. I almost had a heart attack. I turned to the back and waited for the flash to go off. I took off my heels and ran back to my phone to see that I had 30 seconds to fill in the rest of my info.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” I kept repeating.
“Are you okay?” The other model asked.
“DON’T TALK TO ME RIGHT NOW.” I pressed the continue button with 5 seconds left.
Another page started to load… so slowly… oh no fuuuuuuuck… come on…. YES IT WENT THROUGH. Fuck you ticketmaster! I win!
Alright, only 7 hours left of hanging out in my underwear next to clothes that cost more than my college tuition.