Project Runway Fashion Faux Ma

I have not worn a constricting waistband in four months thanks to the Summer of Stretchy Skirts.

The fact that I couldn’t get my jeans over my hail-damaged thighs should be of no surprise. Nonetheless, it pissed me off enough to declare war on my chubbiness and go to a kickboxing class to lose 10 lbs. in one hour. The music starts, the first cue is to shuffle. Shuffle, shuffle, fall, BOUNCE, roll, whimper. I roll my ankle in the first 15 seconds of class. I hop off to the side, swallow what little pride I have and do the class half-assed anyway. It’s finished and when I try to walk down the steps, I know I jacked up my ankle.

I. Am. Crabby.

The story would end there with me eating ice cream with my foot propped up and watching TV all day. But I had promised Eileen that we would see one of our favorite Project Runway stars Nick Verreos at a fashion event at Macy’s.  I am miserable and my kid knows it but is trying to hide her disappointment that we might not go. I throw on “yoga” (fat) pants and a shirt that doesn’t properly cover my wedgie, and hobble over to Walgreens for a brace, Motrin and Tiger Balm. Make it work! Viola, I’m upright, crack and all.

We get to the mall and score chairs in the front row by the stage. I take a peek around and spot someone who looks familiar walking towards the event. Holy crap, it’s Peach Carr from the current season of Project Runway! Eileen and I are huge fans and always rooted for her on the show. So I nonchalantly scream-gush, “PEACH!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!” And instead of running from her freaky stalker, Peach and her daughter come over, say hello and ask if they can sit by us.

Keen on Peach

Eileen is starstruck with tears in her eyes in total disbelief. She can’t speak. To overcompensate, I am a babbling idiot about how much we love the show and that Eileen wants to be a fashion designer and is it okay if we take a take a picture with you? Peach graciously says yes, shows us designs that she did for her audition and gives us some dish about the show and her new line of tennis wear. She even asks us to be Facebook friends so we can send her the photo to post on her page. Her daughter is super sweet, too.

Then the fabulous Nick starts the show, shares this fall’s trends, notices Eileen, pulls her on to the runway and analyzes her outfit saying that she’s such a fashionista! (Thank God it wasn’t “What Not to Wear” or my wedgie and I would be up on stage.)  Peach points out Eileen’s embellished back pockets and Nick has Eileen turn around to the audience to show her tush. He’s asking her thoughts about Project Runway and she is working it on Cloud Nine!

On the Runway with Nick Verreos

After the show, Peach gives Eileen her biz card, tells her to email her some of her sketches, hunts down a Sharpie and signs Eileen’s purse. Then Nick signs her purse, jokes not to sell it on eBay and chit-chats with her.  As the event ends, my daughter is completely overwhelmed and choked up by the whole experience. “Mom, can I just look at some clothes so I can collect myself?”  I am just a grinning fool and completely touched by the genuine kindness of these talented, high-profile designers. They have no idea how much they have inspired this 10-year-old little girl. (And 21-year-old mom.)

While we are driving back home reliving every detail, Eileen just bursts into tears. “Mom, I feel so special right now. I feel like I can do anything!” Then I start sobbing because that is the biggest wish that I have for my kids. I just wanted to bottle up that mega dose of confidence for her so she could feel amazing for the rest of her life! Even when her jeans don’t fit.

The moral of the story? Even if you are too big for your britches, put on your shrunken big girl pants and get over yourself. (And wear military, embellishments, fake fur vests and metallics this fall!)

What a day.


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19 responses to “Project Runway Fashion Faux Ma

  1. Anne W.

    I am so totally choked up right now. Go Eileen, and go her cool Mom!

  2. Megan

    I am crying. she can do whatever she wants, and is the biggest star in the sky.

  3. karin

    Karen, Karen, Karen, I am BAWLING with happiness for your always super hip budding little fashionista designer daughter who is loved with an overflowing heart by her mama!!! To hear your offspring burst out with “I feel like I could do anything!” is just so amazzing, so over the moon fabulous that I just can’t stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks for you both in that moment! May the feeling burn in her heart forever and ever. Amen!
    (Miss you, girl. Love your…..)

  4. Mia

    Omg! Go Eileen and her kick ass mom!! You rock Karen!!

  5. Laurie

    How fun for you guys! You deserve mother of the year for going while in pain and yeah for eileen! what a great memory! I hope when she becomes a famous fashion designer she will make cute clothes to fit those of us who can’t quite make it through our exercise class–I give you credit for even going–you have gotten farther than me!

  6. Mary Kay

    Great story Karen! What a day for Eileen! I hope your ankle is better soon!!1
    Love, MK

  7. Thanks for the love — I have never brought people to tears like this! Is everyone PMSing? Seriously, I am beyond grateful for your comments and truly humbled that you are reading these wacky stories.

    I couldn’t be more thrilled for Miss E.

  8. Lisa

    It’s awesome that other’s outside of the “hood” are seeing in Eileen, what we have seen in her for years, just how chic and special she is. Maybe someday she’ll design the perfect “fat day” outfit for us all!

  9. Jackie

    Wow. She’s beautiful and so grown up. I’ll happily model the mom-bod for her! And yes, I cried too.

  10. Ronnie

    Totally awesome story!

  11. Laura

    This is a wonderful story!! I am so glad Eileen got to go up there–she seriously knows way more about fashion than me. Maybe someday I’ll be wearing her line 🙂

  12. Christy

    That is so cool. HEY…we could do a Runway show, maybe some kind of Charity Event, to benefit something like the Make-A Wish, or something like that….I wish you guys could come out for the Victorian Event. My friend Sam, or Samiah as she is known, has auditioned three times for the show, and almost got it before they changed some of the rules.

  13. Ray

    I can’t stop the tears! Nice story Karen, thanks for the post. Eileen, you are so lucky to have such a cool Mom!

  14. Lori

    I laughed and cried at the same time Karen, your stories are great!

  15. Pingback: Serving Up Humble Pie and Excuses « mom-mom-mom

  16. Vanessa (chefdruck)

    What a wonderful, heartwarming story of great parenting and kind role models. I love your self-deprecating sense of humor. You’re a great writer and I’m glad you chose to share this post with us at Chicago Moms.


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