My mission was clear and had to be accomplished before 9 p.m. Find accessories, a purse, and shoes to go with brand new dress and do it all for under $200. I awoke early (well before noon) to embark upon my task. Waking up at the crack of dawn wasn't nearly as difficult as it should have been considering I spent over an hour flirting with my favorite waiter Dref at my favorite diner down the street from the hotel until damn near 5 a.m. But sleep deprivation is no deterrent when a woman needs footwear and needs it now.
Rising on time didn't lead to leaving the hotel on time, but a day of shopping must be prepared for properly. Comfy yet cute flip flops, perfectly coifed hair, and cute underwear to ensure proper fitting room assessment. Two hours later we slipped on our shades and were all ready to go.
The sun was shining and we were feeling good, so we captured the moment.
Food is fuel, so we stopped by one of the numerous restaurants along Ocean Ave for the 1/2 off lunch specials. Gotta save those dollars for the clothes. After a mediocre lunch of dry chicken breast on bland bread, I sucked the remaining crumbs from my braces, and we headed to Collins Ave for some good, yet affordable shopping. Unlike the previous day, this time I hit the jackpot. We ducked into a store to find out that the entire inventory was at least 50% off, with some items being given away at more than a 70% discount. The sales woman knew an eager customer when she saw one.
"Do you like this?" she asked, dangling a halter with a dangerously low neckline over the dressing room door.
"Yeah, but I think I'd prefer a shirt that keeps my boobs in one place."
"Okay, tell me what you like, and I give you special price, okay." It was Cuban accented music to my ears.
I ducked back and forth behind the dressing room curtain.
"What do you guys think of this?" I asked my friends over and over.
"I don't know about that one," the usher offered.
"Oh, now that I like," said the bride to be.
I settled on a grayish blue halter with a key hole at the bust and a filmy cream number that I have yet to figure out how to wear. We left the boutique with half my shopping budget nestled in tissue paper and a handled bag. I told myself that those purchases needn't count towards my spending limit since they were separate from my shopping list and more than 60% off the original price.
United Colors of Benetton presented me with the most beautiful white leather purse for the bargain basement price of $63.13, giving me hope that shoes would be smiliarly affordable. We stopped at Urban Outfitters and I added a seafoam necklace and bracelet to my collection. By 5 p.m. I was loaded and my friends were famished.
We headed to Wet Willies, the mecca for all South Beach tourists.
"Can I see your ID," a man sitting on a stool asked as we approached the entrance.
"I left it at the hotel," the usher realized after perusing through her purse.
We stood on the corner of 8th and Ocean and contemplated our next move.
"I can just go back to the hotel and get it," she offered seeing the disappointment on the bride to be's face.
"Hey, ladies! Party tonight hosted by Vida Guerra!" A flyer flaunting long hair and perfectly bronzed ass cheeks was shoved under our noses.
"What party?" the matron of honor asked.
"Vida Guerra, you know the model?"an average height man with an above average belly said.
"You mean Vida Guerra the video ho," I corrected.
"Yeah, whatever. Well, she's hosting a party and everyone's going to be there. Diddy, Tigger. Gonna be off the chain."
"Yeah, off the chain!" echoed his young dumb sidekick.
"How much?" she asked.
"Look, I got these passes that'll get you and a guest in free."
Now where have we heard that before.
"Let me see the passes."
He pulled out a long glossy card. "Complimentary admission for cardholder and one guest," was written in small print along the bottom.
"What time do we have to be there in order to get in free?" I asked.
"There's no set time, but you'll want to get there early. Once it's at capacity, they won't let nobody in," he explained.
"Yeah, ain't nobody gettin in," the sidekick parroted.
"But we have reservations at B.E.D. tonight," the bride to be explained.
"Man, ain't nobody going to B.E.D tonight. Everybody's gonna be at this party I'm telling you."
"Yo, I'm going to the hotel to get my ID," the usher interrupted. The bride to be followed, leaving me and the matron of honor on the corner to figure out the details of this new option.
We discussed the caliber of the expected crowd and finagled two free passes.
"Now don't take these passes if you ain't gonna use them," he warned.
"We'll come through," we promised.
We stood on the corner engaging in idle chit chat with the party promoters and waited for our friends to return. Tigger of BET fame coasted by us flanked by small waisted, breast implanted, cinnamon colored beauties. Heads turned and watched as the VJ and his entourage headed into Wet Willies.
A few minutes later the bride to be and the usher rejoined us and we walked into the popular watering hole. Shopping had used up all the sustenance I had for the day and my stomach grumbled.
"Are we going to eat here?" I asked.
We looked around bar and took in the spring break caliber scene. It was crowded and loud. Not the place to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal.
"Well we just want to get a frozen drink, so we can go some place else for food."
That was fine with me. I left the bar and waited outside for them to meet me. It was nearly 7 p.m. and I had yet to find shoes. The three women emerged from Wet Willies with glasses of color frost in hand. We headed back to Washington Ave to check out the stores near the hotel. After several stops, I grew tired of the excess baggage.
"Look guys, I need to find shoes. If you guys want to go back to the hotel, that's cool. Just take my bags back and I'll meet you there in time to get ready for our reservation."
They agreed, grateful for the respite. I handed them three shopping bags, flung my purse over my shoulder and marched down the road. It was after 7 p.m. I had less than two hours to find shoes, shower, do my hair, make up, and toes and get to B.E.D. I quickened my pace. I was on a mission.
* The Miami Heat eat fly spattered donkey shit