“I just want to get dressed up, curl my hair, and put lipstick on!” sobbed my drunk roommate one night after scrolling through old Instagram photos of her pre-island life. We laid there sweating in the first summer months on St. John, having one of those moments where all we were craving was no humidity, the ability to don jeans and boots, and a luxurious air-conditioned room to get ready in. It doesn’t take long to accept that attempting to get ready when it’s this hot and humid is pointless. As a result, we normally aren’t bothered by a quick messy bun, shorts, and a tank, but it is definitely still possible to sometimes feel down about looking like a frizzy wet mop 90% of the time. It can happen to the best of us.

*click for image credit

After her half-serious, half-hilarious meltdown, we decided we needed a change of scenery and an excuse to get dressed up. We both bought new dresses, gathered a group of girls, and planned a night to catch the ferry over to St. Thomas and go out in the “big city” of Red Hook. We don’t make it off the rock often, so going to St. Thomas (which is roughly 12 times more populated than St. John) can be a big deal. Okay, so it’s really not a big deal at all, but we needed something to be excited about and on a rock, you have to work with what you’ve got!

As we started getting ready, I was fiddling with this fake engagement ring my mom gave me after she wore it on a trip to Mexico. I don’t know which one of us blurted out the idea first, but we decided that I should wear it for the night and pretend to be engaged. And just like that, the plan was born: this random Thursday night on St. Thomas would be my fake bachelorette party!

We had both had a week of feeling down, stagnant, sweaty, and gross so this was exactly what we needed to get ourselves out of the funk. Sure, we weren’t actually celebrating a marriage – we’re a group of single girls in our early 20s – but my mom always told me to fake it ’til you make it, so that’s exactly what we did.

*click for image credit

Our girlfriends came over to our house and we spent the next couple of hours cracking up as we conjured up my fake fiancé, our passionate love story, our wedding date, and the color of my bridesmaid dresses.  We knew we were being crazy (just as crazy as it was to be dripping sweat but still curling our hair and putting lipstick on), but it was a welcome change of pace and a fun, imaginary world to live in for an evening.

I look back now and laugh at how insane it was to sit at a bar with total strangers telling them about my fake engagement and posing for pictures with my fake Maid of Honor. We took celebratory lemon drops at Fish Tales, we drank fancy espresso martinis at XO Bistro, and we danced ridiculously with strangers at Duffy’s Love Shack.

Feeling stuck on a rock will make a girl do some crazy things. It’s too easy to get down about feeling like there’s nothing left for you to do that you haven’t already done 5 times that week on the island you live on. It takes a little bit of effort, an open mind, and some solid girlfriends to cure your rock fever and make crazy memories. And even when you don’t have any of those things, sometimes you just need to fake it.

Victoria's fake engagement_WWLOR

Written By:

Victoria Lemmon

Current Rock of Residence:

St. John, USVI

Island Girl Since:

January 2016

Originally Hails From:

Virginia

Victoria came to a point in her life where she needed to make a decision about her future: she either needed to go to a graduate school to earn a master’s degree in therapy, or start working at an entry level social work job. She couldn’t decide, so she chose to move to an island instead. Fresh out of college, she moved to St. John to avoid most of her problems, sweat a lot, spend a ton of money, and lay around on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

Moving from Suburbia to St. John meant trading in her Kate Spade and Louis Vuittons for tank tops and bikini bottoms. Though she is still grieving the loss of Dunkin’ Donuts’ iced coffee, her favorite island coffee shop keeps her energy level high for her job in childcare. She keeps herself busy being a frequent happy hour attendee, an overbearing friend, a writer, and a beach bum.

Though she is regularly asked what her “plan” is, or her “end date”, she still can’t quite come up with an answer, so she has decided her plan will come to her and her time left on the island is indefinite. Being 23 years old and a new kid on the rock means that she is always learning something, probably making herself look stupid fairly often, drinking too much, but having a hell of a lot of fun. You can also follow her on her personal blog, The Life She Had Imagined.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

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