“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.
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.
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.
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