Vintage Bob Mackie, New Mrs. Scharf

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingWell, I did it.

It was the world’s longest walk down the aisle. Only a few yards, but it took a lifetime to get there. It was a journey that had more twists and turns than a Hitchcock movie, more starts and stops than the Indy 500, and more bumps and bruises than a mixed martial arts match.

But on May 24th 2014, I finally got married. All said and done, I went from Miss Brandon to Mrs. Scharf in 51 years flat. Catch your breath everyone, it was record time for the late blooming bride and groom.

I didn’t do it alone. I had help, lots of help. From friends and family, to celebrity designer Bob Mackie. From head to toe, my wedding day was a team effort.

It took a village to get me married, and now I must thank the village.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingStarting with my stepmother, Suzanne Charney and her incredible wedding gown she gave me. It’s an original, one-of-a-kind Bob Mackie, designed for her first wedding about 35 years ago.

She was smart enough to keep it boxed up all these years, and I was lucky enough to be able to wear it. I was given something new, something borrowed, and something blue for my wedding. This dress was my something old, my something vintage, and my something precious.

Suzanne Charney is a TV and film actor and dancer, well known for her role as the lead dancer in the movie “Sweet Charity.” You can’t miss her. She’s the Bob Fosse babe with the swinging ponytail and legs for days http://youtu.be/rw_M-ai1I0k

Anyway, back in the 70s, when Bob Mackie bobmackie.com was designing all of Cher’s sexy, fabulous costumes, he took some time off to help Suzanne create the wedding dress of her dreams. They sketched and they stitched, using fabric from Paris, and hand beading courtesy of the wardrobe department at NBC.

get-attachment-3.aspxIt was the first dress I tried on after I got engaged. Aside from being slightly tight in the bust, it was perfect. I tried on 27 more dresses just to be sure, but I really didn’t have to. There’d be no other dress that even came close. So thank you, Stepmother. I hope I did it justice.

There will be more to talk about in future posts, but for now, here are some quick thanks to my wedding pit crew:

Alterations expert and tailor to the stars, Mario Gonzalas www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-ca-tailor-to-the-stars-20140223-story.html#page=1. I will miss all the fittings and fun in your studio, but luckily, I have some pants that need hemming, so I’ll see you next week.

IMG_4523Mike Messex http://www.messexindustries.com, the genius graphic designer who brought our Save-The-Date, wedding invitation, and party favor shot glass concepts to life. He knows me, gets me, and puts up with me because I’m the bride goddamn it!!

Click on Treva & Robby Wedding Invite to see more of our collaboration.

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Treva & Robby Wedding Invite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To all our friends and classmates from Beverly Hills High School who came through in the clutch for us:

Make-up artist extraordinaire Jeanine Kabrins Canter Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf Weddingwww.facebook.com/pages/jeanineCanter-Make…/193329035942. Wow, holy shit, and thank you! You annoyed the hell out of me with all your touch-ups, but your meticulousness showed – you are truly an artist.

Photographer Alex Berliner abimages.com. Thank you for capturing every nuance and moment. From under the chuppah, to the Soul Train line dance, you were everywhere. You sneaky little bastard! I’m surprised you didn’t catch me on the toilet, which would’ve been a nice shot.

Videographer Adam Ritz antishadow.com. I’m not sure who had more fun at my wedding: you or me. I love a vendor who not only has creativity and vision, but enjoys the job too! You were awesome to work with and even more awesome to party with!

Cantor Gary Shapiro http://youtu.be/o-ZhVpbW5Uk. He’s a man of faith AND a professional stand-up comedian all at the same time. His heartfelt ceremony was touching, personal, and fall off your chair funny. If you weren’t laughing, you were crying; if you weren’t crying, you were cringing listening to his stories of me as a young virgin.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingAnd finally to my HUSBAND (love saying that word) Robby Scharf: for waiting 51 years for me at the end of the aisle.

I thank you and I love you. I do, I do, I do.

Sexy Lingerie + Mature Bride = Old Floozy?

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The “Open Bra” worn the mature way.

If you look inside my drawers – not those drawers, but yes, those drawers too – you’ll find a lot of beige. Beige underwear, beige bras, beige everything. Nothing too exciting, nothing too fancy, sexy, lacey, or daring, just a lot of functional, practical beige that gets the job done.

I know what you’re thinking right now. I have boring drawers.

Crazy as it sounds, somehow I managed to get through my entire swinging single life without ever buying a stitch of lingerie. Never owned a garter belt, a thigh-high stocking, or a push-up bra. And what’s really crazy is that I love lingerie! But every time I’d set out to go buy myself a sexy little something, I’d get distracted by other things: like buying new sneakers or some cute workout wear.

Hey, Lululemon is sexy, isn’t it?

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The “Open Bra” worn the right way.

I can’t say I’ve never WORN lingerie because I have. For about 10 minutes, about 20 years ago. It was a creepy crotchless catsuit an ex-boyfriend gave me for Valentine’s Day when I lived in New York. It was so cheap and disgusting I threw it down the trash shoot when he wasn’t looking right after I tried it on. I couldn’t get it off me fast enough. Two weeks later I broke up with him, his tacky taste in lingerie having a lot to do with it.

So just when I thought my lingerie days had passed me by (and who was really paying attention?) something life-changing happened.

I had a bridal shower.

And I scored. I am now flush with lingerie. Each gift box I opened contained the most beautiful, hot, gorgeous, delicate, outrageous undergarments I had ever seen. Everything from Victoria’s Secret to La Perla, to Cosa Bella, to chic exotic labels I’ve never even heard of. I even got some edible undies.

All this new lingerie is great, but now I have to wear it. The question is, should I? I’m in my 50s, I don’t want to look like a total idiot in a teddy.

Ladies, at what point are you too old to wear lingerie? Is there a maximum age limit? An expiration date? I realize there’s a moment in life when one can go from being a hot babe to looking like an old floozy. Am I there?

Should I be age-appropriate and stick to what I’m comfortable with – a nice beige Wacoal bra and underwear set? Or should I let out my inner sexy bitch and say fuck it?

Fuck it!

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A sexy bitch in the bedroom and in the kitchen!

My inner sexy bitch says you’re never too old for lingerie…as long as it’s got a crotch.

Look inside my drawers and you’ll see a whole new me. You’ll see an explosion of COLOR with fabric and styles that scream sex! Along with some new hot pink panties, boy shorts, and lacey thongs, my drawers also have a few black silky things that make me feel like a Bond girl. I think I’ll wear them for my next jewel heist.

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Hungry and horny, anyone?

And for those times that I feel a little self-conscious about my body and age, I’ll just turn off the lights and let Robby eat my undies.

You’re Never Too Old For A Bridal Show

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Brides just wanna have fun!

Ok, so I was the oldest bride at the bridal show, but who cares? Bridal shows are a hoot and I love them!

Bridal shows are like carnivals for women, with all kinds of vendors selling their goods – from party rentals to place settings, dresses to DJs, wedding cakes to weight loss products, photography to photo booths. Usually held inside hotel banquet or ballrooms, bridal shows are a bonanza of door prizes, cake samples, and bad champagne, catered to young brides who just eat this stuff up.

Slap on a “Bride” sticker upon arrival, enter a raffle, and you might win a bachelorette weekend in Temecula, or a free hand exfoliation! Who couldn’t use both?!

They’re all represented at these bridal shows because YOU NEED ALL OF THIS.

The wedding industry is big business, or as I see it, a huge moneymaking racket. The good news in being a little older and wiser is that I don’t fall for most of the crap they try to sell me. I’m too damn practical, and yes, a little cynical too. I mean, do you really need personalized matchbooks or monogrammed napkins that are just going to end up as landfill?

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My booty from the bridal goody bag.

Speaking of landfill, I have to admit I do love all the free shit they give away at these events. Just look at the goody bag I brought home from my last bridal show. Score-a-roonie!

  • A bottle of hand sanitizer from the Puerto Rico tourism board.
  • A box of chocolates from the Aria Hotel’s wedding chapel in Las Vegas.
  • Zhenga’s Extra Strength Slim Me weight loss tea.
  • A pack of Mercy chewable hangover tablets.

 

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“Better Than Sex” mascara my ass!

My favorite item from the goody bag is a mascara from Too Faced cosmetics called “Better Than Sex.”

Maybe you’ve heard of it. “With its hour-glass shaped wand, “Better Than Sex” promises to coat and curl each lash to voluptuous perfection, then thicken and lock it into place.”

If you happen to see me spontaneously orgasm while wearing “Better Than Sex” mascara, you’ll know why – its special polymers and peptides make me horny, and its acacia Senegal tree extract makes me want to rip my clothes off.

Robby darling, remind me to take this with me on our honeymoon.

 

 

 

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A vendor for old broads, I mean brides.

There was one vendor though that had brides my age in a tizzy: Marina Plastic Surgery. Sign up at their booth, and you could win a $600 gift card for a session of Cool Sculpting, a non-surgical body contouring treatment that freezes away fat.

Because along with picking a florist, hiring an invitation designer, booking a photographer, choosing a cake designer, and finding the perfect hand exfoliator, you NEED to have your fat frozen for your wedding.

Welcome To Registry Hell

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Robby and Treva enjoying a day of registry shopping.

I never thought shopping could be such torture until I got engaged. Suddenly, something I previously found fun, and maybe even therapeutic, has become pure torment. Registry shopping is like retail waterboarding – cruel and unusual.

The selection is overwhelming. There are so many choices, so many decisions, so many brands, models, gadgets, and so many different tastes and opinions, you could almost hit someone over the head with a frying pan – and Robby almost did.

Being single people for most of our lives, Robby and I aren’t exactly fluent in the language of housewares. Not that we don’t like nice kitchen stuff, it just hasn’t been a priority for either of us. I know as a single girl, I’d rather spend my money on a cute pair of Kate Spade sandals than on a set of expensive Kate Spade dishes.

So you can understand why this registering for gifts thing is a little confusing, and at times, combative – in a loving way, of course.

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It’s Blender-Rama with Robby Scharf!

Welcome to “Registry Hell,” where couples go head-to-head in a battle of the blenders, a clash of the coffee makers, and a war of the wine openers. You can catch all the action not inside a boxing ring at Staples Center, or inside a mixed martial arts cage at Caesar’s Palace, but at Bloomingdale’s, the place for true hardcore fight fans.

Bloomingdale’s was our first stop on the registry hell ride, and where Robby and I nearly had a knock-down-drag-out, right in the middle of the home furnishings department. Over what you ask? A cheese board: a really fancy, very expensive, slightly ornate, heavy black granite designer cheese board with silver chalice handles and a matching cheese knife that I was convinced we HAD to have.

There was some light sparring a few minutes earlier over a hi-tech toaster oven, a multi-piece knife set, and an overly-complicated espresso machine, but nothing compared to the main event: a fight over the cheese board.

Here’s a little snippet of the heated discussion:

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The cheese board in question.

Treva: Honey, look at this cheese board we should get. We definitely need this.

Robby: A cheese board for what?

Treva: For when we entertain with cheese!

Robby: We don’t need a dedicated black granite cheese board with silver chalice handles!

Treva: Yes we do!

Robby: What else can you do with it?

Treva: (Thinking…thinking…thinking)

Robby: Unless someone’s gonna cut some coke on it, which isn’t going to happen, we don’t need it.

* * * * * * * * *

I love my fiancé. He’s so practical and sensible, and yes, he’s right. We don’t need a $199 cheese board.

We didn’t get much accomplished in our first outing, but I did learn some important things about registry shopping:

• Don’t ever go on a busy Saturday at the mall.

• Don’t ever go at the end of the day, around 5pm.

• Don’t ever go when you’re hungry and cranky.

Next time, we’ll either get liquored up before we go, or we’ll go first thing in the morning when we’re both rested and fully caffeinated.

A few days later, with the help of some strong Urth Café coffee, we hit Crate And Barrel, and hit it good.

Armed with a game plan and a merchandise scanner, we zipped around the store and zapped barcodes on items we really needed: glassware, a good set of pots and pans, silverware, and a nice set of dishes. We managed to get Crate And Barrel done in one fell swoop, without any punches thrown. It was fast and furious, but without either one of us getting furious.

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We survived Registry Hell!

In the end, we managed to turn Registry Hell into Registry Heaven, and now we can’t wait to go again.

Bed, Bath & Beyond, here we come!

Still Single? Throw Yourself A Wedding!

Group Karaoke

Single? Married? Divorced? Who cares? Let’s party!

When I took the stage at Boardwalk 11 Karaoke Bar at my 50th birthday party last February, I was triumphant. Victorious. I felt proud of who I was, and what I had accomplished – getting to 50 as an independent, self-reliant woman.

That wasn’t exactly the picture a few months before though. In the run-up to my birthday, I was the perfect storm of despair: I was going through a break-up, my career was stagnating, my window of fertility had officially closed, I was still not married, and I was turning 50 – a number that probably would’ve been a lot less daunting and depressing if I had a husband and kids.

From November to January, I was totally numb. Nothing felt good, nothing tasted good, music didn’t sound good, not even the cutest guy looked good. It appeared that after multiple times at bat, and many attempts at love, I had officially struck out. On top of it, I was about to leave my 40s and enter midlife, a milestone that was ceremoniously marked when I received my first AARP card in the mail.

The holidays and New Year’s were a blur. I remember going to bed just before midnight on New Year’s eve thinking to myself: “Please let me wake up and have it be six months from now so the pain will be gone and my heart will be healed.” The next day I woke up, and the next, and the next day after that. Slowly, life resumed. I hit reset, I recalibrated, and I got reacquainted with my self-worth, which I seemed to have lost along the way.

By mid-January, I made a decision that would be life-changing: I decided to let go and surrender to my singleness. I detached from the outcome, stopped fighting the power, and submitted to being single. As I mentioned in my very first blog post, it was the most liberating and empowering move I could’ve ever made.

I made another decision in mid-January: To celebrate. So what if I wasn’t married? Who cared if I was still single? Did it really matter that my life didn’t exactly go as planned? There were so many other things to be happy about, so much to be grateful for, so many other blessings to count. I thought why have a pity party when I can have a real party? So I threw myself a huge 50th birthday bash and called it the wedding I was never going to have.

When I stepped on to the stage to sing last February, with my friends and family cheering me on, I knew I had made the right choice:  to revel in the thrill of victory instead of dwelling in the agony of defeat.

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Look what I found and I wasn’t even looking.

The minute I stepped off the stage, I spotted Robby Scharf at the bar. I initially met Robby months earlier on Facebook when he contacted me out of concern for a mutual friend. It wasn’t a Facebook hook-up; he really was a good guy with good intentions. I thought he had a nice face, and had heard he was in a band (maybe he could sing karaoke?) So on a whim, I invited him to my party and he showed up! Except for our mutual Facebook friends, Robby and I were practically strangers. But there he was at my birthday, Mr. Right, standing right before my eyes, with a big smile and a warmth I felt the minute I hugged him hello.

I wasn’t looking, I wasn’t expecting it, and I had all but given up, but something magical happened that night at Boardwalk 11 Karaoke Bar. And now here I am, exactly one year later, engaged to be married and singing a much different tune.

Marriage And Midlife: A First For Us Both

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Robby and me at Rite Aid, our new favorite date place.

Getting married for the first time at this age is a little weird.

When most people our age are looking at colleges with their kids, we’re looking at wedding venues.

When most of our peers are preparing to be empty nesters, we’re preparing to co-habitat for the first time.

While most folks in their 50s are dealing with the trials and tribulations of having teenagers, we’re dealing with the hardships of aging parents and in-laws.

Friends like Sharon Hodor Greenthal, also in her 50s, writes a blog called Empty House, Full Mind www.emptyhousefullmind.com. She talks about getting older with someone she’s been married to for 26 years.  The good news is that Robby and I are getting to know each other AND get older at the same time.

Everyone’s life may look different, but we all have one thing in common: we’re all middle aged. And that’s weird too. When you’ve been single for as long as Robby and I, it’s easy to forget about age. You’re too busy working and living and dating and moving at warp speed to notice.

Then one day you stop, and it hits you.

Your hair is a little thinner, your middle is a little thicker; what was tight is a little looser; what was firm is a little softer. Your teenage hormones have lost their rage, and your college six-pack has become a keg. You hit fifty and your body morphs right before your eyes. Oh, and your eyes go too. I can’t see shit anymore. But maybe that’s a good thing – at least now I won’t be able to see all the new wrinkles forming on my face.

There are more aches and pains. You either have high cholesterol or low T. You may play as hard and run as fast, but you pay for it the next day. You learn to love Aleve, and ice packs become your new best friends.  Your memory isn’t what it used to be either.  I’d go into more detail on this, but I just forgot what I was going to say.

Getting married at this age is sometimes tough. Like, when I’m the dressing room at a bridal salon surrounded by girls half my age. They’re young, perky, and I’m as old as the hills. I look at them and think, you have your whole life ahead of you, and I’ve already lived half of mine. You’re probably going to get pregnant in a few months, and I’m five minutes away from menopause.

These young brides and I may be walking down the same aisle, but our route couldn’t be more different. They found the man of their dreams in their 20s, I found mine at 50. They partnered early, I bonded later. They have youthful exuberance, but I have confidence that can only come with age.

When it comes to finding love though, isn’t age just a number?

There’s something weird about getting married for the first time at midlife – weird, but wonderful. And Robby and I are embracing age– and each other– with the kind of open arms that can still hit the hell out of a tennis ball and lift me over a threshold. Yes, we may be a little creaky and kvetchy, but that’s okay because we’re in this together. We have a long life ahead of us, filled with romance, adventure, and visits to RiteAid to get our Lipitor prescription filled, and a scoop of ice cream too while we’re at it.

27 Dresses And A Whole Lot Of Drapery

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Look Ma! I’m in a wedding dress!

Here’s what I wanted:  a wedding dress that reflected my essence, style, and personality.  I wanted something lightweight that I could move in; something elegant, but simple; something that didn’t show too much skin and was age-appropriate; something not obnoxiously priced, claustrophobically tight, or overwhelmingly poofy. And of course, something white since I’m still a virgin (cough, cough).

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