I rarely wear dresses. My lifestyle of carpool and making dinner and doing laundry doesn't require it.
I have an event coming up that is dress worthy so shopping was necessary.
I am not much of a shopper.
A thrifter: yes.
Taking items from my neighbor's curb on trash day: yes.
Going to the mall: no.
Don't love it.
I find shopping easier when there is a clear mission. I am easily distracted so I am most successful when I know exactly what to look for. In this case the mission was a dress so I was good to go.
For many reasons I decided to avoid the mall (mostly because of the aforementioned lack of love) and go to TJMaxx. I guess it has been awhile since I have dressed shopped because I was shocked by all I found. The dresses were either extremely short or floor length. Nothing in between. They were strapless or off one shouldered. There were several that I didn't understand on first glance. I decided that if it took me more than 5 seconds to "figure out" the dress, I should move on. You know, questions like:
Where is the front?
Is this a belt or a scarf?
Is there a neck hole somewhere?
And: What is all this elastic here?
If I ever asked (usually out loud) "Are you kidding me?" when looking at a dress, I moved on immediately.
The fitting room is where it all gets real REAL fast. Some dresses are so big that you think to yourself that a huge sandwich is in order for dinner and maybe even a mini Blizzard from Dairy Queen for dessert because, my goodness, you are looking somewhat scrawny. Then you put on a dress so tight that you can see the shape of the mole on your rib cage and you beat yourself up for the sandwich and Blizzard that you
didn't even eatON TOP of the fact that you haven't had that mole on your rib cage checked out yet.
I got stuck in one dress. It was a red wraparound with more complicated layers than I first observed. When I slid it over my head (unknowingly on the south side of some of the inner layers) the slit went dangerously close to my bra line--in the FRONT.
In awe, I fired off a barrage of questions at my reflection,
Is this a joke?
Am I on Dancing With the Stars?"
Then I realized my operator error and tried to fix it.
I got stuck in between layers.
The layers enveloped my head and constricted my arms.
I panicked instantly
(I am no good in emergencies).
I writhed and tugged and pulled and convinced myself that I'd have to scream for help and 9-1-1 would be called and strange men would have to see me in my underwear half in and half out of a Dancing With the Stars dress that was clearly too tight and too young for me. And they would ask if I had gotten the mole on my rib cage checked out yet.
Through prayer and violent wriggling, I was delivered from the red mess, thankfully, and albeit breathless and slightly sweaty, still free and able to move on to the business of finding a dress.
It's so funny what I found cart worthy on the store racks that just looked hideous hanging on the dressing room hook.
ALL over the dress?
Was I with me 10 minutes ago
when these decisions were made?
But then compromise is the name of the game when the dresses go on:
Maybe purple doesn't wash me out because call me crazy
if this floral print isn't slimming!
Who needs to wear a bra? This is just adorable!
So what if I look like an Aztecan rug? This drapey neckline is flattering!
But something jars me, waking me up. What am I doing? These dresses are:
I just want something appropriate. I don't want to be a focal point. I don't want a hush to come over the room when I walk in because I am wearing something so, well, so room hushing.
I just want something situationally suitable that makes everything on my person look like it has held up (or being held up--I found the shape wear section of TJMaxx) the test of time.
And I want it to be cheap.
Is that too much to ask?
Because I bought something purple.
With shoulder pads.
Don't you DARE hush if you see a woman walk in a room wearing a purple floral dress with shoulder pads anytime in the near future!
You don't know the
wars that have been waged,
injuries nearly sustained,