Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Third time, with less charm

The husband and I have a certain dinner we go to once a year. The event is very inspirational at its core, and apparently my preparations for it alone have spawned blog posts, profile pics (2012) and even my first adventure into YeahWrite (2013).

This past May, I made a major purchase. It was a thirty dollar dress that did not fit poorly and I really liked. Yes, all around, these factors count as a big deal in my world. I knew I had one occasion I could wear this no-wrinkle piece of fabulousness for. I also realized that I could just wear the same dress from last year without anybody noticing, thus giving me thirty dollars to spend on something else I most likely did not need. Time may have blurred the edges of my memory, and I might have remembered that dress a bit finer than it really was.

I was completely calm in the days prior to the dinner. The parts of my hair that had wreaked humidity induced havoc for the past couple of years had been left on the hairdresser's floor months ago. I had seen my shoes kicking around in my closet recently. We had even begun our approach into life without minivans by replacing one with some Fahrvergn├╝gen, by way of a new Volkswagen Passat. Oh we were going to be styling on this date night...or so I thought.

T-minus forty minutes and I sauntered upstairs to shower with my head held high. I had this. Got out of the shower, threw my shorter self-styling hair in a towel and took a few extra minutes to put lotion on my legs. So this was what prepared felt like? I threw that dress over my head in a manner that was sure to show it who was boss, and quickly realized that possibly it was not me. Apparently having a bra that actually fits sacrifices the minimizing that wearing one too small was achieving. Um, and what exactly was going on in the back? What. The. Hell? I weighed two pounds less than last year. I am not saying this to suggest that the pretty pattern should've slinked right off of me, but it certainly did not seem as though it should have been a tighter fit. Had I become like the children's stuffed animals who don't actually lose their stuffings, but become misshapen from all of the hugs and love? Had my family squeezed me into some poor shape that was not clingy dress friendly? Or worse, had this dress looked exactly the same last year and I was just dazzled by the pretty pattern?

The storm began. A hurricane of wind started by my arm waving, pacing and hanger grabbing. Cotton and rayon debris flying everywhere. Skirts with no shirts, shirts that did not fit, an outfit I wore seven years ago...why do these things not come with expiration dates? I put the dress on again, taking my hair out of the towel in hopes that I could balance what was happening below my neck with a decent hairdo. How about mascara? Not my usual kind and now I was trying desperately to clean up the stray striping of this new brand. Hot. Why was it so hot? Did I care about panty lines? If so, they were sliding further down the list. Flung the dress off and started regaling husband with the sad state of affairs that had developed since he got into the shower. I was staying home.

I wandered into my fourteen year old daughter's closet, with no actual idea of what I hoped to find, then back to my own room where I grabbed black pants, once again with my powdered hands. Why is this lesson so hard, and why are there so many pairs of black pants and oh my gosh did any of them fit? I narrowly escaped losing an inch of flesh to the rabid teeth of a zipper. My judgement was impaired by the inability to breathe correctly, as I paired completely inappropriate tops with the ill-fitting pants. Ranting, raving, but strangely, not crying. (Perhaps only for fear of what the already troubled mascara might do.)

My husband was nearly beaten with a hanger when I spotted him laying out a brand new suit while clipping the tags off. "Why must you rub it in that you have a new suit that fits?" I extricated myself from the pants, and opted for the floral skirt my eyes kept landing on. I found a shirt to put on that almost matched, and then started to itch while looking for some jewelry to save me from certain doom. The third look in the mirror confirmed that the colors were not even close, and as the shirt got whipped off I realized it was an acrylic/wool blend. Are you kidding me? That did not go back into my closet. How about a black shirt? I must have owned at least...NONE that would work. I asked if we could stop at Marshall's on the way to the dinner. The husband was too busy to answer, as he was torn between which of three ties to wear. Really? He asked my opinion. "Are you really asking me this right now?" "Yes."

Back on with the dress and back into the bathroom where I found that my self-styling hair had been offended by all of the clothing over the head business and sweating. I got out the blow dryer, and realized I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I pulled three of the sixty-seven gray hairs from my head, a little hairspray and gentle patting, using my ears as some sort of styling tools. The husband tried to reassure me that the whole ensemble didn't look bad. I think we all know that doesn't mean it looked good. I headed down the stairs with my head hung low, utterly defeated. My Burt's Bees stick did not have enough shimmer to pull this off. No photos, please.

We got in our shiny new sedan and headed out. I wasn't in a bad mood per se, just disappointed. I wanted to bring back that date night magic. As I glanced down at my legs, exposed from the creeping a dress tends to do when one sits down, I recalled that cheap disposable razor I bought and how I didn't want to cause a crime scene by shaving my knees with it. I slid my hands and purse to cover the situation. The smooth ride as we got on the highway started to lull me into believing that everything was going to be just fine. It was, after all, a beautiful night.

The husband did the most excellent job parallel parking a car that I had ever seen. I thought I could be fabulous by association. I flung my door open, and as I went to step out onto the curb, I realized how high up it was. Since we were parked so close, I had no choice but to go straight for the curb, with no way to angle my legs in that sexy lady getting out of a car way. This was more of a clumsy gal clutching the door frame, trying to roll onto the sidewalk without showing the city her undies kind of a thing.

What a difference a year makes.


  1. But, but . . . did you have your bracelet? That probably would have made all the difference!!

    I hate those getting ready moments when you are running around and nothing fits. And equally hate when little gremlins come into our closet and completely change the look and fit of an outfit that was perfect when we bought it in the store!

  2. Oh my word, I can relate to this, especially lately. I have forgotten how to dress, and my 'stuffing' has shifted in unfortunate ways - what IS that, anyway???

    You captured this experience brilliantly. 'I narrowly escaped losing an inch of flesh to the rabid teeth of a zipper.' Favorite line.

  3. Okay, I never want to go to an event like that.

  4. Sorry to chuckle at your expense but that was very amusing and anyway, what woman can't relate? I've gotten in the habit of trying on some clothes before an 'event', a day or so before just to make sure that what I was planning on wearing still fits. That gives me time to buy if I need to!

  5. Thirty dollars? You are quite the big spender. Try the Macy's Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein clearance racks. One of the most comfortable and well-fitted dresses I've ever had is a $10 Ralph Lauren that I bought on macys.com. Willy Dunne Wooters is amazed by my frugality.

    Janie, who hates sweating because it ruins everything

  6. I always look like hell hit with a stick. I blame it on menopause. Can you use that as an excuse? It really is convenient.

  7. Oh crap...I laughed through this whole thing. And, since you weigh 2 pounds less than last year, I have exactly zero sympathy.

    Okay, I actually do have sympathy, but don't tell anyone.

    I just sold my 2005 Passat in favor of my sparkly new Jeep. I also used to have the almost exact twin...a 2003 Passat. 2 best cars I ever had. Enjoy!


  8. Whenever I'm away from the blogosphere, this is one of the blogs that I miss the most. Ah, you make me glad to be back. :)

  9. Oh Andrea! I cried for you, because this sort of thing happens to me more often than I would like.