Recently, I reached the pinnacle of humiliation when I felt the compulsion to try on swimwear at Wal•Mart. I stood in front of a 3-way mirror (which they obviously picked up cheap from a carnival fun house long gone out of business) while I was bathed in fluorescent lighting.
I didn’t think that my self esteem could have sunk any lower.
I was wrong.
With Easter fast approaching, I rifled through my closet and discovered that I had nothing to wear. And I don’t mean “I’m tired of these clothes, and desire new ones.” No. I had nothing to wear. The only suits that I owned have steadfastly refused to button for fear of the strain, and the skirts obviously shrunk from neglect.
The dresses were in worse shape. I had one black velvety number with purple flashy thingies that Cailey has been eying. It has been hanging in the closet since before Emme was even born, and I’ve never worn it. Frankly, I have no idea how it got there, because no one in their right mind, or over the age of 40, would have the nerve to lay it on the sales counter and fork out good money for it.
But I had it in my head, and I blame my good Catholic upbringing for this notion, that I needed to dress up, in a dress, for Easter.
Therefore, last week I left the children in the care of Aunt Trish, and I headed to Ross.
Everyone else must have been in the same predicament, because I was shoulder to shoulder with throngs of other last minute shoppers, desperately searching for an Easter dress.
At one point, just about the time my eyes were glazing over courtesy of all the paisley, I remarked to the lady to my left, “WHEN DID POLYESTER MAKE A COMEBACK? IT’S A GOOD THING I DON’T SMOKE!” She didn’t share my taste in dresses or my sense of humor. So, I moved on.
I pulled out 6 of the least hideous offerings that I could find. I even had to venture into Juniors and go a size or two up. Which just irritates me.
And since some of my selections were two pieces, and each one counted, so I had to make two trips into the dressing room. And you know what that means. Once you get through your first 6 items, you have to completely redress, pad out to the sales clerk while holding your shoes, and retrieve the last of your outfits.
JUST COUNT THE 2 PIECE ITEMS AS ONE AND LET’S CALL IT EVEN. ‘KAY?
I was mercifully on the last dress, which had no buttons or zipper. I pulled it over my head and wriggled it down over my sports bra and underwear both of which have seen better days. I gasped at the mirror.
I looked like a sausage.
I desperately desired to get that dress off of me as quickly as possible.
But I couldn’t. I was stuck.
That dress had decided that it had at last found a home, and was going nowhere.
I crossed my arms and grabbed hold of as much fabric at my waist (and I use the term “waist” loosely) as possible and attempted to yank upwards. While I did succeed in losing my balance and falling into the wall, catching myself by my elbow, the dress did not budge
Then I tried to wriggle it down over my sports bra. I couldn’t even get it down over one shoulder.
I can only imagine what the other patrons in the crowded dressing room were thinking as they heard me knocking around in that cubicle, short of breath, muttering to myself.
This scenario played out for a good 10 minutes or more. At last exhausted, I paused long enough to assess my options.
• I could throw myself at the mercy of a good samaritan and beg them to pull the dress over my head as I bent over. But then I had to consider the shape of my underdrawers and would I want others to know that my bra and panties were older than most of the shoppers in said dressing room.
If the bra and panties would even still be in place once I was relieved of the offending dress.
No. I could not do that. I could be single-handedly scarring someone for life.
• I considered calling Fiddledaddy on my cell phone and asking him to come rescue me. But then I’d have to endure all the mocking, and frankly, he would have enjoyed the situation I was in far too much.
• Then I considered just putting my sneakers back on, marching up to the cash register, leaning over so the cashier could scan the barcode while saying, “I think I’d like to wear it home.”
And then once home, get out the scissors and cut myself out of it.
But happily, because of all the exertion from the struggle and all, I must have lost a few pounds. After a few more concentrated tugs, the dress mercifully came off.
Then I threw it on the floor and stomped on it a few times.
Just kidding. Sort of. But they may or may not have lumped that particular dress in with the clearance items after I was finished with it. Just sayin’.
You’ll be happy to know that on Easter morning, I sported my best pair of stretchy blue jeans. With a pretty purple button down. And to feel dressy, I wore my new silver platform Crocs that Fiddledaddy bought me because he was tired of me complaining that I don’t have any girl shoes.
But, he reconsidered his purchase when he saw me teetering across the floor. And made mention that he hoped the Emergency Room was open on Easter.
I’ve come to the decision that dresses are no longer for me. Good riddance. As a mom of young children, I need to be able to drop or run at a moments notice.
And besides, I’m pretty sure I’ve been banned from Ross for all of eternity.