My closet is pretty boring. If it was a flavor, it would be dry wheat toast (without jam). I was looking through it the other day, desperately searching for some morsel of excitement (scone! bagel! brioche!), when I spotted the gourmet chocolate croissant of my closet: the Anthropologie dress.
In a moment that can only be described as “a departure from my financial reality,” I had wandered into the exclusive boutique to browse. A stunning cobalt blue silk dress with a subtle geometric tan pattern beckoned me. I'd walked over cautiously. Huh, size 10: my size. I flipped over the tag:
The dress made me look tall where I was short, and skinny where I was fat. I petted the smooth fabric, and that’s when I realized what it was really made of: magic. I imagined I was Cindy Crawford and looked this good in everything. I had to have this dress.
There was only one tiny problem. Cleavage. This dress had mistaken me for a Playboy playmate or possibly a hooker, and it dipped down in front lower than I had ever let my college boyfriend go.
Maybe I could pin it.
I walked up to the counter to pay. I noticed the salesgirl was wearing a rather low cut top herself.
“I’d like to buy this,” I said, handing her the dress.
“Ohmygosh, I love this! This is so pretty. I tried it on, but I decided not to buy it because it was too …”
Here words hung in the air, like saline implants.
“The dress was too what?” I prompted.
“Too, uh, too …” her face turned a lovely shade of Valentine. “It will look very nice on you.”
I swiped my debit card through the machine while she wrapped my new dress in crinkly silver tissue paper. I could hear my environmentally conscious sister whispering in my ear, “Tell her you don’t need the tissue paper! Save baby whales from forest fires!” But I ignored her green tones and instead asked the girl if I could have extra tissue paper because the dress looked fragile.
And let’s be honest: it was a $499 dress, I deserved a few sheets of tissue paper.
I got home and modeled the dress for The Husband.
“Wow,” he marveled, “Where are you going to wear that?”
“Oh, I dunno, I was thinking maybe work?”
He spit out his coffee. “Hon, it’s a little revealing to wear to work. I can see your bra when you lean over.”
Maybe he was right. The dress languished in the closet for many months, waiting for its crinkly silver opportunity to shine.
This was finally the day. I would wear it to work.
I walked into the high-end kitchen store in my cobalt silk mood-enhancer.
“Great dress!” said one of my co-workers.
“Really great dress!” said some random customer.
“Nice dress!” said the UPS guy who was delivering boxes to the back stockroom.
I was beginning to feel a tad bit self-conscious. Fortunately, we wore aprons at the high-end kitchen store, so I slipped mine over the cobalt dress.
When it was time for my break, I removed my apron, grabbed my magazine, and zipped out to buy a salad at my favorite café. I ordered my usual garden salad, Coke, and a brownie. As the salesclerk grinned at me, I watched him give me the largest brownie from the tray and put extra ice in my drink.
I reached for my purse to pay, but I had forgotten it. Was my purse at the store? In my car? At home? Where was my purse?
“Sir,” I began, “I’m so sorry, but I forgot my wallet. Can you cancel my order?”
He handed me my order anyway. “Don’t worry about it, miss,” he said sweetly, “it’s on the house.” He winked at me.