August 16, 2011

27 dresses

the process of dating is like shopping for the perfect dress.

you walk into a store with the intent of looking for that potential, little piece of magic that will make you feel like a trillion dollars. it has to make your eyes pop. it has to make you dance in the dressing room. it has to accentuate any possible positives and hide all potential negatives beyond a shadow of a doubt. and let's be honest, it has to make you feel like a natural woman.

and so you set out on your quest. you may not really even be looking, or you may know exactly what you're hoping to find. you may be going dress shopping with a friend only to find the right dress for you that you were never expecting. you may be going with an intent purpose only to leave empty-handed at the end of the search. but the only way of finding that right choice, the one that fits the best, is to begin the process of trying on different types of dresses.

there's the safe dress that could securely lead you through an amish paradise.
the neck envelops you like a turtle. the sleeves cover every extent of the form of your elbow. and the dress flows securely to your ankles. but sometimes that super-safe dress leaves you waddling about in the agony of knowing that you'll always be safe, always be the same, and will never venture beyond that paisley frock.

then there's the dress that you know is too radical. you find yourself immediately having to pull it down or having to pull it up. at first glance you thought it was a shirt. you are still trying to convince yourself that the hanger strings are actually the straps. the hem is just too high. the neck is just too low. and it reveals too much information about your curvature to the public. you model that dress in complete discomfort, knowing that you can never walk confidently across a room as yourself.

there's the dress that you think looks good on you but everyone else knows is completely wrong. from the minute you walk out of the dressing room, terror and dislike appear on everyone's faces. either it's too tight or too loose, or it's just not your color or style, but while you try and try to convince everyone that it's the dress for you, everyone knows immediately it's just not the one.

then there's the dress that everyone else thinks is perfect for you but that you know deep down is just not right. the collar is too frilly. the waste is too high. and you are just not yourself with it. but everyone is so determined that it's the one that you start convincing yourself that it just might be. the truth is, however, that that dress has a hole in the lining that only you can feel and no one else can see, and sometimes it's a hole that just can't be fixed and is beyond repair.

there's the dress that you know deep down won't actually fit, but you decide to suck in every extra pound and give it a try. yes, you know the one, and let's not even pretend we haven't all been guilty of trying it. while holding your breath for a solid minute and contorting your body in every possible shape, you put that little sucker on and start doing the boot scootin' boogie to get everything crammed in there. after some major wiggling and adjusting, you manage to get it all tucked in with only minimal risk of accidental exposure. but you soon realize that if you exhale even a little too strongly the zipper will rip, all buttons will burst, all snaps will break, and your snug, little dress will fall apart.

then there's the dress that looks absolutely perfect but comes in a size that's way too big. you love the color. you love the shape. you love the way the dress makes you feel. but there's just something that will have to be fixed in order for you to actually pull it off. it is possible that you can buy this dress, but in order to wear it, there will have to be some alterations and adjustments, and there is risk even then that it just won't work.

but there are several truths that we tend to ignore when shopping for the dress:

a dress that doesn't fit is a success and not a failure. every dress you try that doesn't fit helps you know what to look for in the one that will. if the dress was too tight, you automatically know to start looking for ones a little looser. maybe you weren't the size 2 you believed and really need a size 6. but you will come out successful if you learn through the process what doesn't work and the qualities of what will.

if there is a dress that doesn't fit, the best choice is to just walk away. there is no need to yell at the dress or call it names. there is no reason to slap the dress. there is no need to attempt to make the dress jealous by showing it what it's missing. there is no reason to go all madea on it and to rip it. the best option is to always just kindly and gently place it back on the rack and to move on.

you can't judge a dress by the hanger. that's not to say that you can't instantly tell what some dresses are all about. if you're wondering if that dress is actually a dress or really a shirt, walk away. if you know that that dress's purpose is to accentuate gappage and crackage, run away. but other than that the only way to tell if the dress might work is to try it on, and it might just be the dress that you thought would never look good on you that makes the perfect, unexpected fit.

there won't only be just one dress that fits. the truth is that there could potentially be several that work, but the search will be narrowed down by the pickiness of your specifics. while you were hoping to find the dress you wanted in pink, it might only come in blue, but blue might match even more perfectly with your eyes. but there is not just one dress in the world that will work for you.

there will always be another dress. maybe it's only hanging on a different rack one row away, or maybe it's in a different store. but it's only a matter of finding it, and it only takes a random minute on a random day to discover that new joy. so no matter how many stores you've searched, there will eventually be a dress in your size that fits just right, and it most likely will be found on the day that you were shopping for pants.

there is no hurry to make a purchase. i repeat, there is no hurry to make a purchase! the ticking clock is only ticking in your head. the pressure you feel is only pressure you create. there is no deadline or agenda when it comes to finding that dress. there is no weekend wedding that you have to buy something to wear to. the worst mistake you could make is to buy a dress for the sole purpose of owning one or because your friends are all buying some. time and pressure will only encourage the selection of the wrong choice.

and finding the dress that finally fits makes you forget every dress that didn't. who cares about any of the dresses that didn't work when you finally discover the dress that makes you have that boom boom pow? when you finally wear the one that makes you feel like a creature unlike any other, that makes you win like charlie sheen, that makes your eyes sparkle and gives you the tingles, that makes you yourself, you forget what any of the other dresses felt like. and whether you chose to discard those other dresses or they nicely let you know they weren't going to fit for you, they get to sit there together on the discarded rack and watch as another brings out your magic.

so whether it just takes 1 dress or 27 dresses, don't give up the search because making just the right purchase will totally be worth the cost.


  1. "so whether it just takes 1 dress or 27 dresses, don't give up the search because making just the right purchase will totally be worth the cost."

    Amen, Sister. I have to remind myself of this often. :)

  2. I have a new appreciation for dress shopping. :)