I am grouchy today. Surly. Bearish. I don’t know why, and I probably won’t, because I am not here to explore possibilities by verbally vomiting all that was wrong and right with my world today, and once I hit publish, my day will be done. I used to search for answers on days like this. Parse, review, analyze. Now I know it will pass, so I don’t waste my energy on it. Why? Because I have bigger concerns.
In forty days I will be fifty.
My concern is not with turning 50 itself, I am actually liking getting older and wiser, for now. My concern is my birthday dress. Yes, for the first time since I turned five (if ever, really) I have a birthday dress. To wear for what, I do not know.
It happened last week. I was on a mission to find a sweater that would replace the ones buried in bins at the very back and very bottom of the storage packed in April that I was sure would be emptied by October 15. I thought I was being clever then, putting the fall and winter clothes in the deepest depths, so they would go on the truck last, and come off the truck first, when unpacking is still fresh enough for me to act like it can really be a manageable process. The storage is still packed, and clever started feeling cold weeks ago, so I concluded a new sweater was the perfect use of the money my parents sent for my Christmas gift. So I shopped my way home from work on December 27th, in hopes of finding a screaming deal on the perfect integration of wool and knitting amongst the much-hyped “week after” sales.
So at Ross, my 3rd and final stop of that dark, dreary night, I decided to look at the dresses, too. I don;t know why. I hardly ever look at dresses because they rarely fit me. They did not fit “before” because my shoulders were two sizes wider than my hips, and my waist sat too low to have anything hit right. Dresses don’t fit now because I still have those issues, and the shape of a snowman as well.
Yet there I was, flicking hangers and sliding frocks down the pole faster than screaming people on ziplines. I don’t think I was even looking when it drew me in. It was matched-plaids, fully-lined lust at first sight. “Don’t,” I told myself, to quell the hope rising and diminish the despair sure to result from ingesting the price.
$13,99!!! WOO HOO! The price was right!
The problem? The size was wrong. The tag had the size I wear (on a good day) boldly printed on it, and the dress is a smaller size. Really. the label inside said so. The only one like it was the same size.
So, I did what I vowed I would never do again the dozens of times I donated clothes that were like new, because they were a better deal than fit, and I never shrank into them as planned. I bought the dress.
Now, it is motivational art. Thanks to the idea inspired by my brilliant friend Zelda, it is hanging on my wall. It is the first thing I see in the morning, the last thing I see at night, and a constant reminder that I want to be the person who can wear it (unless the shoulders are too tight or the waist is too high) more than I want to eat garbage or chocolate.
I honestly don’t know if I can become that person in 40 days or not, but I like that it is helping me try.