I have no picture for this post… but trust me, you wouldn’t want one.
I was at Value Village today, looking for some new duds. I like getting new clothes, but hate spending money… so this is how I compromise. They’re new to me.
There I was in the dressing room, with a dress I’d picked up in the hopes that it might fit. It had no buttons or zipper; it was of the genus “pull over your head and hope for the best.”
It was cute.
It was one size too small.
But – sometimes manufacturers have funny sizing, you know? Hope springs eternal.
I got halfway into it when I knew it was too small. The only question at that point was whether it was too small, as in, “I could wear this if I lost ten pounds”, or if it was too tight, as in, “however much weight I lose, my shoulders and ribcage are still too wide”. I hadn’t gotten it over my head yet. I should have stopped and backed mournfully out of it at that point.
But no. I kept going.
I got it on, and took a look in the mirror. Sure enough, too tight. Too bad. Off we go.
And that’s when I realized … it wasn’t going to come off. Not without help.
The best way to get through utter humiliation is to just dive in and get through it, right?
I opened the door of the fitting room, peeked out and made eye contact with another customer who was sorting through her cart.
“Umm… would you give me a hand? I’ve gotten this dress on but I can’t get it off.”
I discovered that making this sort of statement in the middle of a clothing store triggers dramatic results. To be precise, every female within earshot over the age of 30 that has ever given birth will immediately drop everything she’s doing, laugh hysterically, and converge on the mortified shopper, motherly instincts activated and at the ready.
That being a description of myself, I could completely understand the reaction while still being personally horribly embarrassed.
Fortunately, the lady I asked for assistance was not only quite cheerful about the whole thing, but she found a zipper that I’d missed in the side of the dress, which opened up just enough space in the side seam between the arm and the waist that I could wriggle back out.
She unzipped. I fled to my dressing room and wriggled.
She knocked on the door and ringingly inquired, “Were you able to get it off, sweetie?”
At that point I was hauling it over my head, so my, “Yes – thank you so much!” was a bit muffled.
She then reassured the other six dozen moms that had assembled to help me out of my predicament that Disaster Had Been Averted. I had visions of hordes of ladies putting their scissors, seam rippers and nail files back in their purses and going back to their shopping in a sort of vague disappointment tempered by a warm feeling of motherly solidarity against the ravages of fashion upon unsuspecting, overly-optimistic, naive shoppers.
I proceeded to vow then and there that I would never tackle another dress in a fitting room without first being sure of my exit strategy.
I bought skirts instead.