This was a major step for me.
While I do enjoy a leisurely shopping excursion, clothes shopping for myself generally falls in the category of "Events I'd Rather Not Endure". Along with Trips to the Dentist, Eating Corn Chowder, and Being Tied Up and Forced to Watch 24 Hours of Sunset Tan, clothes shopping is more a trial of fortitude than a pleasure trip.
My mother is coming to visit in a few weeks, and we hope to sneak out and celebrate our anniversary while she is here. I have grandiose plans of eating sizzling steak in the near-dark, revelling in a meal which does not include hot dogs, sippy cups, or the phrase "Sit down and eat your food!".
I strode into TJ Maxx, a woman on a mission. I had run to the bank (child-free!) & was eager to steal a few extra moments to myself. I made my way to the dress section, and, with the words of Cardigan Empire echoing in my mind, I perused. In moments I held a half-dozen dresses in my arms, and I sped to the changing room.
The least likely candidate (peacock-bright, not on clearance) quickly became the clear favorite. Heavy, drape-y double-layered jersey encased my curves in soft folds of perfect proportions. Beginning with a v-neck, and ending gently at the knee, this dress showed me that the rules of body type - when applied thoughtfully - can create feelings that I once believed to be lost.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I levitated onto my toes, trying to imagine the right shoes (Teetering black pumps? Stylish grey wedges? Deep purple mules with just a touch of toe cleavage?) and felt.......pretty.
Standing under the soul-sucking florescent lights and shabby grey dressing rooms of a discount store, I felt pretty.
Despite the shrill warnings of my practical self: "It's SO bright!" "When are you going to wear this again?" I hustled to the check out stand and breathlessly paid for my treasure.
Even if my dreams of a wonderous evening don't materialize and I never wear this dress, it will hang in my closet as a reminder of who I (still) am: wife, mother, pretty girl.
Now, what shoes am I going to wear with this little lovely?