Jeff was in North Carolina all week, so I did what I always do when he is out of town. I went pretend dress shopping at ModCloth. This is how it works: I put the kids to bed, I jump on the computer, and I spend (probably too much) time browsing the styles I like. I then put all of my favorites into a shopping cart to see how much it would cost to have everything. I then take every single dress OUT of the shopping cart and go to bed. No one gets hurt.
Ah, but Wednesday evening was a bit different. I had spent the better part of the afternoon working on a freelance project, so I decided to actually order a dress. I turned to Facebook, where several of my most fashionable friends hang out, and I presented them with three options: This, this, or this (which is NOT from ModCloth, but is still very cute). At the end of the evening, I went with the Craft Festival Dress. (It was the last one in stock. Victory!)
This afternoon, the girls and I found ourselves at a mall choosing a Father’s Day gift for Jeff. While there, I noticed that two teenaged boys were quietly (but not quietly enough) rating women as they walked by. My gut reaction was to quickly change directions and find a different route to our destination. (Believe me, I also considered confronting the boys, but deep down I knew it would have done more harm than good—especially since my voice shakes and it sounds like I’m about to cry whenever I confront anyone. “Stop judging women! I’m not crying about this despite my quivering tone!”) Because I’m a sucker for the whole “shortest distance between two points” thing, we soldiered on. The woman in front of me, who was probably in her mid 30’s, was wearing a pair of tight jeans and a shiny tank top. Her hair was up in a sloppy ponytail, and she was pushing a stroller. She scored a five. I decided that although I was wearing a brown cotton dress that sort of resembles a cleaning uniform, I could possibly outscore Ponytail Mom if I put a confident smile on my face and perhaps a bit of a bounce in my step. With the girls at my side (they had no idea what was going on, and I wasn’t about to tell them, because I DO know how disgusting it is), I did my runway walk.
Boy #1: One.
Boy #2: If even.
How deflating! I know I’m no Cindy Crawford mom, but a One?! And an If Even?! (I’m so self-conscious of my neck lately. I wonder if my neck had anything to do with my low score. Also, my posture is terrible if I’m not actively thinking about it!)
When I returned home from the mall, I received an e-mail from ModCloth. Apparently, there had been a mix-up with the dress I ordered and it ended up NOT being available after all. They refunded my money and offered a coupon that included free shipping toward the purchase of a new dress.
This was a sign from the universe. (I’m pretending that) I couldn’t care less about those boys and their shoddy rating system. However, perhaps at 42 I really SHOULD try a bit harder to _______ ______ _______. (Try a bit harder to what? I have no idea. I’ve been sitting here for three minutes trying to complete that sentence. Try a bit harder to showcase my inner Amelie? Try a bit harder to not give a crap? Hrm. So many directions.)
Anyway, I once again turned to Facebook. (Because that’s what I do.) This (which I really love, and I can see myself wearing all year round with a black cardigan and leggings—so Amelie-esque!) or this (which will force me to look like I give a crap!)? My friends had definite opinions about both dresses. (One person was brave enough to say that those who voted for the Dressing Room Dress are not my real friends.) Although I definitely wanted to walk away with both dresses, I eventually chose the winner and checked out. I will be bedecking myself with the victor in the next 7-10 business days and will probably need your shoe opinions at that time.