The Dress From Hades

Last weekend I went to a wedding.  Though I’d been asked why I couldn’t just wear the dress I’d worn to my sorority formal, I just couldn’t wear the same special occasion outfit twice.  So sue me, I’m a little bit of a princess sometimes.

With one of my sisters in tow, I scoured the Mall of America for the perfect dress – one that didn’t come with a size 16 or XL tag (out of pride), one that didn’t cost too much (I’d probably only wear it once), and one that didn’t look like I’d fashioned it out of a Hefty bag and an industrial zip-tie.

Finally, we found one.  It was adorable – black satin, short, pink belt to cinch the waist, and less than $30.  I tried it on in the dressing room, my sister zipped me up with seeming ease, and the purchase was made.

Done deal, no?  Well… no.  The day of the wedding, I planned to ride with my mom and grandma, and I needed someone to zip me up besides, so I dropped by my mom’s house a little early.  Ducking into her spare bedroom, I sucked myself into some horrific, Bridget Jones-type girdle panties, as well as a boned pseudo-corset.  I pulled the dress from its hanger, tossed it on, and wandered into the living room in search of some help with the zipper.

This is where tragedy struck my day.  Yes, that’s a little melodramatic, but it fits, you’ll see.  My mom grasps the zipper, pulls upward, gets about two inches from the top and… have you guessed it?  The zipper stops.  Panic flooded my brain, but I thought that it may just be because the dress, and therefore the zipper, was cheap and  just getting stuck due to shoddy craftsmanship.

She tries again.  And again, and again, and again.  I sucked in my breath, flattened my arms over my chest, raised them above my head, and did just about every move with the exceptions of the hokey-pokey and the chicken dance in order to increase the chances of the zipper reaching its intended destination at the top of my dress.

No such luck.  I thought, well, my mom has arthritis.  Maybe she just can’t grasp the zipper enough.  She looked at me and said, “Wait until your grandma gets here.  She can help me.”

My grandma arrives, and soon I’m eyeing myself in horrified fascination in my mom’s mirrored wall, watching two women over 60 trying vainly to zip my much-mangled dress.  After five minutes of doing so, I couldn’t help it, and I burst into tears.

At that point, I had lost over 45 pounds, but I still felt like the fat girl I’d been when I started this all.  My clothes once again didn’t fit.

Through my tears I managed to ask if it was me, or the zipper causing the problem.  My mom replied, “Well, it isn’t the zipper…”

Comforting, right?  Finally, I tried to accept that my dress just wasn’t going to zip and reluctantly pulled my shrug sweater over it.  I’m not proud of it, but I sulked the whole drive to the wedding, where my mom promised that one of my sisters would get the zipper for me.

Wrong again.  My sister couldn’t get it to go either, but reassured me that it was the zipper getting stuck, not me.  I absolutely couldn’t believe her.  My inner fat girl was winning, and it seemed my day could not possibly be resurrected.  Until I got back to my mom’s house and took the dress off.  Even without me in it, the zipper got stuck.

So that’s how I spent an entire Saturday crying over feeling fat all because of the power of a cheap but cute dress from Charlotte Russe.  I’m not sure what the moral of that story, or the lesson learned, would be, but I’ll keep trying to figure it out. 😉

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