We’re in the car. We already dropped off the dogs, so I’m no longer sharing real estate with a terrier. Leg room really is a luxury. As Stockton pulls into the driveway, I feel prepared. I’m dressed for both events of the day, an afternoon baby shower and an evening wedding, in a sophisticated black and white party dress. Shiny balloons attached to the mailbox dance in the wind.
“Uh, sweetie, I don’t know if I should tell you…” Stockton says when I lean over to kiss him goodbye. I grip the door frame. He indicates my waist. I look down, squinting, blood pressure rising. My great double duty outfit failed me.
“What? Where? Specifically?” The panic to target the issue sets in. I stare in vain.
“It’s like something spilled down your dress.” My excitement to see my friends deflates like day-old, forgotten decorative balloons. I’m stuck here in the open vulnerability of a public, sighted space.
I shift into Damage Control. I can do this. I’ll blame my muddy-pawed dog. Or something. I wave behind me and move on. I skip the doorbell, I don’t wish to be greeted. I enter stealthily without a fuss, saying a quiet hello to an empty foyer. Score, the hostesses are busy with last minute prep. I pray for diffused lighting. Thank goodness the mom to be will be charming and radiant, an experienced actress who commands attention easily. Others walk into the room. Time to chat and blend in. As if on cue, the lady of honor appears in a lovely blue dress and heels. I breathe easier like I’m backstage.
I’m sure to leave my green handbag on my lap as a prop, my leather armor. Final guests arrive and the party starts. I completely forget about my frock problem until it’s time to eat. Gotta go shield-less. Walking behind someone, which I prefer in crowds with these eyes, takes on new importance. I’m relieved the delicious food and drinks look great and everyone focuses on filing plates. I overhear a friend struggling to explain to another guest she does not live in NYC, she lives in the city of York. I’m not the only one looking to keep things moving. Before I sit again, I check out the children’s book themed cookie plate. Too cute.
Unlike those adorable sugar cookies that my friend, a trained pastry chef who lives in YORK, baked, I was not pristine. I’m surrounded with friends who love me despite screw ups, but I care about appearances enough to avoid the sloppy blind person trope. Yet, I do miss things as I do have this vision issue…what can you do at times, but laugh at yourself.
My phone vibrates with a text from Stockton. Contingency plan? My suggested Tide-to-go stick is vetoed. As the baby shower transitions from games to gifts, I rationalize for Event of the Day #2. I’m not in the bridal party or toasting at reception like I did for my sister’s wedding last May. Hey, I got it: an unfortunate decaf coffee spill at the baby shower, the diaper tower stacking comp was off the hook guys. Who would question it.
It’s time to exit. Hugs and waves and I’m out. In the car, Stockton reminds me that retail stores are on the way, including my favorite store. I agonize. This is hard for me, to spend the extra money. I do what I do in times of peril. I grasp my phone and google. The place I bought my ruined dress from has a store at the outlets. Alleluia.
Soon, Stockton and I coast through the shopping complex. And get stuck behind a slow Volvo with numerous bumper stickers. Who still does bumper stickers? We idle within sight of an open space. The traffic moves and Stockton channels Towanda.
We practically fly out of the car, race walking through the lot. Once inside, I grab three dresses, one of which is black. I head toward the fitting rooms thinking what, am I going to a funeral? Black cardy, black shoes, black dress. I don’t bother to wait for an attendant, I spot an open stall and execute. Clock ticking. First choice is out, it’s a weird, lamp-shade-on-the-thighs shape. I quit choice two, poor fabric. Last one reveals a great neckline and the pattern keeps to my black and white color scheme. A size smaller than I’d prefer, but it’s stretchy. I don’t have the honest judge of my sister. Just a husband who will always be okay with tight fit over conservative polish. Today, it will do and Stockton wins. I sort myself out and head to the bustling cash wrap.
Of course there’s a lady signing up for an account and the other lady is asking questions. Tick, tick. I consider the possible time savings if they would scan the tag while I’m wearing the dress. Still waiting, I finally look at the price. $40, well below my nightmare jump to conclusions value. Whew. I hear a Next! The cashier quickly helps us and hands off the bag. My thrifty self is elated, total was less than $25 for my clearanced wardrobe understudy.
Car doors slam, engine roars to life. Now I face the issue of a costume change without flashing skin in Amish country. Don’t want Stockton to hit any buggies either. I remind myself, at least my moms not driving to this family wedding, so I know we won’t hit any speed bumps at 40mph. (Sorry mom, but it still makes me giggle.) I wiggle and contort and finish without incident. I sigh with relief. There’s nothing like the thrill of finding the perfect second dress.
Have you had a fashion mishap lately? How did you fix it? Did anybody notice? Tell me about it.