Monday, December 03, 2007

Little black dress, little black dress

When I was growing up in Austin, I loved reading the comics every morning. Of course, my favorite comic was "Mutts", a comic that featured a sweet dog and Mooch the cat. Mooch was in love with a little pink sock and spent many strips singing "Little pink sock, little pink sock, little pink sock" as he twirled it about on his paws. You can see him singing here:

Leave it to me to serenade a little black dress.

Friday afternoon, I met my mom at the mall in the Pond so she could buy me some shoes for Christmas. As a cheap and resourceful duck, I had worn my work shoes to the point where the sole was coming off in large chunks, threads were sticking out crazily among the sides and one pair had fallen apart even after being hot glued and duck taped.

Normally, you'd have to promise me peanut butter ice cream before I would even set foot in the mall. Unless it's a weekday morning, the idea of going to a mall makes me want to pluck out my eyeballs and throw them at all the shoppers. Lured by the promise of hole-less shoes, I met my mother on the gray and drizzling afternoon. After actually finding some adorable shoes that didn't cost $300, we set off on a quest for a little black dress. For years, I haven't owned a single black dress in my closet. I have sundresses, nice dresses and dresses for work. No black dresses, no cocktail dresses. However, something told me this day would be different.

As drizzle fell from the sky, we bustled past the trees wrapped in Christmas lights and the rich landscaping. Ignoring the people who scurried about buying Christmas presents, I stuck my head in a few stores. My hopes began to sink as I perused through dozens of unappetizing dresses. Too cheap-looking, too-revealing, too-trendy,too-tacky...honestly, does anyone wear gaudy gold zippers anymore?

Frustrated, I drug mom into White House, Black Market. And that's when I saw it:

I had admired the dress from the Web site. I had stared at it, thought about it. Ever the realist, I had talked myself out of it before I ever set foot in the store. "You'll never look good in a draped neckline," I told myself. "You're too busty for that dress. It's too trendy, it won't hold up."

I was wrong.

The gently slope of the neckline highlighted my bust without making me look like a Playboy Bunny. It hugged my waist and hips without making me look pregnant. The draping on the waist and slight slit made my hips want to wiggle and dance to the salsa beats pounding in my head.

It was a dress worthy of inspiration. A dress that could charm at evening functions, dance all night in a tiny club in some small town no one had heard of or simply stand on it's own, elegant in it's delicate simplicity. The moment I slipped the straps over my shoulders, I knew I had been inspired.

Many dresses are simply a dress. There are a few dresses in one's lifetime that for a evening transform the wearer into something more. This was one of those dresses.

The dress excited me in a way none had since my wedding dress. I felt gorgeous, elegant and worthy of envy. I could wiggle my hips, twirl and dance in heels. Thoughts poured through my brain as I imagined the possibilities of wearing a dress like this, the adventures one could have.

That night, I stared at the dress, running my fingers down the buttons on the side. By the next morning, I had three new ideas for books. The entire weekend, I would sneak into my closet and stare at it.

"Little black dress, little black dress," I would sing under my breath. "Little black dress, little black dress."

The dress sat in it's black bag quietly, waiting patiently until I'm able to slide it on Saturday for the holiday party at Ben's office.

For it is a dress worthy of inspiration and delight, like Mooch's little pink sock.

"Little black dress, little black dress".....