I am invited to a Murder Mystery party this Friday. To make the mystery more fun and engagin (see Mardi Gras Mystery), we have to dress up as an assigned character. The idea to throw the party this weekend was pretty last minute (I only received my assignment today), so I don't have a lot of time to throw a costume together!
I am supposed to dress as a beauty pageant queen. A little over a year ago, this would have been an enjoyable and easy assignment. I still own my beautiful prom dress (and have found a surprising number of excuses to re-wear it over the years), a couple bridesmaid dresses, and a couple other formal gowns that I picked up cheap from thrift stores through the years. I should have plenty of options to choose from for my costume. But unfortunately, this is not the case.
My pregnancy, and now nursing has ensured that I now have a...quite matronly bosom. Any top that is supposed to button or any dress that is supposed to zip ends up getting stuck halfway up. Sigh. It's very frustrating. I'm still holding onto things for now. Probably, though, I'm just not admitting to myself that a number of my clothes (and an unfairly high percentage of my dressy clothes) will never fit me again :-(
So I'm still not sure what I'm going to do for this party.
I swung by the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store today to see if they had any fancy dresses in plus sizes (yeah, seriously. I need at least a size 14 now. That's a little depressing.) I found two beautiful dresses in size 10 and size 12 -ones that would have fit me before. Apparently, I was in the mood to make myself frustrated, because I tried them on. And of course, it was the same problem I've been experiencing - looked great, fit well...until the zipper got to the chest.
There was one dress left with my in the fitting room. A size 14 lavender-colored satin number. Obviously a past bridesmaid dress, but it had a flattering shape to it, and I thought it could work. I got the zipper almost all the way up. There were maybe two inches left to go. The dress was pretty snug, but I thought it just might work. I told myself that unless I was able to zip the thing up fully and by myself that I couldn't buy it.
Contorting my body so that I could reach the zipper with my fingertips, I tugged up on the zipper. I was inching it up ever so slowly. I was SO close to the top. And then, *POP*. A sudden release of tension told me that the entire zipper had burst apart. Crap. "Alright, I'm definitely not buying this one, then," I thought, as I began trying to just unzip the whole thing back down to take it off. But the zipper would not move. Neither up nor down. It was glued in place.
And I was really starting to sweat. The store was air conditioned, but the dressing rooms were little boxes, all closed off with no access to the precious air. I tugged and tugged. I tried twisting the whole dress around to the front so I could have better access to the zipper. I felt as if I were tight-corseting myself, and realized I wasn't breathing anymore. So I stopped, and shifted it back. I think I actually started to panic a little, and I was definitely getting hotter and hotter, and occasionally gasping for breath.
Something needed to be done right away. I peeped out the door, praying there would be some friendly-looking middle-aged woman standing there who might assist me. Instead, the only person in eyesight was a little old man, looking at a rack of pants. "Excuse me? Excuse me?" I said a few times. He finally noticed me. I asked, "Could you go find a woman for me? I need help with something in the dressing room. I need a woman." It took a few more tries until he finally understood what I needed. With a confused look on his face, he wandered off to oblige my odd request.
And he brought back a friendly-looking middle-aged woman. It took about five minutes, but she finally just broke the whole thing, and I was rescued! The guy working at the register told me it was fine and I didn't have to pay for it. Thank you, God!
But man. After that experience, I've just about lost all hope of ever finding a nice dress that fits.