Friday, December 02, 2005

it called to me

a while back i went with my college girls to miami (south beach). there was plenty of sun and fun, but of course the festivities wouldn't be complete without a little shopping. being a very touristy spot, everything in the shops was marked up at an exponential rate correlating to the number of times it had been spotted on MTV. A few of my comrades found some pretty good things, but i was mostly there to window shop and had no intention of buying anything that overpriced from a chain store i could most likely find in the mall i've been going to since i was born.

but that didn't stop me from looking.

oohing and ahhing as other people tried on stuff was fun for awhile, but then i got the dangerous idea of maybe trying something on myself. you know, just for kicks. we walked into a popular nationwide chain. i was looking for something fun and ridiculous that i could entertain myself with but not actually purchase. i made my usual trip sequentially up and down every trendy little aisle being sure to look at everything at least once (you never know what gem can be hiding among corduroy capri pants). and while i can always appreciate what's hot this season, i realize the real value in a piece of clothing is its classic longevity, a rare quality that i hone into like a sonar.

and it happened. it was red. very plain and simple. hanging under the shimmery black one-sleeved numbers and the strapless assassins. very unassuming. easily lost in the crowd, but on its own, not half bad. a little like me. i pulled it out, holding it at arm's length. pretty decent. it was totally something i'd wear. the back was a little lowcut for my taste, but eh, it wasn't like i was going to buy it or anything. i slipped it on.

dude, it was like this dress was made for me. formfitting, but not in that annoying way that clings to every unattractive curve. crisp, but with just enough of a stretch to keep you from feeling locked in. it hit at just the right part of my knee, and the slits on the side helped with mobility, but weren't high enough for streetwalker status. it was well tailored and could easily be dressed up or down depending on jewelry and shoes. i was in love. until i looked at the price tag. the thing cost about as much as i was spending on lodging for that trip. and i clearly did not *need* it. so with a heavy heart, i spun around a couple more times and returned it to the rack.

you know when you find something perfect and don't buy it for some really stupid reason like you can't afford it, but then later catch yourself thinking about that item forlornly because it would have been perfect in so many ways? yeah.

however, there is a ray of hope in this story. a few months after my trip, it was getting to be christmas time. i decided to hit up the mall for a few gifts, and headed into a chain store that was moving locations and getting rid of everything in the building. the trip was on a whim, because everyone knows that after the first day, sales like that are often picked over so much that all that is left on the rack are damaged goods or things in size -18 or 56XX, that very few people can wear. but nevertheless, something compelled me to wander on in.

i brushed past all the oversized workpants and the sweaters that had bumps from being on a hanger too long when i saw it -- and i'm not even freaking kidding -- hanging nearly by itself on a rolling rack in the corner. there was nothing else hanging there but a looped up belt and half of a sweater set. the red dress. i recognized it right away and thought it was a cruel joke because of course it'd be in some ridiculous size or have a malfunctioning zipper or something. but upon further inspection, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. and it was my size.

i took it as a sign and went up to the counter, where i got the best news ever. not only was this dress *the* dress, it had been marked down SEVENTY-FIVE percent.

i'd have to say that's probably the most satisfying purchase i've ever made. it's just too bad that i haven't had any real opportunities to wear it. but even if i never do, just knowing it found me again is enough.


MEP said...

Ah, that's such a great feeling, isn't it?

Ale said...

waw- thats a real stroke of LUCK lady! my motto is if you reeeeeealy want something, you grab it and don't let go! (even if its a bit expensive)

'ka said...

that's called 'meant to be!... i'm happy for you! :)

jazz said...

fate. pure fate.

but i'm with ale. don't take your chances too often like that. dangerous little game there..

*~mad munky~* said...

wow... there's nothing like getting somet you reaaaaaaaaaally want at a funky price :oD

my best bargain this week was a dress I got for £21... was originally £90 *jumps for joy*

lucasjackson7 said...

alas, i don't feel alone in looking at the clearance racks when i buy clothes.

thank you for keeping the rest of us alive with hope for the sale racks.

i wonder if there is a way that we can work out a trade and barter system outside the malls on the 26th instead of returns. i think that would be a lot more exciting.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ah sigh, together, at last. You two were meant to be :-)

Lia said...

That's such a wonderful story. I have a similar story, but it ends differently - I didn't buy it, I never saw it again, and then my friend showed up wearing it to something a few weeks later. And it looked MUCH better on me.

Chelle said...

YOU were definitely meant to have that dress!!!! need to wear it proudly!!! :)