The thorn in my side.

I should have kept your shopping trip companion.

She was a classic beauty, a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress. Her lovely sophisticated colors, soft draping and flattering hemline made my heart go pitter patter. She only required a special undergarment and strappy shoes to declare to the world, “The gal wearing this dress is a CONFIDENT GROWN woman, BELIEVE THAT!”

The two of you were a purchase that was strongly recommended by that asshole I dated briefly. Just seeing you reminds me of what a jerk he was. But he did teach me something. He turned the mirror around and said, “How can you be this old and NOT have done XYZ? Why don’t you own clothes for the opera or for any fancy occasion I want to take you to?”  His words stung. And he was right. I was single, 28, living in San Francisco, with my own apartment and yet my wardrobe looked like it belonged to a much younger girl. Even before our first date, I had to scramble to find something more mature to wear.

It was after our third or fourth date that Asshole said those words to me. He wanted to show me off, liked me as his arm candy and wanted me to dress accordingly.

So I went out, nearly maxing out my credit card to buy you and your companion.

You were a challenge. Your long lean lines said “this ain’t prom, and this sure ain’t the Sizzler.” Your narrow spaghetti straps demanded extra reps with the dumbbells for my arms. The gathers at the waist and asymmetrical lines suggested a generosity that you cruelly denied. Even your hidden tag was a jab. No other designer that day thought I was a size 8. But You! Your nose stuck high in the air screamed you deserved better than the sales rack you hung on.

Sales rack, ha! Your price tag didn’t suggest anything closesly resembling a mark down.

And yet, I couldn’t resist you. Once I had you slithered and shoved down my length, I became another woman. I looked amazing. Well sort of. Barefoot, bare faced and barely-styled hair did not flatter you or me.  As a package I still looked like a girl playing dress up but I saw the potential. I saw that with just a little more effort, you and me, we had the wow factor.

So you and the wrap dress went home with me. Another trip out and I found the strappy shoes your length required.

I would spend my free evenings, walking around my bedroom in those shoes, trying not to trip, trying not to look like a silly girl. I wanted to represent the woman that could wear you and them with nonchalance.

The opera, the symphony, the sophisticated black tie events never came. The asshole disappeared and your companion went back to the store. My credit card was relieved.

But you, you I kept. I wanted to believe that I would wear you one day.  I wanted to believe I would always have the body for you.

I pulled you from the back of the closet to take a look at you, and then back at myself and shook my head. You have been a thorn in my side and yet I cannot part with you. My body no longer fits within your restricting threads, my life doesn’t provide the opportunities to wear you outside of the bedroom and I don’t even want to talk about the shoes.

But one day I’ll believe I’m that woman, even if you never fit.

Today’s post was brought to you by the Mad Woman and inspired by the beautiful ladies of The Red Dress Club. Constructive criticism is welcome!


31 Responses to The thorn in my side.
  1. Mandyland
    February 17, 2011 | 10:23 pm

    Wow. This was amazing.

    I loved how you spoke to the dress like it was a frenemy. You loved it. You hated it. You can’t bear to part with it. You shove it back in the closet.

    No critique here. Nothin’ but love.
    Mandyland recently posted..The BlouseMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  2. Symdaddy
    February 18, 2011 | 3:04 am

    That’s the one you wouldn’t let me try on, isn’t it?

    Very enjoyable read …

    … and NO! I don’t really try on womens clothing

    often.
    Symdaddy recently posted..Biggles Flies Again or Hotrods Pleasure My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  3. Nancy C
    February 18, 2011 | 3:42 am

    I also adored how the dress represents her freedom and her regrets. I love how she recognized that she could pull it off, but, better yet, without him.

    Love it.
    Nancy C recently posted..Fiction- A Step ForwardMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  4. Pamela
    February 18, 2011 | 6:48 am

    This post has such symbolism. And I never really understood what that truly meant until I read it. The throw in of Sizzler is brilliant. I just read this after The Crayon Wrangler’s post and reading this back to back with that really makes me see that who I am today, body and all, it’s okay. I’ve got lots to show for it.
    Pamela recently posted..Hidden TreasuresMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  5. Lydia
    February 18, 2011 | 8:06 am

    That’s a lot of feelings tied up into one little dress, but isn’t that always the way? Loved this, Hate the jerk who made her buy it and never took her somewhere where she could wear it.
    Lydia recently posted..The Black MiniMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  6. Nichole
    February 18, 2011 | 8:27 am

    Gorgeous, simply gorgeous.
    I love watching you improve and seeing your confidence grow with each passing week.

    Your closing is perfect… “one day I’ll believe I’m that woman…”
    Nichole recently posted..And all that it impliedMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  7. Natalie
    February 18, 2011 | 8:35 am

    I have a pair of jeans that are the exact same as your LBD. And I also know the asshole of which you speak – had one of my own…

    Fantastic writing!
    Natalie recently posted..The ReplacementsMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  8. Ash
    February 18, 2011 | 8:47 am

    Love this. The writing, the story, the symbolism. Flows so well.

    Sadly, mine is only a pair of shorts from college. Not nearly as sophisticated, but just as symbolic to me. Crazy what we as women do to ourselves.

    I can’t believe you took back the Diane Von Furstenberg!
    Ash recently posted..So- you want to know what’s in the closetMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  9. HonestConvoGal
    February 18, 2011 | 8:52 am

    I love this post! I have a dress just like this. And like Nichole, I had the guy too. You’ve done a great job showing how a piece of clothing can come to symbolize so much–both where we were and what we hope to always be. Nice job!
    HonestConvoGal recently posted..Above Her RaisinMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  10. HonestConvoGal
    February 18, 2011 | 8:52 am

    Oops, wrong gorgeous blond. It’s Natalie who had the asshole, not Nichole, though she may have too. (blush)
    HonestConvoGal recently posted..Above Her RaisinMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  11. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ash at Shades, Mads Mom. Mads Mom said: Is that LBD in your closet a friend or enemy? Come tell me about yours: http://tinyurl.com/45gxnau #TRDC [...]

  12. [email protected]
    February 18, 2011 | 9:32 am

    I have a suit that was purchased for similar reasons. She was only around to see me in it one time, but I kept it. Still have it, even though I can’t quite slip into it anymore.

    Sometimes those things offer strength and lessons. I particularly enjoyed this line Once I had you slithered and shoved down my length. Good imagery.
    [email protected] recently posted..The Song of My Heart Has Gone SilentMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  13. (Florida) Girl with a New Life
    February 18, 2011 | 10:15 am

    I loved this. And this line slayed me: ““this ain’t prom, and this sure ain’t the Sizzler.”

    Stopping by from TRDC.
    (Florida) Girl with a New Life recently posted..A Writing Challenge- Tough LoveMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  14. Jackie
    February 18, 2011 | 10:54 am

    I have several items like that and the Asshole! Sadly, I think we all do!
    Jackie recently posted..Packing up the pastMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  15. Carrie
    February 18, 2011 | 10:55 am

    I love how much power you gave what is just a scrap of material. It’s funny the things we buy to “create” who we wish to be.

    I hope you get to wear this dress someday :)

    Visiting from RDC
    Carrie recently posted..Red Writing Hood- A MemoryMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  16. Shell
    February 18, 2011 | 10:57 am

    Ahhh, I have a dress like that. And I can’t bring myself to get rid of the horridly rude thing.

    [Reply]

  17. liz
    February 18, 2011 | 11:47 am

    I still have the dress I wore for my rehearsal dinner. There isn’t any “asshole” attachment to it, but it is something that I can’t wear now yet I leave hanging even though I have easily gotten rid of lots of other things.
    liz recently posted..I Write The Songs That Make The Whole World SingMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  18. CDG
    February 18, 2011 | 12:30 pm

    I’m gonna flaunt my I-got-a-sneaky-peek wingman privileges to say:

    Love the new ending. Just right.
    CDG recently posted..The Burberry ScarfMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  19. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    February 18, 2011 | 3:18 pm

    Ah, the dress. You love it. You hate it. You love yourself. You hate yourself. A dress is never just a dress.

    Well done, lady friend!

    [Reply]

  20. Crayon Wrangler
    February 18, 2011 | 4:12 pm

    Loved this. I love how you spoke to the dress and it spoke right back at you.
    This was brilliantly written. BRILLIANT I TELL YA!
    Crayon Wrangler recently posted..TRDC – The Fairy Princess DressMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  21. Jennifer
    February 18, 2011 | 5:32 pm

    Stupid Asshole should have bought the damn dress if it was that important to him. I love how the dress became almost a shrine or a monument, a place of reflection and self determination.
    Jennifer recently posted..Black MagicMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  22. Karen Peterson
    February 18, 2011 | 11:05 pm

    I think it’s such an interesting choice, talking to the dress. I like it.
    Karen Peterson recently posted..The PictureMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  23. Stacey
    February 19, 2011 | 7:54 am

    I love how she talks to the dress, like it is more than just a dress. It really represents something. I find it a little sad that she doesn’t seem to believe that she is the woman who fits in the dress, but I’m glad she’s holding onto it hoping that someday she’ll feel like that woman. A dress like that is never just a dress! Great post!
    Stacey recently posted..Upside down- Part IIMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  24. magnolia
    February 19, 2011 | 11:36 am

    fabulous piece. and lord, do i know that feeling.
    magnolia recently posted..the misanthropy bowlMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  25. Jill
    February 19, 2011 | 9:52 pm

    Very, very nice.

    IMO, you have become ‘that woman’.

    And that Sizzler thing… made me laugh out loud!

    [Reply]

  26. San Diego Momma
    February 20, 2011 | 3:47 pm

    The power we give our clothes. It’s our esteem, a point in our lives, a first date, an asshole, a wish, a dream. So many things.

    You expressed it all perfectly.
    San Diego Momma recently posted..How To Write AgainMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  27. Andrea
    February 20, 2011 | 4:12 pm

    I loved this. Sorry I’m just getting around to it now. It’s perfection. The perfect description of a horrid relationship, the turmoil of the way the dress makes you feel when you look at it. I know it well. Loved it.
    Andrea recently posted..And there it wasMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  28. tulpen
    February 20, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    I’m glad you’ve kept it!

    I’ve never cared much about clothes. When I was young and hot and skinny, I was a dirty hippie and ran around half naked in rags.

    Now that I’m neither young nor skinny, I wouldn’t mind a day in that body to put on something elegant and slinky, ’cause that 5’9″ 120lb body would have ROCKED SOME NICE SHIT!!!!!
    tulpen recently posted..Exotic Dancing and Turnip Farming Both Being Noble ProfessionsMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  29. John
    February 21, 2011 | 6:52 am

    Normally, when I hear of a love affair between a woman & a piece of clothing, I get a reminder that I’m truly glad I have a penis. I have my tuxedo – it’s black and it mostly fits. If the occasion doesn’t call for a tux, I have one of three suits: a black pinstripe suit that fits perfectly, a very dark gray suit from my fatter college days that I wear if the pinstripe suit is dirty, and a tan suit for those times that a suit might or might not be called for and I don’t want to go overboard on the formality.

    That said, this sounds like quite the closet companion. I truly enjoyed reading this. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever read something written with such passion about an inanimate object not worn on the feet.

    Speaking of which – what’s the difference between a man & a woman? A man has a penis & a woman has a crippling shoe obsession (*rimshot*). I’m here all week, ladies & gentlemen…remember to tip your waitresses.
    John recently posted..A Day in the lifeMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  30. Alexandra
    February 21, 2011 | 3:04 pm

    This was fun to read.

    I can tell that it meant a lot to you, too.

    You did that well, letting us know the importance of it, without weighing us down with it.

    That’s a hard balance. To not leave people feeling drained.
    Alexandra recently posted..Whose Life Is ThisMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

  31. erin margolin
    February 21, 2011 | 5:44 pm

    this was a treat to read. i loved every bit of it. isn’t it funny how a woman can relate to a single article of clothing or an accessory this way?

    loved the way you address the dress in 2nd person. works really really well.

    fantastic post!

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv Enabled

Trackback URL http://adiaryofamadwoman.com/thorn-my-side/trackback