Last month I ordered a bunch of dresses online. I generally don’t order clothes online because you can’t try them on. You have to wait for the precious to arrive, try it on, look in the mirror and be honest about what you see. If it’s not a good fit, can it be tailored? Is the hassle of tailoring less of a pain in the ass than the hassle of finding the receipt, shoving it back into a package, and waiting (while hoping the package doesn’t get “lost”) for your refund? Or, if the dress does fit, are you really going to wear it? Do you see yourself wearing it, or will it require complimentary accessories? Can a safety pin keep a potential peep show neckline in check? If the safety pin is a no go, would the camisole totally ruin the effect?
As you might have guessed, I have been into dresses this year. It all started with Target’s Merona Collection line. Then there were a few others I was stalking online from another company. The full priced dresses were out of the question, but when I checked back a few months later, the clearance fairy had visited this summer's fashion line. I filled up my virtual shopping bag and placed my order. I was so pleased with my initial choices that I went back for more. I figured my credit card could take the hit until I actually saw my statement. Then when the last few dresses arrived, I had a sobering realization—the sizes were off, I was still not done losing weight, and I couldn’t see myself realistically wearing any of my selections. They were all cute dresses, but I could live a perfectly fulfilled life without them. Then I had to start culling, which involved grabbing a few from the closet (no, I haven’t worn them out yet, come on, I’m better than that!), finding the receipts, checking the return policy and marking up my reasons for the returns. It’s sobering—and not nearly as fun as filling a virtual shopping bag.
Sometimes things are just too easy; they’re too accessible. You get high on the idea of something and the next thing you know, you’re the proud owner of a bunch of shit you never really needed and didn’t actually want in the first place. Then you wake up and face the reality. Ohhhh…I shouldn’t have had the double bacon cheeseburger with the large fries and 32 ounce chocolate shake. What the hell was I thinking? Why did I need to have it? Nobody needs all of this stuff.
Once in awhile my whims result in a success. I bought cowboy boots for a decent price. The pair I had been stalking were on sale, but still too expensive for me, but I found an alternative pair that I liked, and these were on sale. “They look like they’re made out of Shrek’s skin” my husband said, commenting on the color. Hey, maybe that’s why they were on sale, but damn it, if anyone could make pea green leather cowboy boots work, it’s me. I felt especially smug when I checked them out online after buying them, only to find that the price had shot up to two and a half times what I spent on them. Don’t you really feel like a winner when stuff like that happens? Sure, you’re still a little bit more broke than before, but hey--you're not as broke as you could be! It’s a warped kind of logic, but it makes you feel better.
I’m still waiting for one dress to arrive. I will probably open the package, fish out the receipt, and without even taking it from its hermetically sealed bag, I will add it to the other rejected dresses to be sent back to the land of misfit purchases.