I was never a boy crazy preteen, but by the time I was thirteen I was already certain that finding a man was going to be a challenge, and one I was eager for. In 7th grade, besides writing a full fledged soap opera/romance novel, I also wrote an essay about how my favorite pastime was looking for cute boys. Yeah. So, when high school passed, and I was still single (despite reaching the magically dateable age of 16) and then college got well underway with no beaus in sight, I became certain that my self imposed ugly title was working its curse, and I would never get my ring by Spring.
Then came the fateful day when Banana Republic came out with their elegant linen dress with the delicate coral toned crocheted straps and low cut back. It was a perfect dress. I tried it on, and felt like a dress like that was clearly date material. Covetous is an appropriate description for my feelings for said dress, however, the price tag was (ahem) cost prohibitive. So, rather than buying it, I came back over and over just to touch it and see that it was still there, and imagine that someday it might be mine. When, much to my surprise and thrill, the dress went on a 90% sale, and suddenly cost only $25, I could not have been more elated. There was still no safe in sight, but with the dress in my closet, I felt certain one was possible, just as I was possible...Had I known the dress would languish, unworn, for more than ten years, I would no doubt have been less cheered by its presence...
I bought the so called date dress in the summer of 1999. It dwelt in closets in California and Oregon, it took a trip to Hong Kong, then languished in Idaho, no doubt contemplating self destruction to escape moths. But then, oh then, in the summer of 2009 I finally had a reason to pack it up on a flight to the Czech Republic. It was a warm late summer afternoon when I slipped into my favorite dress accessorized with some of my grandmother's pearls, and went on a date!
A walk through an ancient square, a stroll through the forest by a quiet river, then sitting quietly on a picnic bench near a bright yellow observation tower, talking until it got so cold that my Love gave me his shirt to wear. I can still remember how it smelled of minty gum. The sun went down, and we scared ourselves with imaginary night sounds, and mostly ran back into town. Oh memories.
I wore my date dress on Sunday. No date this time. I don't really need an excuse anymore. It just seemed the thing to wear on a sunny day, and it complimented my new coral and gold nail polish. Sometimes it's the little things that make it all worth while.