Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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The Tragic Star-Crossed Love Affair of a Woman and a Red Velvet Dress

My boss gave us all the afternoon off today as a reward for the fact that we finally finished editing our big book and sent it off to the printers (it was four days late by the time we finally sent it). I decided to go clothes shopping, and wandered through Sunrise Mall being disappointed by all the ugly clothes on sale. Eventually in the back of Sears I came across two stretch-velvet waistless dresses, the kind that so many women have nightmares about, because there's no flattering cut or distracting pattern or anything at all to make you look like you have breasts, hips and a waist unless you actually do have them all. I wasn't sure if that would work on me or not - I've had waistless dresses in the past that I loved, but they weren't as clingy or un-patterned or, you know, reflective in the way velvet tends to be, and therefore they weren't as demanding. But anyway, the prices were very reasonable (in the $30-$40 range) so I decided to try it - I tried them both on, a long dark purple stretchy plain velvet dress and a little short red stretchy crushed-velvet dress. And shapewise, they were both utterly gorgeous, perfect, unimprovable, I couldn't get over myself - my body needs to be decorated in such style every day for the rest of my life.

And yet . . . I didn't buy them. Because one thing was wrong. In non-velvet fabrics, I look great in red and purple - but velvet has such deep shadows that all the colors come out deeper and darker and next to their boldness my face looked pale and sickly and faded and really quite distinctly ill. Because, see, I always look that way if I wear any color darker than my hair (which is a sort of dark reddish-brown). So I never wear black - but under ordinary circumstances, red and even a fairly dark purple are okay on me. In velvet, though, they just weren't okay anymore. I just wasn't at all dark enough to hold my own with the dresses; I faded out and looked terribly outdone by them.

So I left, terribly miffed and a little heartbroken, the way you are when you meet someone who seemed like absolutely The One for you and then due to circumstances beyond the control of either of you, it turns out there's just no chance at all of the two of you ever getting to live on the same continent. I drove around in circles a while wishing a new clothing store would suddenly pop up unexpectedly, some new fantastic thing that I've somehow managed never to discover even after living in this city for all 25 years of my life. Of course none did. I went to an ordinary clothing store, one that I knew wouldn't have anything good because the real, non-imaginary ones never do. Eventually I gave up and went home, purchasing nothing but two new pairs of arch supports (because even though I was already wearing a pair of arch supports, my poor aching feet were screaming at me before I made it even halfway across the mall, so I decided I really have to start wearing two arch supports in each shoe all the time if I'm to have any hope of really making my feet happy) and a $1.19 package of ReeseSticks, which (oddly, since I love ReeseSticks) I haven't been able to actually eat many of. Maybe being heartbroken makes me lose my appetite.

Now for the past several hours since I got home I've been searching the internet frantically for a pale velvet dress - say, ivory-colored, or white, or something nice and pale like that so it won't make my face fade away and look outclassed by the dress.

But I can't find anything.
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