I should have just given up. I was home from work, it was about to rain, and I should have called it quits. But no. I wanted to have a dress altered.
This dress is beautiful. Emerald green satin, halter-top, simple and divine. But it’s too big. So I set out to walk the two blocks to the little dry cleaning shop.
Then this rickety-ass, needs-to-die car pulls up next to me. He parks, then gets out and looks around a bit. I must have looked friendly. Too friendly. George needs to get his car repaired, so he wants to know what the bus schedule is like around here. I fill him in. Five minutes later I am trapped there on the sidewalk with my red and black umbrella, wishing it would swallow me whole and teleport (umbrellaport?) me to the dry cleaner’s. I know all about what George does, and he seems to think I want to hang out with him. So I put his number in my phone (oops, I guess it didn’t save) and told him I’d call him just so I could get the heck out of there.
The dry cleaner’s shop is hot. I am sweating the minute I walk in there, or maybe I was already sweating trying to come up with a smooth exit away from George. I show the seamstress the dress and ask if she can help. She shoos me toward the fabric-enclosed fitting room and tells me to put it on. I come out, she pulls, she pins. I ensure that I can take a deep breath in this baby and live to tell the tale. Good? Good. She shoos me back into the fitting room to take it off.
But when I get in there, the dress won’t budge. I’m not sure if it was the level of sweat that was accumulating on my skin, or how tightly she pinned the dress, or some combination. But no dice. While a man pays for his clothes, I zip myself back up and stand in the doorway. When she finishes tending to him, I say, “I can’t get the dress off.” She furrows her eyebrows. “I don’t know what it is, but I can’t get it off.”
So there, in the middle of the dry cleaning shop that was thankfully empty, I stand in my strapless bra as she starts to remove the dress like I am a giant green banana. And as a team, the seamstress and I wiggle the dress over my butt, over my “not going out tonight” underoos, and off my sweaty body. I jump out of that thing so fast, for fear that one of the locals might wander in the open door or spy me through the window despite the number of plants shielding me from view. It’s not that I’m afraid of being half-naked. It’s that I’m afraid of being half-naked in not-so-nice underwear.
She gives me a discount, and I may never know if it was because she thinks I’m a student from the school down the street or if she felt bad for the underwear incident. But $23 and two weeks from now, I’ll have a smaller, cleaner dress. We’ll see if it’s still as beautiful.