I returned from a short trip west, spending a migraine-miserable night in a hotel and battling through meetings yesterday and today despite the pain. I felt proud of myself when I departed the city, watching the sunset glow red in my rearview mirror as I sped east toward home.
The journey was challenging, though I've traveled it several times before. I counted six SUVs in various medians, perched on their roofs - wheels pointing upward as a cautionary tale in the snowy weather. I scowled at people driving too slowly, wishing they could hear my lecture on why we wanted to be careful but not cause accidents by disrupting the flow of traffic. I realized my jaw ached from clenching my teeth and hands cramped from gripping the wheel.
"I made it," I told Mom when, at her request, I called upon entering my kitchen from the garage. I greeted my puppy-dog and poured kibble in Sprout's bowl. I kicked my bags out of the way and looked at email.
After fetching 2 packages off the porch, I opened them and grinned. I had ordered a birthday outfit - a flirty red dress and ridiculously high heels. Eager to see, I opened the boxes and cooed over the stilettos.
"You're my first pair," I beamed at the little ruffle atop the peep toes. I slipped them on and turned my feet to admire them. Then I stood and immediately clutched at the wall and began to giggle. The four-plus inches of heel had me too unbalanced to stand, let alone walk. Holding my arms out for balance, I took two mincing steps before leaning against the wall again. "It's worse than ice skating!" I told Chienne who had wisely moved away so as not to be involved if and when I took a tumble. I took the shoes off and set them aside.
Remaining amused, I shimmied out of my gray pants and red sweater and into the wisp of a red dress from the second box. "Oh, goodness," I said to my reflection when I stepped into the bathroom to look. I tugged at the top, thinking there should be far more of it. I knew it was sleeveless and was aware there was a slit at the bust, but I somehow pictured it being less blatant. "Wow," I shook my head and tried to remember if I had a minimizing bra somewhere. Maybe I could wear a fluffy sweater though! With a turtleneck!
I couldn't see the bottom in the mirror above the sink so I put on my high, high heels and balanced myself with a hand on each wall of the powder room. The draping is nice and the color pretty. But the hem skimmed above my knees and while I don't mind (relatively) short skirts, I don't normally pair them with 'look at my breasts!' tops. There was no balance in this dress - no contrast of sexy with sweet. Even my favorite gray cardigan didn't do much to lessen the impact and I'd had to take off the shoes to walk the 10 steps to fetch said sweater.
I smiled before I carefully removed the outfit and slipped into comfortable pajamas. I wished - just for a moment - I were the type to wear it as I glanced at the red fabric across the room. Maybe someday, I decided, realizing it had been well over a year before I wore the silver dress on New Year's Day with Doug and about that long between its purchase and when the short black dress had gone on a first date with Will. "Maybe someday," I told the outfit out loud when I placed it on the steps so I could hang it in the back of my closet before going to bed. "At least you can be friends with the black and silver dresses."