Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 7: This is no time to panic. But I'm gonna.

About a month ago I went shopping at H&M for some new duds. I recently lost weight, and let me tell you. I was feeling fine. I was looking for something to commemorate the occasion that would make me feel cute and impish. I found a great dress, black with white letters all over it. They didn't spell anything but they were in this awesome font and I am kind of a font junkie. I grabbed a 10 and an 8 off the wall to try on because I figured I'd fall somewhere in between. The 10 was way too big. The 8 was good, maybe a little loose, but it was the smallest size in that style. I figured it would shrink in the wash and put it in the "definitely gonna buy it" pile and left the fitting room.

While browsing through some cardigans I saw it. The perfect dress was hanging on the wall - a little plaid number with an empire waist, A-line skirt and little cap sleeves. It was adorable and it had pockets, for Pete's sake. Love. I grabbed the one in front off the wall and it was a 2. There's no way I'm going to get my butt into a size 2. So I pulled all of the dresses down and found the largest size. It was a size 6. I was doubtful but I had fit into the 8 and it was a little too big. I was feeling skinny. Hell, I thought. I'm feeling size effing 6 skinny. I actually shook my head up and down with a smirk on my face. This was going to fit me.

I took it into the fitting room and undressed, removing my bra. I am not really well endowed on top so I have this kind of push uppy bra but this dress would not require its assistance. I unzipped the little nothing zipper, the kind that doesn't go all the way up or down the side of the dress but just kind of makes a hole in it, and put it over my head.

I got one arm in and the little sleeve was awfully tight. No big deal, I thought. It will be fine once I get it on. So I stuck my other arm in the arm hole and tried to pull it over my braless boobs.

It wouldn't go. But I am not a quitter. I was determined to get into this dress. I pulled it down and settled it in place over my shoulders and it instantly felt like they were encased in cement. I could not move my arms more than two inches in any direction. And then I realized that the empire waist would not fit over my boobs. Not in one million years. Oh well, I said to myself. I guess I'm not a size six. It was time to give up the dream.

I grabbed the left sleeve with my right hand, as one does to remove one's arm from a frock. Only then did I realize that there was absolutely NO ROOM to maneuver my arm and navigate my elbow out of this thing. The fabric had no give. It was like a straight jacket. No big deal, said my brain. You're a broad shouldered gal and you've been in this situation before. Just pull it straight up over your head. Ok brain. You know what's best. I grabbed the hem of the skirt and tried to pull it up and off my head. If you've ever taken your clothes off this way, you know that at one point your arms are crossed over your head. The fabric was so unforgiving and the sleeves so tight that I couldn't get to that point.

Ok. Ok. I am stuck in this dress. No big deal. Maybe I can wiggle out.

Wiggle wiggle. Nope. Now I was starting to get upset. Maybe even a little panicky.

I am going to have to call someone in here to get me out and oh my gosh they are going to see my boobs and these old lady underwears with the hole on the butt cheek. Oh my gosh oh my gosh. What the hell am I going to do.

Wiggle wiggle. Stretch bend stretch.

Shit. Shit shit shit I am really stuck.


I started to sweat. This dress had a satiny smooth lining. Do you know what happens to satiny smooth fabric when you sweat? It STICKS. The situation went from dire to catastrophic.

I am going to have to rip myself out of this dress and pay for it and explain the whole thing and tell them that I thought I wasn't a FAT ASS and could fit my crazy shoulders into this delicate frock and I HATE YOU YOU STUPID DRESS COME OFF OF ME.

I actually started to whimper. I was in ULTRA PANIC MODE. Thirty minutes had passed. I called The Boy.

"Mike! I'm stuck in a dress at H&M!"
"What do you want me to do about it?"
"I'm really really stuck!"
"So what? Call someone in. I'm sure they've had to pry people out of clothes before."
"No! They'll see my boobs and - STOP LAUGHING."

I don't know what happened next. I sat down in order to regain my composure and stop sweating and I think some kind of primal escape mechanism kicked in. Suddenly I didn't care. I didn't care if I ripped it or if I barged into the store half naked screaming GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE. That thing was coming off. I took a deep breath in and yanked the hell out of it. I was almost hoping for it to rip or for my shoulder to dislocate, whichever happened first. Either way I'd be free.

All of the sudden, it came off. It hit the wall opposite me and slid to the floor in a rumpled heap. I stood there, staring at it, for five minutes. I didn't believe I was out of it. I was sure it was in ribbons. How else could I have escaped? I picked it up and couldn't believe it. The dress was FINE. No rip, no tear. No stitch out of place. That diabolical frock just decided to let me go. I put it back on the hanger and boogied out of that dressing room.

I caught sight of myself in one of the full length mirrors. I had been in the dressing room for 45 minutes and had come out with my face red and my hair all messed up, clothes all wrinkled. Every person was staring at me. I pretended like my phone was ringing and pretend answered it, talking to a pretend person on the other end as I hastily made my way to the cashier with the dress that didn't try to eat me, paid for my purchase and left.

This situation was so ridiculous that in recalling it here I have brought those feelings of panic and humiliation back to the surface and now I need a shower and a beer, maybe at the same time.

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