09 February 2013


I set off for goodwill last night (after attempting to run errands on an empty stomach, realizing that I was going to fall apart if I did not eat something, in the manner of a cranky 3 year old, driving home, and eating) to buy a hideous dress.

I am playing an old woman c. 1985 for a murder mystery party tonight, and I am sadly lacking in old lady dresses. Where else would I find one but goodwill?

The whole reason why I generally do not bother to attempt the purchase of clothing at goodwill is that the proportion of hideous items to acceptable items is absurdly high, e.g. I looked through the entire dress section and I found four (4) hideous dresses in my size to try on (I ignored many others because they were too hideous and/or hideous in the wrong way) and one (1) acceptable dress in my size.

I was looking, specifically, for a flowered house dress.

House dress, in my mind, connotes muumuu, but I just couldn't quite do that, so I ended up with something that I can only describe as follows: the early 1990s stole an Amish woman's dress and imposed its own awful pattern upon it in place of the solid colored original. (This makes it sound like I think Amish women's dresses are ugly, which was not what I was trying to say. I actually like the fit of this dress, now that I've taken the shoulder pads out, although it is higher in the neck and lower in the skirt than I usually wear. It's just, oh, the pattern.)

Or, okay. Remember in The Sound of Music, when Maria uses the old drapes to make clothes for the children? If the drapes had been a gross blue with ugly mauve roses going up and down in rows and a bit of cream in the background that looks like it was once intended to be white and got dirty, this is the dress she would have made. It seriously looks like I'm wearing curtains.)

Now I am powdering my hair and putting it up in a bun. The heinous dress will be complimented by an apron, a long cardigan, reading glasses on a string, and clumpy shoes with tights. I am excited to look awful. I even remembered to powder my eyelashes so I almost do look like I have grey hair.

I also bought the non-hideous dress, because I liked it in a sort of '60s retro kind of way, and I am still wearing dresses pretty much every day, and I have a rule that any dress under $75 that fits well must be purchased immediately. (Well, it used to be $75, because dresses tend to be kind of expensive, but as the economy has tanked, I bought a dress at B@n@n@ Repub1c six weeks ago for $22, so I may have to move my number down. Under $50, let's say.) The retro dress was $12.99, which illustrates why goodwill is frustrating: anything you actually want to buy is not that cheap. Cheap, yes. Worth the agony of finding it amongst all the heinous things? No.

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