It was beautiful. With its wisping swirls of aqua, violet and peach, I could swear this dress was designed specifically with me in mind. I adored the abstract pattern, and I adored its unique look. This dress was perfect. And best of all, it was 75% off.
There was a catch, however. This dress was the only one left of its kind, and it just so happened to be two sizes too small. But size is just a number, isn’t it?
I entered the change room determined to get this dress to fit. In my head, I was already wearing it over my bathing suit to the beach, under my jean jacket to a bonfire, and with strappy flats to the local karaoke bar. This dress was so versatile. I had to make it work.
I threw the strapless dress on and latched the top hook at the back. For a second, I was struck with awe as I admired myself in the mirror. This dress was so flattering. Its silky material fell lightly, hitting my curves in all the right angles. I looked amazing.
But there was a problem. Reluctantly, I turned around, watching myself in the mirror, to address the nagging issue in the back. The zipper that sealed the back of the dress, connecting skirt to the top latch remained unzipped. And I could feel from the fabric that zipping up this dress would not be easy. But I had to try.
I gingerly pulled the zipper up as far as it would go, about midway up my back. Then it stopped, and I knew it was time for a new technique. Luckily, I had a few tricks up my sleeve(less dream dress)!
I wiggled the dress around to the front, so that I was wearing it backwards. I hoped that the problem with the zipper had more to do with the angle my elbow had to be bent at to zip it, than the actual dimensions of the dress.
The gap between where the zipper stopped and where the top latch was closed now sat across my chest, in an ideal spot for pulling. It was just a matter of a few inches, and a lot of strength to bridge the gap, and then the dress could finally be mine! This dress was within my grasp, I could feel it. I shut my eyes, said a silent little prayer, and began the pulling.
At first tug, the zipper went up a bit. This gave me a false sense of hope, and I tugged again. No budge this time. So I tugged a little harder. And a little harder still. I tugged at that tiny metal zipper until it had indented itself between my thumb and forefinger. I tugged until the stubborn metal began to burn my skin, and then I tugged even harder. This dress was worth it. I tugged in desperation. I tugged in fury. I tugged and I tugged.
I tugged with all my might until my hand slipped right off the zipper and directly into my face, that had been angled down, watching the entire struggle.
Then I stood for a minute in stunned silence. The pain shocked me, and now it was my mouth that burned. I lifted my head to the mirror to get a full view of myself. My right fist was shaking, my upper lip cracked, my teeth bloodied and the dress unzipped.
It was then I realized, this dress was too small.