Once upon a time, I bought a dress.
I was working for a now defunct prime-time celebrity gossip show who were known for throwing a lavish Emmy (TM) party, to which they invited the entire crew.
Because the crew were invited, we got a memo stating that this party was a formal affair. No jeans, no T-shirts, no flip-flops, no cargo shorts. You know, the things film crews wear all the time.
Tuxedos if you were male, gowns if you were female.
I was not about to pass up a chance to attend a genuine Hollywood Soirée (TM), so I skipped over to the local branch of Dior (TM), figuring I’d pay maybe a grand for a killer dress and have the night of my life.
It’s okay to point and laugh. That’s what the salespeople did.
After realizing there was no way in hell I could afford anything really nice, I went to the department stores, who stocked two styles of dresses. Matronly, and Teenage Prom (TM).
Next stop, outlet malls, stocked with the overpriced dregs of whatever hadn’t sold the year before.
Look, I don’t mind shelling out (within reason) for something well-made that makes me look fabulous, but last season’s dregs which smell of armpits and broken dreams aren’t worth the cleaning bill.
Dejected, I called The Blonde, who was my plus one.
“Why are you wasting your time?” she asked, in between popping bubble gum “Just go to Ross (TM)”
I contemplated this advice for at least 7 bubble pops.
“They have some okay stuff. Just check it out. You have nothing to lose”
“What are you wearing?”
“I dunno. Something a stylist gave me for free. With flats”
I went to Ross (TM).
And, surprisingly, found a fairly nice dress.
It was a classic black satin number with spaghetti straps, a nice drape, and a built-in bra.
It cost me the princely sum of $10.
I got my hair and makeup done, threw on my bargain dress and had a great time.
When the night was over, the dress stayed in the closet until the next time I needed to look presentable, and then it came out again. And again, and again.
Over the past decade I’ve pulled it out biennially, and it still looks great.
So, when I got an invite to the Magic Castle tonight (formal attire required), I reached for The Dress.
Something looked off. Before the cat passed away, she left me with the parting gift of a clawed-to-shit dress.
Either that or I have a poltergeist (TM) offended by bargain fashion.
I managed to patch it up with hem tape, and if anyone asks, I’m going to tell them I’m rocking the Derelicte look. Maybe I should put paper wads and cigarette butts in my hair for the full effect.
Tonight will be the last appearance of The Dress (TM).
I guess I got my money’s worth.