My sister appeared at my house with a red dress--a beautifully made, sleeveless (oh no, strike one) red (strike two) dress with a ruffle at the collar. She had found it on the sale rack of an upscale department store and thought of me, so she bought it so that I could try it on, fortunately in the privacy of my own home. Wait a minute, she saw a red dress and she thought of me? Me? I thought my red dress wearing days were over.
It hung on the hook in my closet for several days, hiding behind the plastic garment bag until I decided to try it on. I pulled it over my head, trying to silence the little voice asking questions like, "Where could you possibly wear it?" Too dressy for church—too red for a wedding (I know, but I am still old fashioned that way). I had just about convinced myself that the dress wasn't going to work, when I actually zipped it up and saw that it fit perfectly. Maybe, it was worth consideration.
I walked into the bedroom just as Andrew (age almost 11) was coming up the stairs. I met him at the top of the stairs, struck a pose and said, "Hey, Andrew, what do you think?" I received the anticipated response. "WOW. Mom, that's great." And then the kicker, "Except you need pants to go with it."
Pants?!? I thought to myself, before I actually said, "Andrew, pants? It's a dress."
His answer? "Well, pants—or some really high socks."
I am quite certain that it was not a comment about my bare—pasty white, middle of March in Nebraska legs. I have very fair skin and am not really capable of tanning, so at best pasty white turns to an only slightly more pleasant shade of ivory. It did occur to me, however, that Andrew probably does not remember seeing me wear a dress. I spent almost a decade in a very conservative job, wearing only suits or skirts, high heels and stockings, occasionally dressy wool pants always paired with a jacket, but Andrew is too young to remember. My Talbots wardrobe has been replaced.
Not surprisingly, the red dress has been returned to the store. I've had my red dress days, but for now I can't handle David's hijinks in high heels, so I traded my stockings for sneakers. Sounds like a good trade to me.