Goldilocks and the Flower Dress

I love this dress. I love, love, love this dress. I have loved it from the first moment I laid hands on it, when it was rescued from dumpster death along with a few trash bags full of awesome 80’s prom dresses. The colors, the patterns, the defined waistline, and most lovely of all- the pockets! What’s not too love??

As much as I wanted to snag this little gem for myself and make it a staple in my own wardrobe, once I tried it on I sadly realized that it was a bit too snug for me. At that time, I was a comfortable size 10 or so, and my lady curves made wearing the dress a little uncomfortable. Therefore, since it wasn’t destined to be mine, I graciously added it to The Fainting Goat’s inventory and hoped that it would find a fitting home elsewhere.

Months and months went by, as they tend to do, and it came time for a new photo shoot for The Fainting Goat site. We planned, scheduled our models, picked what gems would comprise our new line, and had our high heels all lined out for a fun filled day. Then only one model showed, our lovely size 10-14 gal. With no one to show off our amazing small and medium objects, I graciously volunteered to step out from behind the camera and offered up my new size 4-8 body as a mannequin for the day. (I had started skipping Atlanta afternoon rush hour traffic by running 3 miles at a nature trail near my work every day. Crazy, I know.) As I dug through my wardrobe for the afternoon with the eyes of a model instead of those of a designer,  I came across this little dress. My heart was once again flooded with joy and love. I danced with anticipation as I slipped the dress on and started buttoning it up. Surely my hard (albeit unintentional) work would pay off and it would be a perfect fit! But alas, no. Now the dress was too big! Where once the hems puckered and pulled, now they sagged. The defined waste that previously felt corset-like around my abdomen now sagged ever so slightly under the pull of the cotton sash. It worked for the photo shoot, but it didn’t feel like home. So at the end of the day, my love rejoined the other wears of the day on the sad rolling rack in the back room, once again not to be mine.

Now I find myself a year down the road and a few pounds more plump. (Still a 6-8, but just a little more soft around the edges.) The store has been closed for a while and the refugees of the The Fainting Goat’s glory (i.e. our unsold inventory) have been patiently waiting for their day in the sun again within the confines of my upstairs guest rooms. I pulled out a few the other day and brought down to my bedroom, those that I knew were already photographed and would be easy to post in my Etsy shop. To my not-so-surprise, I once again found myself face to face with her. My dress. Having been burned twice by this little temptress, I dared not get my hopes up. I did however gather her up with my other selections and bring her closer to my closet. After a few days of her sitting in view, daring, enticing, begging me to try once more, I finally gave in. Timidly, I took her off the hanger, making no promises this time. There were no dreams of going out for ice cream together, running through fields with flowers in my hair, stylishly shopping together in Little 5. I came with a once broken heart and no expectations.

As I stood in my bedroom holding her in my hand, I realized that my dreams were literally in my hands. Time had passed, things had changed. It could all be a reality now. But what if it still didn’t work? Would fate grant me a fourth chance? On one hand, the dream had already died, twice even. I had said my tearful goodbyes, mourned what could have been, and moved on.  I had nothing to lose, right? Yet on the other hand, as I held her close, I knew deep down that I had never given up, not completely. Somewhere deep inside a spark of hope had remained, hidden, safe from the winds of reality and every day life. To try again would mean risking that dear little spark to the elements. And therein, I had everything to lose.

Faced with this tough dilemma, I did what anyone who has been scorned by love would do. Delicately, I whispered my love and promises to never let go and carefully put her back on her hanger. This time, though, she didn’t go back on the rack. She now lives in the sanctity of my closet, in between the Rainbow Brite dress and my red Special K dress. Because I know that one day as I am getting dressed, when my heart is stronger and the weak little flame has had time to grow, I will see her hanging there and know for sure that the time has come for us to be together. Then, we will walk out into the world together, as it should be. Then she will be home. (and I will be wearing my brown boots, because they will look awesome together!)