Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dress shopping for Nationals


WARNING: This post has nothing do with writing, storytelling, books or movies. I thought about making it into a metaphor about finding the right genre to write in, but then decided to just go ahead and whine about the dress that wouldn't fit.

My sister and I did a little shopping last weekend. I needed one, maybe two, new dresses for RWA Nationals. Because in my every day life, I don't wear a lot of cocktail dresses, I'm a little loathe to buy a lot of them and tend to just swap dresses around to different events at the conference. This year, looking in my closet, I realized that everything had been to at least two conferences and some of them had been to three or more. I love those long pink pants that are slit up to the thigh, but the first conference they went to was Dallas in 2004. Plus, they're a little tight right now. In the picture above I'm wearing a dress that I've worn to a publisher party and to the Ritas. Twice. (That's the beautiful and talented Roxanne St. Claire standing next to me with her shiny Rita.)

I found an adorable little sun dress that would have been perfect for the booksigning and then the dinner I'm attending immediately afterward. Dressy, but not too dressy. Summery. Fun. Flirty. Exactly the kind of dress I like to wear to those events. I put on the dress. I'm zipping it up. It looks great over my hips and up to my ribs and then we hit the proverbial speed bumps. Or, as my friend Carol refers to them after having watched me bounce on them when I went over the handlebars of my bike, my air bags.

My sister has me blow all the air out of my lungs, flicks that zipper up and locks it in place. Ta da! I look in the mirror. It doesn't look bad from the front. Maybe a little more boobalicious than it needs to be, but that's not all bad. Then I notice the flesh coming up in the arm pit area. Yep. It's so tight that I have arm pit boobs. I turn around and shudder. I've got back boobs.

My sister (I love her. I so love her.) says, "Go find a little shrug to wear. No one will see those."

I find one. It actually does hide the extra boobs. It does not do anything about the fact that I can't take deep breaths while I'm wearing the dress. I'll spend the entire booksigning panting like an overheated dog. Then I wonder, how will I get it zipped at the conference? No problem. I have a roommate. Surely Cari won't mind giving a sister a hand. But what if she's not there? I'll be calling around the hotel looking for people to help me with my mammary management issues. It was just too much. I put it back.

Luckily I found a cute little black and white number at the next store that I can wear my Carlos Santana sandals with. Anybody else shopping for Nationals? Or have dress horror stories?

12 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

I'm always shopping for conference. It's a great excuse! No dress horror stories of my own, but I do remember threading a needle for someone...ahem.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I think I must be cosmically linked to you all this week. Yesterdy Molly blogs about Joanna Bourne - who I'm reading.

Today you're talking about dress horror stories..

I'm half way through my Thursday blog now... the title. "Spanx... and why I need them."

You see I'm trying to stuff my fat into sausage casings so I can feel like what a real Victorian heroine felt like in a corset. This is in lieu of shopping so I don't have to discover I've gone up a size.

Eileen said...

Oh, Kristen, it might be one of my favorite memories of last year's Nationals (well, that and Sabrina Jeffries' truffle ice cream). You sewing me into my dress and me worrying about how my grandmother wouldn't approve.

Kristen said, "Why? Because you look so slutty?"
I said, "No. That wouldn't have bothered her in the least. You're never supposed to sew something while it's on you because the Angel of Death might think you were being sewed into your shroud."

The look on your face while you tried to help me rethread the needle that was already half sewing that slit shut was completely priceless.

Steph, I feel your spanx pain. Can't wait for the post.

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, the dress woes. My wardrobe is very low on cocktail dresses, at least ones that fit. At this point, I'm not even sure what I'm wearing during the day during the conference and ITS NEXT WEEK!

I just decided that I needed to demote my RITA/GH dress to a party dress... Oh the humanity.

Did the first weeks of July fall into some rift in the space/time continuum?

Maureen McGowan said...

PS. Eileen, this is totally writing related. Conferences and book signings and industry parties are an integral part of the process, right? You don't schmooze you lose?

Eileen said...

That's what my sister said when she was talking me into trying on more and more dresses!

She, however, bought next to nothing despite the fact that she's wearing schmattas these days.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I just tried on my rita dress option and it works! It works really well if I weren't going to be sitting down all night - if I was just going to stand in one spot - it's a perfect dress.

I need full body spanx - they call that a wet suit, right?

Sinead took me shopping and made me try on things I would never try, so I have great cool casual clothes for the various lunches and breakfasts and drinks with people. I even got a lovely little pair of gold shoes. Honestly, gold shoes. I still need a librarian's tea outfit but I have a few days in florida before the conference so I'm going to do it then.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I have new silver shoes... but I love shoes.

During the day I'm keeping it TOTALLY casual. No one really to impress.

My only concern is the workshop Molly. I want to look slightly like I know what I'm doing.

Unfortunately the one dress I have picked out for that puts my boobs really out there on display. Not because I want them to be ... simply because they have no other place to go.

I plan to organize this weekend.

Eileen said...

You know, I see more and more people wearing jeans, etc. during the day at the conference. Maybe we can keep the trend going and in a few years, we can show up at the Ritas in our jammies and sweatpants. I mean, really, it's just us girls (for the most part). Why can't we go comfy? Make it like a big pajama party.

Maybe I should run for RWA President with that as my platform. :-)

Maureen McGowan said...

I would totally vote for you on that platform, Eileen! RITA pajama party! Oh, the paparazzi would go wild. ;)

I do like getting dressed up, in theory, but not feeling good about myself right now, so it's more stressful than usual. Even none of my shoes are working for me. Well, none of my dressy shoes. I still can't believe it's next week.

Sinead M said...

Eileen for prez.... you have my vote. pajamas beat spanx any day of the week.

Karen W said...

What's really sad (poor, pitiful me), is that I've already purchased my dresses - my Rita dress and booksigning one - and I CAN'T GO!!!! Wah.

You all had better take a LOT of pictures.

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