Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Dress

I spotted my prize casually draped over an all-too-perfect-mannequin in the store window. My heart fluttered and my hands chilled. The dress with the scooped-neck had to be mine. I recognized the relentless desire the second we walked past NY&CO. Like the black and pink striped fabric was tethered to my soul. An all too familiar feeling I get when I see the one.

My husband spotted me staring as though the cutest puppy in the world was inside that store. “Go ahead. I’ll take the girls to the playground.”

Attempting to hide my enthusiasm, I bit my bottom lip and forced myself to walk—not run—through the doors. My mother-in-law trailed behind and browsed the racks, trying to find things I might not pick up on my own.

I refused to grab the dress just yet, refused to try it on. Consolation prizes must be picked out first; otherwise disappointment would be the only thing I left the store with. A pair of khaki slacks, a gray t-shirt, a purple blouse, a shrug—these are a few of the things I loaded my arms with, and then I ventured over to the dress. It looked so perfect on the mannequin, so me. Sifting through the hangars, I spotted one my size and ran back to the dressing room.

The slacks were nice, the shrug, the blouse . . . together they made a great ensemble.

Awesome!

Standing in the cold stall with the white tile floors and white walls, I removed the dress from the hangar then slid the silky material over my head.

It. Was. Horrible. Like I wouldn’t even come out of the dressing room horrible. Ugh. The one turned out to be a nightmare. Just like always. Shaking my head and feeling like I must have the worst body shape out of any woman in the world, I redressed and stomped out toward my mother-in-law.

“It didn’t fit, but the other outfit was nice,” I said, feeling as if someone cut my heartstrings.

She gave me a knowing smile, eyes radiating with kindness, and held up a tan little number with a v-neck and a professional, classy air to it. “What about this one?”

My shoulders slumped. “It’s . . . it’s just not . . . .”

“Just try it on. It would be a really nice dress for any author events you may have.” She pushed the dress into my arms and snagged the ill-fitted one from me.

Her faith in my writing career is unbelievable! “Okay.”

Back in the cold stall, I dropped my purse on the white corner bench and stared at myself in the mirror. This dress had no color, no vibrant hues expressing my happy interior. Actually the fabric matched my current state of mind perfectly. I wiggled out of my jeans and shirt then slipped the dress over my head.

A perfect fit. The tan accentuated the warm, chocolate and caramel hues in my hair. Made my brown eyes stand out against the paleness of my skin. It really made me stand out, rather than hide behind a bunch of bright colors.

But I didn’t have any author-y events. Didn’t have a need for a dress like this. No matter how beautiful it was. I took it off, replaced it on the hangar, adorned myself in my own plain clothes and ventured toward the rack.

“You didn’t like it?” my MIL asked.

“I loved it, but I don’t have author events. And this isn’t a dress I can wear all the time. I have kids to chase. Bending over to pick up a baby is not exactly something I can do while in something this short.” The metal hangar screeched as I returned it to the rack. “And it’s too much money to spend on something I’ll never wear.”

She sighed. “You know it’s not about the money. You will have author events, and this will be the perfect outfit for you. I’ll buy it.”

I stopped walking toward the register with my consolation prizes. “I can’t let you do that.”

“You deserve the dress. You like the dress. Something will come up someday soon where you’ll be able to wear it.”

Smiling and feeling like the luckiest girl alive, I said, “Thank you.”

I walked from the store, bag in hand, hoping she was right about someday soon, and hoping to God it was for author-y stuff.

~ As many of you know, my book was accepted by a publisher. Sunday I had professional head shots taken by my photographer friend, and that little tan number was one of my outfits. Thank God for wonderful mother-in-laws who never lose faith. ~

41 comments:

  1. You're going to be a successful writer! I believe in you!! :)

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  2. Awww, thank you JKP! :-)

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  3. Author events? By the end, the dress won't you a cent.

    C.x

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  4. Yeah, book signings, talk shows (hahahhaahah), etc. Whatever may require a cute little dress. And wallah...pictures!

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  5. I want to go shopping with your mother in law !

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  6. Yay for awesome mom-in-law! And congrats!

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  7. You so do, Kez! She's awesome. All about buying things for me when I refuse to spend the money on myself. My husband does it too. I'll see a dress and he'll secretly buy it for me because I won't spend the money.

    Thank you, Wendy. She is awesome. Has been so supportive of me!

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  8. How heartwarming. I, too, have a very loving and giving MIL. Congrats on your book being accepted!

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  9. Sweet piece. Personally, I'm looking for the perfect author hat AND the perfect black 3/4 length overcoat. Never gonna get it, never gonna get it

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  10. Thank you, Diane. It's so wonderful to have a supportive MIL. When we first met she used to joke that she was my MILove. :-) We're very similar.

    And thanks for the congrats. My family couldn't be more excited!

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  11. Hahaha. Thanks a lot, Rob. Now I have that song STUCK in my head. Never gonna get it, never gonna get it. lol

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  12. That is so nice! I've got the perfect dress, just need to drop ten pounds to get in it. :)

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  13. Thanks, Kelly. I have a few of those dresses! I'm trying to give them all away. LOL.

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  14. Congrats on the dress...oh! and the book acceptance, too! LOL I wish you all the best! Can't wait to see the new headshots!

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  15. I'm picking them up tonight, Tania. So you won't have to wait much longer. And I think I'll have a special unveil tomorrow. :-)

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  16. That was a great story, Krystal--thank you for sharing. You probably already know this, but I'll say it again: you're INCREDIBLY lucky on the MIL front. Incredibly. And this story just reconciled me with the world and humanity and family... and, of course, hope :)

    Congratulations--on the MIL AND on the photo shoot, but especially on the BOOK!!!

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  17. Krystal you know how I love your writing about past and present events, but this is my fav so far. I think you have a wonderful MIL, who is extremely proud of her Author DIL. I know you will look wonderful in the new pic - thanks for sharing:)

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  18. Thank you, Guilie. I know I'm very lucky! :-)

    Louise, you're the second person to say this is their favorite blog of mine. My MIL is proud and supportive in ways I'll never be able to thank her enough for. There are some days I may have quit if it hadn't been for her.

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  19. That was a really sweet story and you're lucky to have a wonderful mother-in-law to encourage you. Yes, Krystal you will have book related events in which that dress will do you perfect.

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  20. Thank you, Dawna. So glad you came to visit. And I can't wait to show you the pictures tonight.

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  21. What a great post! I love positive Mother-in-law stories.

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  22. Thank you, Country Wife. :-) I should write about her more often!

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  23. Anonymous11/22/2011

    Lovely post, as always, Krystal. Your mother-in-law sounds wonderful. And I didn't know you had got a book deal - must have missed that one. Whoot! Many congratulations:) Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.
    Jane Isaac

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  24. Thank you, Jane. I've been reminding everyone about my book deal in every post. I know no one sees them all. :-)

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  25. I can't wait to see pictures of you in the dress with author events that are sure to come. I have faith in you!

    P.S. What a wonderful MIL.

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  26. Listen to your mother-in-law, girl, she knows what she's talking about. :)

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  27. Pat Veno11/22/2011

    Krstal you do have a good Mothe-in-law & we love her too. Listen to her you know Mothers are always right.

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  28. Amberr, you'll get your wish soon! :-)

    Prudence...listening to her is definitely a good thing!

    Thanks, Aunt Pat. :-)

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  29. I really enjoyed that post. Congrats on having your book accepted by a publisher. :-)

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  30. Aw that made me tear up she's one in a million mother in law, and she's right.funny how someone else can always tell us what's good to wear.

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  31. Extremely Average, Thank you! :-)

    Sheilagh, just posted the dress image on my facebook fan page! Hint!

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  32. Yay for stepping further into the Author-y World! Publisher, cute little dress, professional pictures...You go girl :)

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  33. YAY is right! :-) Thanks, Kellianne.

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  34. Aw. Love this story Krystal. You’re lucky to have such supportive family. Can’t wait to hear about the first time you get to wear the dress to an author-y event!

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  35. Awww!!! I love this story, Krystal! Congrats again on the publishing deal (a dream come true) AND on getting the perfect dress for it :)

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  36. Aw, isn't it great that you have such a lovely relationship with your MIL. And I HAVE to see this dress now! Heading for FB! :-)

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  37. You should wear the dress to work! We'll have "dress up day". LOL

    So excited for you and YAY for pretty dresses!

    xoxo
    Susie

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  38. Barbara Dehaba11/26/2011

    Another nice piece.

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  39. Your MIL sounds fantastic! Glad you got a dress, and it sounds way nicer than the first one!

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  40. Krystal, I loved this story - and especially the ending! How wonderful to have a supportive hand to help you AND to have your book published. Congratulations!

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  41. Donna, Michelle, Aunt Barbara, Susie, Derek, L.J., and Debra - I'm so sorry it took me this long to respond. Thank you all for your comments and for always visiting me here. :-) My MIL is definitely awesome, and I can't wait to share my book with you guys! If you ever see me, maybe I'll wear that dress.

    And Susie, we should play dress up at work. How about in the spring? ;-)

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