Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I now pronounce me properly attired

Hey folks, I’m back. Among the typical bumper crop of summer activities, I also had three weddings and their associated festivities to attend. Of course, these pose the typical coordination challenges to the ADDer, such as returning RSVP cards, showing up on time, buying gifts, and making travel arrangements. Oddly enough, I seem to have little problem with those tasks. Finding a dress to wear is what vexes me.

Initially, I didn’t think that finding frocks would pose a challenge. For wedding #1, I figured that the dress from my high school reunion would work well. I tried it on, and it fit and flattered. Crisis averted! For wedding #2, I mulled over wearing the dress I’d worn to a friend’s wedding a few years ago. I hesitated to try it on because I’d been extremely tan from a tropical vacation when I’d worn it. But I tried it on, and it fit and flattered my pasty self. Crisis averted!

And then there was wedding #3, a fancier evening affair that required a shopping trip. In true ADD-Libber fashion, I waited until 5 days before the event to make my purchase. Deciding shopping at one location would facilitate the task, I squandered some of my $4.00 gasoline and hightailed it to one of the giant suburban malls.

In one store, I plucked armfuls of dresses that met my vague criteria (classy but not stuffy, alluring but not slutty) from a bountiful sales rack. I hated them all. I felt the same about the non- discounted dresses. In another store, an adorable sales associate aided my pursuit. The dozen and a half that the lady and I selected failed to flatter, including the satiny number that looked incredibly attractive on the hanger but, on me, appeared like someone restrained me with an accordion.

Swallowing my pride, I made the ultimate in desperate moves. I went to Macy's.

When I go to Macy's, it's the equivalent of a Lifetime movie character who hocks her grandmother's diamond ring to pay for her crack habit: the epitome of rock-bottom desperation. I’d lost my enthusiasm for Macy’s when it subsumed my local and beloved department store chain. And its fitting rooms make me furious: chicly remodeled entryways lead to grungy little pens that hadn’t seen a paint job since the Soviet Union broke up.

After hunting the racks and hoisting my prey over one arm, I stepped into a fitting room with a giant pile of clothes that resembled the textile equivalent of San Francisco's World Famous Bushman. I overcame the fear that the pile would come to life and slipped on what likely was dress #46. Innocuous on the hanger, its v-neck reached my waist. And not in a good way. I laughed at my reflection because, in addition to my mussed hair from all of the try-ons, my eyes were bloodshot and the day’s makeup had faded away. Courtney Love would even think twice about attending a church ceremony attired the way that I was.

That moment of humor in the dressing room calmed me down a bit. I’d worked myself into such a frenzy over acquiring a dress. Oh, the drama! I made my only purchase of the night, a lemonade in the food court, and headed home.

Even though I intended to abandon the dress issue for the rest of the night, I happily did not. To relax a bit, I organized some of my digital photos on my computer. These included a few from a recent New Years Eve…when I attended a an adorable black dress with beading and a swishy skirt…that, wait, still hung in my closet? Yes! It was there, behind a few skirts that I’ve been meaning to get altered for years. I tried it on, and it fit and flattered. Crisis averted!

And here’s the moral of the story: I can’t see straight when I get all worked up. That’s likely true for you as well, if you have ADD. So next time something like this happens to me, I’m going to try to stop what I’m doing, and get a lemonade, and trust that things work out. Of course, the challenge will be to figure out, in the moment, that I need to do this!