Anyway, I was at Target to pick up a couple of things for the house when I found myself wandering around in the Juniors clothing department. Truth be told, I didn’t “find” myself there…I walked right to it.
“Now come on, Jennifer. You’re 30 years old. You’re getting married. You’re TOO old for this section,” I said, quietly berating myself under my breath as I slid through the racks of cheaply made, mass-produced, totally adorable clothing.
I pushed those thoughts out of my head when I saw a rack of baby doll dresses made out of reproductions of vintage fabric. I literally ran over to the selection and grabbed one to try on. I had always loved the look of these things.
The crazy thing was I remembered the first time baby doll dresses made a comeback, which was sometime around 1992. I also remembered wearing baby doll dresses many times in college, along with long johns, an army jacket, and lipstick the color of a fresh bruise. That was back when I was 19, shaved the back of my head and dyed my hair red, and I could get away with it.
But could I still get away with it now? The fact that I remembered the first time a trend had passed me by gave me the sinking feeling that I couldn’t anymore. But I brushed the sensation away and hustled to the dressing room.
Locked inside a stall, I tugged on the dress and gave myself the once over. On one level, I thought I looked pretty darn cute. But on the other hand, there was part of me that was wondering…did I look like a freak? I stared at myself in the dressing room mirror. Was I really too old for this nonsense?
“You’re going to be someone’s wife for the rest of your life, and it’s time to start dressing like it,” I whispered to my reflection in the mirror. Hand to God, I seriously did this. Because after all, I was in church, and my mother always taught me you can’t lie to the Lord in His house. And in my heart, I knew I had to be honest with myself. I was really getting too old for baby doll dresses. I just was.
I got dressed, glumly slung the dress over my arm, and walked out of the dressing room. As I wandered around the adult women’s clothing section, I sighed as I fingered the elastic waistband pants, the skirts made out of stretchy jersey material, the oversized t-shirts with high collars. The shapeless, boring, bland outfits on display for the over 30 set. Was this to be my lot in life, now that I was to be a grown up married lady? I had visions of myself in 10 years, wearing a lavender sweat suit with a puffy paint kitty on the front.
I’ve got to start acting like a grown up, I reminded myself.
Then I had a vision of myself in a pantsuit complete with pantyhose and enormous wooden jewelry. I broke out in a light sweat, and I started breathing heavily. Looking at the dress still in my hands, I made a beeline for the cash register.
And as God is my witness, I bought that freaking dress!