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On Being Stuck

July 30, 2009

I got stuck in a dress today.

I know what you’re thinking and that’s not it. I did not, in a fit of vanity, try on a dress that was too small for me. I promise. In fact, I think the dress might possibly have been just a teensy tiny bit too big, because it certainly didn’t look on me like it did on the model in the picture. Here’s what it looked like on the model:


The skirt was a little more billowy on me, and of course, since this chick is around six feet tall and I’m five feet two and three quarters, it came down to past my knees. And it was a bit looser in through the waist, too, unbelievably. In fact, as I stood there in front of the mirror, head cocked to one side, trying to ascertain precisely what the difference was, I started to gather the material in the back, and pretty soon figured out that if I safety-pinned all of the extra material in the back and chopped off about two inches at the hem, the dress would then look on me as it does on the model.

So I started to shimmy out of the dress–the same way I shimmied into it, at first, which was by pulling it on feet first, like a pair of pants. And yes, I know you’re not supposed to put on a dress like that, but I didn’t want to mess up my hair. Except…it didn’t want to go back that way.

Hmmm. I paused. Everything was unbuttoned, unbelted…how complicated could this be? I mean…you can see the dress…it’s not rocket science, right? And there was extra fabric…I tried again.

No go. Extra fabric everywhere except my arms, which are tight, as you might observe, even on the pencil chick. Except…(grunt, grunt, wheeze, oof) Oh! there are buttons on the sleeves! And a zipper down the side of the dress! Feeling like an idiot, I undid the sleeve buttons and the hidden zipper and tried again. I was a little cooler, but that dress did not budge, folks. Those buttons were just there for effect, I believe, and I am here to declare that no button should ever be anywhere simply for effect. It’s false advertising.

After carefully removing my glasses so they would not be harmed in the effort, I next attempted the over-the-head method of removing the dress (the one your mother always advocated as the proper dress-removal mechanism). This resulted in what I like to refer to as the straight-jacket effect, where I was essentially bent double with my panty clad bottom in the air, the dress over my head, and my shoulders, which I’ve never thought of as particularly broad or manly, stuck in an Autumn-sized dress.

I sort of weeble-wobbled around the dressing room for a second, wishing I had gone shopping with a friend who could yank the dang thing off of me, but unfortunately I was All By Myself. I contemplated crying, laughed instead, and figured I had a couple of choices. I could hang out for a while until the blood rushing to my head caused me to pass out and risk a quite ignominious discovery when the salesgirl showed the next erstwhile shopper to the dressing room, or I could yank a little harder and A) rip the dang dress, B) dislocate one or both shoulders, or C) get ‘er done.

I yanked, and mercifully no shoulders or dresses were harmed in the process. I might lay off the weight-training for a while, though.

If you’d like to purchase the dress I got stuck in, you can do so at

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