The perils of online shopping

To be honest, I had no place to wear the dress.

It wasn’t really something that would be comfortable while sitting in my home office, where I’ve worked in seclusion for years before the pandemic was ever a thing.

And because of the aforementioned pandemic, the only place I go is the doctor and the grocery store. I have no planned events beyond a mammogram and it’s just not the right color to wear to a mammogram.

But I wanted it.

And I was bored. So, I spent $120 on a cap-sleeved dress I fell in love with on Amazon.

It was too much to spend, I know. I heard it from my husband, who usually indulges me but has become a little less indulgent since the world turned upside-down and we may wake up under a foreign government one day and need to take the last bit of money we have to escape, instead of spending it on a cap-sleeved dress I may never have an occasion to wear.

Le sigh.

Anyway, the dress came. From here on out there are two things you should remember. One, I am not a small woman. I have an ample bosom and a stomach to match. Two, I promised my husband I would return it if it wasn’t as wonderful as I thought it was when I ordered it because this happens to me a lot. Mostly because I forget number one.  Also, because sizing in America is frighteningly varied.

But that’s another story.

The moment of truth had arrived. I even put on my spanks so the silky fabric could gently glide down my body easily and make this the most gorgeous little cap-sleeved shift-dress ever.

Only that’s not what happened at all.

The dress got hitched up at my boobs, like every single piece of clothing I have ever put on besides a hospital gown, so I gave it a tug to help it “glide gently down my body.”

Same issue at belly-level, even with the spanks. Quick tug. Dress goes on. I am suddenly trapped in cap sleeves so freaking tight I can’t reach down to get the damn dress off without busting out of it like the Incredible Hulk.

Holy shit. Just think. Relax and think. Sit down and – oh hell no, do not sit down. The silky fabric has no stretch, and my rather meaty arms will surely be sliced off at the shoulder if I sit down.

I know. I can just lay down on the bed and worm my way far enough through the dress for my trapped arms to grab the hem without busting out of the whole damn thing and losing $120 that I can’t really afford.

I flop on the bed in something that looks a lot like a Monty Python skit-move and giggle for a split-second before I realize that even a spanks can’t keep the ample boobage from spreading to def-con status for the silky, now very uncomfortable and not-cute-at-all dress when I’m on my back. The material makes a warning sound as I flail like a turtle to regain an upright position.

Oh, please don’t rip, please don’t rip, please don’t rip. Roll. Just roll. That’s it. Oh holy fuck don’t roll off the bed.

In a final attempt to stand, I throw my back out in a Nadia Comaneci (yes, I am that old) stiff-armed dismount from the bedside that might have garnered a favorable amount of points in a contest for looking as ridiculous as humanly possible but would be a huge fail in a gymnastics competition.

No rips. Back on my feet. My hands are starting to turn blue. I wonder if I should call my husband before I lose all control of my appendages.

I imagine the conversation, “Hi, honey. How’s your day? Yeah? Mine is great, except I’m trapped in the dress you didn’t want me to buy and my arms are numb, and I’ve probably sustained permanent damage already. What’s that? Yeah, I know you told me so. That really doesn’t matter right now because I need you to drive 25 miles home to pull me out of this sausage casing of a dress so I can send the motherfucker back to the hell it came from.”

I decide against it because as I’m running the scenario in my mind, I have a brilliant idea.

I can sew. I have things and tools for sewing and such.

I know what I’ll do.

I’ll use my handy-dandy stitch ripper to open the seam under my arm on one side so I can wiggle my way out and sew the dress up, lickety-split.

I am a fucking genius. I refuse to ponder the next thought of, “Yeah, a fucking genius who has herself trapped in a $120 dress,” because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. I scurry to the sewing room.

Of course, my stitch-ripper is on the floor, under the sewing machine table, just where it should be.

I wriggle it out with my foot, pick it up with my toes and fling it up onto the cutting table like a bizarre circus animal. At this point, the cats have congregated in the doorway, to watch my complete and total devolution with delicious satisfaction.

I don’t care. I’m on a mission. I don’t give a fuck about common sense and reasoning because I am going to win, dress be damned.

I withstand the pain of raising my left arm far enough to use my restricted right hand to immediately jab the stitch ripper into my armpit far enough to be considered a lymph-node removal.

At this point, returning the dress is a total bust because the armpit is soaked in blood and it looks like I really am going to lose my left arm. I imagine gangrene setting in immediately because I know what I’ve used that stitch-ripper for, but I banish the thought because I really can’t take much more mental anguish at this juncture in time.

I don’t care about damaging the dress anymore, so I do an Incredible Hulk move that does not rip the fabric but does put a fantastic fabric burn in my right armpit. Silver lining: staunching the flow of blood from the stitch-ripper incident in the left arm.

I’d had enough.

I calmly took my fabric scissors in my cold, blue hands and inserted the blades at the neckline.

The fabric began to rip beyond the cut and my transformation from dress-encased grub to bloody-armpitted human was complete.

I stuffed the soiled, ripped dress into my sewing project bin, kicked the cats out of my sewing room, and put on the standard outfit before my dress delusion – Ohio State sweats.

My husband asked about the dress weeks later – he had forgotten about it and only noticed the credit card charge. “Hey, how did that dress work out? Did you return it?”

“I love it, but the zipper is messed up. I can fix it, it’s in my sewing basket.”

I may be going to hell for lying but I won’t be trapped in a cap-sleeve shift dress when I get there.