My Incredible Shrinking Dress

Yeah, I actually watched the news last night, and learned from the weather report that we were supposed to get some rain. Lots of rain, most likely. But, when I woke up this morning, there was simply an overcast, which I didn’t deem too foreboding.

Unlike most people, I actually enjoy a dense overcast. It gives me a feeling of comfort and insulation. I think of a dense overcast as God’s way of covering me with a warm, cozy blanket.

I had a noon council meeting at the Salvation Army. After driving my 85 year old uncle to the local senior center for his 11 am bridge game, I was pressed for time to get myself ready. I jumped into the shower for what my Mom would call a ‘military style’ cleansing. Two or three minutes tops to wash the essentials, then you’re out, and dried and dressed in less than five.

I had little time to spare, so I grabbed from my closet what I considered the easiest thing to put-on in a hurry; a cute breezy Ann Taylor dress, with a subtle floral print. Perfect for a spring day, I thought, and modestly appropriate for a meeting with the other volunteer council members at the Salvation Army. As you read the rest of this story, please keep the words ‘modestly appropriate’ in mind.

About halfway through the twelve minute drive to Tarrytown for my meeting, the clouds cracked, and it started raining down in buckets. It was still raining heavily when I pulled into the Salvation Army parking lot. Raining bucket after bucket, with no end in sight. I knew I couldn’t wait-it-out, or I would miss the meeting! I just had to make a mad dash for the door, and hope I didn’t get drenched too badly.

Ahh! Phooey! A Little Rain Never Hurt Me!

That is what I was thinking as I ran to the door, wearing my Ann Taylor dress and grey suede slingback heels. At the midway point of my dash, I realized that I had seriously underestimated the ferocity of this rainstorm. I was already drenched, but I had no choice but to forge forward.

I landed in the meeting room, facing my fellow council members and the Salvation Army Officers in charge of our Tarrytown Corps. with my entire body dripping with rain.

“Oh!!! You are soaked!” said outgoing Lt. Argelia (soon to be Captain in Newburgh). “You need some dry clothes… Let me go upstairs and see what I can find.”

As Argelia went upstairs, I met aside with Janet, the secretary – to discuss the parting gift and card we arranged for our parting Lts., to be given at the meeting.

Meanwhile, I noticed a tightness happening in my arms. Not only in my arms, but really, all over… Yes, the dress I was wearing was shrinking, and tightening up all around me! In all my years of living, I have never had an article of clothing shrink while I was actually wearing it! This was a first for me. So much for the ‘Dry-Clean Only’ tag.

I looked down towards my breast area, and saw that my shrinking dress had squeezed my boobies together, creating a cleavage I had never known, despite my best efforts to buy a good wonder-bra. Jeez! I thought. My boobs look more like those of a fraulein serving beer at Octoberfest than a humble Salvation Army volunteer! Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?  I don’t know.

Then, there was the skirt issue, which can’t be skirted. Before shrinkage, my hem length was respectfully at the knee. Upon shrinkage, that hem length went up and up – to mini-skirt levels, and beyond. Which might have been okay, if I wasn’t meeting with church-going people! But, it wasn’t okay, and I kept pulling at the bottom of my skirt until Lt. Argelia re-appeared with some dry clothing for me to change into.

I quickly ran into the restroom to change into Lt. Argelia’s offerings. A navy blue skirt that the Salvation Army officers wear, and a forest-green T-shirt that had ‘Manhattan College’ printed across in white letters. Not exactly fashion-forward, but dry.  Hey, if you’re going to get caught in an awkward situation with a shrinking dress, the Salvation Army is THE place to be.

As I ran to the restroom, I held down the bottom portion of what was once my ‘modestly appropriate’ dress, now turned to a skimpy mini dress, and I said a simple prayer; ‘Thank You, GOD… for giving me the foresight to not wear a thong today.’

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