I own a blue dress.
Actually - not just a blue dress.
A beautiful turquoise, knit silk, designed-on-the-bias, hug-every-curve-perfectly, swagga-like-none-otha Gucci dress.
And let's be clear, friends.
This dress is a lie.
I'll tell you a lil somethin' about me. I live in a beach town. Dressed-up here means wearing our fancy-jeans with a newer pair of flip-flops.
I work from home. Mostly in my pajamas or in my yoga clothes.
As you know from previous posts - I am pretty vain, but even I am not going to wear Gucci to the grocery store.
I own this dress and I have worn it 3 times. The second time I wore it, a very drunk woman spilled a giant glass of red wine down the right hand side of it. After three trips to different dry cleaners, I've worn it once more. The stain still hasn't quite come out - but it's passable. (Side note: the words 'passable' and 'Gucci' should never be used together in the same paragraph. Such a disgrace.)
Since then, I've tried the dress on at least 10 times for different events. Still, I haven't worn this dress.
But I love the dress. And, not for the reasons that most women would love a Gucci dress.
I love this dress because it was my turning point. It was the last time I used my United Mileage Plus Visa card. That beautiful silver thing and I were friends for years and years. And the last swipe was for a blue dress.
Let me tell you why:
There's no way to not notice that I just paid over nearly three grand for a dress. I can't just do that on accident. Maybe you can. But not me.
I was quite aware that I shouldn't buy it.
I was quite aware that I didn't have the cash to buy it.
I was quite aware that I would almost never wear it.
And I bought it anyway.
On my credit card.
I bought it because I listened to all my bullshit justifications as to why I should buy it. Here's some of the hype I believed - and the truth that I know now.
It fits me so well. (Truth: A lot of things fit me well. I have a curvy body - and curvy-hugging dresses always fit me well. Even ones that cost $25.)
When am I ever going to find a deal like this again? (Truth: Ummm... wow... I'm thinking that I could have bought 10 dresses for that price - and I'd probably still be wearing all of them.)
I'm getting a big chunk of money next month - I'll just pay it off then. (Truth: I never got that big chunk of money that I was expecting. This Gucci dress ended up being on a credit card bill for over a year to pay it off. So my nearly $3k dress ended up costing me $3.5k.)
I deserve this. (Truth: I deserved to buy a dress I couldn't afford, and wear it three times and keep it in my closet as a totem of financial ridiculousness. That's what I deserved. And that's what I created.)
I'll wear it all the time. This will be my new black dress. (Truth: This dress isturquoise. Turquoise is not black. It makes a big statement. It's not a dress that I would want to wear all the time. It's not my new black dress. It's my turquoise Gucci dress that hangs in my closet and never gets worn.)
I'll just pin the cleavage so it's not too much. (Truth: This dress was several thousand dollars. I bought it knowing that the bodice was built for a very flat woman. I am not built this way. So, to wear this dress, I get fancy with safety pins. Yes. Safety pins. On a Gucci dress. I know. You don't even have to say it.)
I could use the miles. (Truth: The miles I earned on my card have never been used and will never be used because shortly after this Gucci-debacle I gave up credit cards forever. Miles just cost too damn much.)
My friends really want me to buy this. (Truth: My friends really did want me to buy it. Because it was beautiful. And because they thought I could afford it. Because I was pretending to afford it. And let me tell you... pretending to be wealthy is a horrible way to go shopping in Palo Alto. I didn't want to tell the truth that I didn't have the cash for it. I didn't want to tell the truth that this dress cost more than my rent. I wanted them to think I could just lay down a few thou on a dress without blinking. As if that would make me more awesome in their eyes.)
A few years later, a lot of debt lighter, and miles and miles of lies unravelled, my friends now know the truth about me. And they love me anyway.
But most importantly: I love me.
And I will never sell my soul to the devil for a blue dress again.
Don't get me wrong. Gucci is not evil. Nothing is wrong with paying a lot of money for a dress. What was wrong is that I lied to myself. I tried to be someone I wasn't. I spent money that I did not have. And now I have a dress that hangs in my closet to remind me of the price of plastic.
Nothing. Is as beautiful as the truth.
Not even Gucci.