Do I Really Need A New Dress?

15 Dec

This coming Saturday, Gerard and I are going to pretend we have a life and go out for the evening, sans children.  Said children will be home with their grandmother, no doubt driving her insane with their boundless energy that never runs out. They’re like the Energizer Bunny, those children.  They just keep going and going and going.

Gerard and I will be heading downtown, to some fancy hotel, to attend the Christmas gala dinner being put on by my employers.  There will be prizes, good food that neither of us had to cook ourselves (and that no-one will have to clean up after), dancing, and out-and-out fun.  I am looking forward to it.  Gerard is looking forward to it.  My mother-in-law is looking forward to an evening alone with the kids – at least, that’s the story she’s bravely putting forth.

And yet I find myself with a dilemma.  This is a dilemma that men can never seem to quite grasp the severity of, but that women all over the world can identify with.

What Do I Wear?

I posed this question on Facebook, and it sparked a fairly lively debate.  Most of the people who responded – all women – were of the opinion that I should buy myself a new dress.  The general consensus was that I work hard, I’m always taking care of other people and not enough care of myself, and that I deserve to pamper myself a little and buy something nice.  There was one lone dissenter – a man.  To protect his privacy, I will not state Kane’s real name (whoops, did I just say that out loud?), but I will say that I am impressed with his bravery.  How many men would jump so fearlessly into a discussion that women are genetically programmed to feel strongly about?

I love Kane.  He is a good and dear friend, and I give him credit for the fact that I actually survived the intense loneliness and off-the-boat neediness that I experienced when I first came to Canada.  Unlike many people, he actually does possess common sense, and he has the integrity to be honest instead of just saying what he thinks people want to hear.  I value Kane’s opinions a great deal.  when he expresses an idea that is contrary to what other people are saying, he’s not trying to be difficult.  He’s trying to help.

And that is why, when Kane posted a reply asking if I really need to spend money on a new dress just for one party, I actually did stop and think.  After all, he has a valid point.  There are other things that I could be doing with my money.  I have kids to buy Christmas presents for, a wedding to plan, groceries to buy, telephone bills to pay.  A new dress should not be high on my laundry list of priorities.  And besides, I have a closet at home that I can barely get into because it’s so chock-full of clothes.  There must be something in there that I can wear.

But.

But, but, but, but, but…

Even as the logical, rational part of me (and yes, despite what many people think, there actually is a logical, rational part of me) was making a strong case for saving money and digging something out of the scary depths of my wardrobe, there was another part of me that was pitifully saying, “But I want a new dress”.  Talk about conflict.  Talk about indecision.  For a couple of days I was flip-flopping between “Have to have a new dress” and “Cannot afford a new dress”.  How I wish I could just win the lottery and not have this problem.

By the time I got home from work yesterday, I had come to some kind of compromise with myself.  You see, I have this skirt.  A really nice long black skirt that is perfect for occasions like this.  What I would do, I decided, was buy a nice top with bling to go with the skirt.  That way, I still get to wear something new, but without forking over the money for an entire dress.

Ten minutes after I got home, that plan went right out the window.  What happened was this: I opened the mail.  And found a cheque from the Government of Ontario. For $335.  I will say this in words, because it somehow adds more weight.  Three. Hundred. And Thirty Five. Dollars.  The Ontario Premier has been sending out these “sorry I screwed you over with the sales tax” cheques, and I got enough to be able to say, “Screw this, I’m getting a new dress!”

So at lunchtime today, I wandered over to my favourite clothing store in the shopping mall, and emerged with a lovely new dress that I got on sale. The way I see it, everyone wins.  I get to go to the party in a new dress.  And I still have an extra $200 in my bank account that I didn’t have before, which means I can splurge a bit on Christmas presents for the ones I love.

And I’ve contributed to the economy by doing a bit of spending.  Just doing my civic duty.

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One Response to “Do I Really Need A New Dress?”

  1. Margie December 15, 2010 at 3:27 PM #

    I think this was your best work, ever! Humor wise, I mean. That’s wonderful about the check!!!!!

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