Sultry summer weather has arrived and short, flirty dresses are starting to appear. I saw one today. A black designer dress with sculpted armholes, a high neck, and a swinging skirt made for strutting. The woman wearing it walked towards me, all long shapely legs and curling blonde hair loosely falling in a sweep down the side of her head. She was stunning with her chunky gold necklaces and dozens of thin bracelets tinkling on her arm; as classic and strategically put together as any actress preparing for red carpet scrutiny.
I had exited the MACC – the Mercy Ambulatory Care Center – a building stuffed with physician’s offices and I assumed she was a drug rep. She had the vibe; the best-dressed person in the room, formal yet confident, keeping their energy high as they wait for a moment of the doctor’s time. Of course, I stared. Captured by this vision appearing in the eye-scorching mid-morning sun.
Me, I’m mostly at peace with my body, with my age, with the way society puts them together and dismisses me. I walk around speculating my speculatory thoughts alone in my bubble. But this woman caused a momentary stumble. The glaring sun felt like a spotlight shining on the denim house dress I wore. I’d purchased it at an end of season clearance a decade earlier and now used it as my swimsuit cover up. I’d sewn calico stars on the bodice, embarrassed by the casino icons embroidered underneath. I was wearing Crocs for God’s sake and before me, a perfectly put together woman pointed a sandal-clad pedicured foot towards me, and I had a flash of self-doubt.
She passed by, and I complimented her on the dress. I surprised her, oh not the compliment; it was deeper than that. As if she didn’t expect someone who looked like me would dare to speak to her or perhaps my comment was simply inane. Dismissed along with all the other ‘got no game’ comments lobbed at her throughout the day. Here I was doing it too. Sorry to add to the misogyny. Beautiful women will do that to you.