…on not buying a $3800 smooth gown even though it looked SO GOOD when I put it on. So, listen to this.
I was at Emerald over the weekend watching some friends dance and of course I was shopping. Now, a year or so ago I was at Emerald and I don’t really remember what I was wearing, it was random, I looked like a normal human. But I got the coldest fucking shoulder from everybody. Here’s one conversation that occurred when I was looking at costumes a co-worker had asked me to check on for her:
Russian Dress Vendor: Vat you are looking for?
Me: Oh, I’m just browsing.
RDV: Ya, zis dress, is too small for you. Much too small.
Me: I know that, I’m looking for a friend of mine.
RDV: Hmpf. Well, ve don’t have in your size.
Fuck you very much! By contrast, this year I rolled in with my ballroom hair and makeup and in I’m-not-competing-today-but-I-could-be evening wear, best defined as a combination of ballet-inspired clothing mixed with slutty accessories. (My boots were really working overtime in the slutty department.) I still got the obligatory look-up-and-down by most of the randoms who rolled by, but this time instead of blowing me off, the Russian girls gave me fake smiles and the dudes at least got out of my way. Which is ballroom for, you belong here.
The nuttiest thing, which actually made me feel a lot of different feelings, was that I was able to pull smooth gowns off the rack and try them on and they FIT. And fit pretty goddamn well, too. (One fit so well that I was on the verge of dropping four grand that I do not have to buy a dress I do not need for a style that I don’t really compete seriously in. Which should tell you how cool it looked.) I think it was more the sheer privilege of being able to try on costumes and not have the dressing room panic of, this will maybe not go over my ass or figuring out what lie I would tell the salesgirl about why I didn’t like the dress when in reality I was just too big to put it on. My feelings, in no particular order:
- Holy shit, I have to try on this dress.
- Oh wow, I can actually WEAR this dress.
- Wait, this dress is actually TOO BIG and that is why it looks a little weird!
- It is BULLSHIT that these dresses are so expensive.
- It is DOUBLE BULLSHIT that they come in such a small range of sizes.
- Oh my god, that little Latin dancer is literally half my size. Like, if you cut me in half in one of those magician’s boxes, one half would be equal to her in both height and mass.
- OMBRE OMBRE OMBRE OMBRE SILK IS SOOOOOOOOO PRETTY.
- ProTan is the shit, because I shellacked my skin like two weeks ago and I still look hella tan, and it’s faded really evenly.
- Should I buy this dress which will be worth more than any other possession I own, including my car? YES IT IS SO PRETTY.
And that’s the deal. Beware excessive fake tanner – it goes to the brain and may cause uncontrollable costume purchase. Thank God I had a buddy who was Rescue Ballroom trained, and she was able to pull me out of the vendors’ area in time and put a drink in my hand, which restored me to reality.
So I didn’t buy the dress, which is good, because I don’t have the money, but it did feel pretty cool to pull a dress and try it on, to be not blown off by the salespeople, and to have had the option. (The converse of that is, WHAT FUCKING BULLSHIT that I was ever blown off in the first place.)