I’d been anticipating this past Saturday evening for weeks, as I would get to dance the night away in semi-formal glory. I’d found the perfect dress, in an awesome color. I choose shoes to kick off and a matching bag, and I spent some time getting all gussied up. I felt like a million bucks, and I was ready to par-tay. Imagine my shock and dismay when, just as the party was warming up, another woman arrived in a dress that was very similar to mine. Her dress had so many of the qualities I thought were unique to my own—style, classiness, and a je ne sais quoi that I can only describe as a radiant badassery. How could this have happened?
Naturally, as soon as this woman and I saw one another, we each felt a sense of deep shame. The headline practically wrote itself: Who Wore It Best? And the tagline followed, as if decreed from on high: Fashion Faux Pas. The question was—who would leave the party triumphant, and who would hang her head, allowing a shame that should have remained private to become oh so very public?
I did my best to have a good time. I drank wine, to clear my head. I ate some fabulous cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberries. I danced like no one was watching. But nothing could assuage the pain of knowing that I might not be the one who wore it best.
My rival had some clear advantages: first, and most importantly, she is younger than I. Much to my chagrin, I have became part of the over 40 set. Also, I am a mother and my rival is not. This, I knew, was a major mark against me. It wouldn’t take long for someone to find a picture of me in mom jeans. And what if people found out that, instead of losing my baby weight in the standard five days, it had taken me more like a mortifying five years? Oh, the angst.
In an effort to improve my standing, I danced next to younger men. Perhaps people would think I was a cougar. I knew my husband wouldn’t mind. If I wasn’t a cougar, surely I would become a MILF. Maybe even a trophy wife! Yes. Here, I was sure, was my path to victory.
Once, in a moment of pure abandon, I danced next to my rival. We even linked arms and spun around a bit. But we weren’t fooling anyone. We both knew what was coming, as inevitable as menses and taxes: The Fashion Face-Off.
At the end of the evening, we took a deep breath, made eye contact, and knew the deep and undeniable truth: we both rocked it like a hurricane. Oh, yeah we did.
From that truth flowed another: every woman there rocked her outfit like a hurricane. We are all beautiful, inside and out, and it showed.
My former rival and I embraced one another in all our shining glory. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.