“If you understand the rules of how to dress appropriately for an occasion, then size and age don’t matter.”   Mantha’s Mom

Until recently I’ve struggled to understand the big deal many women make about turning 40.  I know it’s the start of a new ‘era’, but what I’m particularly referring to is how you’re supposed to dress after hitting that number.  What am I supposed to do, dress like a frump once I hit the 4-0?  Give me a break!   However, I have come to understand what all the fuss is about.
A few weeks after my birthday last summer I went to the mall and walked into a really popular boutique.  I normally have a few formal events to attend every year, so I try to buy dresses ahead of time.  This way when the invitation comes in, I’m good to go.

I’m at an age now where if I give you anything over $10.00 for ticket you better provide a clean venue with a cooked meal, music and comfortable chairs to sit on.  I’m past standing up for 3 or 4 hours simply to listen to a DJ blasting the same tunes I heard on my drive over just so that I can say “yeah!  I was at that party!”   That won’t do anymore.  I need to be able to look cute and be comfortable.  And that was what I had on my mind that morning.

As I walked toward the store I saw mannequins dressed in gorgeous dresses in royal purples, buttery yellows, sky blue and a few champagne coloured ones thrown in too. These were all set against the backdrop of a large sale sign. How could I resist?

In I went hopeful I’d find one of the dresses from the window display on the sale rack.   Of the dresses I saw and liked the only ones left were size 0`s.  Now I ask you what is a ‘size 0’?  Zero denotes nothing.  So, if you’re a size nothing … do you follow my logic?   Then to add insult to injury the woman-child shop assistant told me that she thought I was a bit ‘too big’ to fit the dress I was looking at.

(woman-child: an idiotic  female human who is in the biological age range of 15 to 23, yet has the mental, emotional and intellectual maturity of an annoying 12 year old girl.  However, said idiotic female human is under the illusion she is a woman simply because she owns a pair of 4 inch high heeled shoes that she wobbles about in in such a fashion that her breasts lead the way wherever she goes while the rest of her body follows…)

Excuse me?  Pardonez-moi?  I am a grown woman in the last months of my thirties.  I am fit and of a health body weight.  But, here was this woman-child practically chastising me for not fitting into a zero!  I wanted to snatch this girl up by her pony-tail, drag her off to the food court and force feed her a large plate of food (preferably something greasy to ensure a rapid weight gain) so she too might look a bit healthier.  But, as a grown woman I can`t do things like that.  It could land me in jail.  From my understanding (yep! I`ve seen `Scared Straight`) if you’re in jail and your much larger cell mate asks you if you`d like to do certain favours for her before bedtime, `no thank-you` is not an acceptable answer.

So, I kept walking around the store to see what else they had in stock.  I was finally able to shop in peace once the woman-child latched onto the next shoppers that entered the store.  These ladies were also grown with gray hair and signs of lots of wear-and-tear showing on their faces.

In looking at the two women I expect that the taller of the two was about 6 feet tall – and she was wearing flats! Actually, the tall one reminded of an Amazon.   I`m not talking about the Amazon`s from the show Wonder Woman during the 1970s.  If anything, Wonder Woman and company were `baby amazons`.   I`m talking about the true depictions of amazons: powerfully built women; no less than 6 feet tall; broad shoulders with muscled backs and arms.  These Amazon women ruled their female dominated kingdom where men existed only to serve their every need.  I can hear them now, “You there!  Yes, you Man!  Come!  It is night time — time for you to service me.“ Then off that man would trot not daring to question orders.  Now we all know darned well and good that no man anywhere would to take a similar command from a skinny, scrawny, size zero woman!   Bless
Amazonia!!!

This Amazon was mature.  She looked more like a Mama Amazon as she had many veins of grey running throughout her hair.   From what I could gather from Mama Amazon and her friend`s loud conversation was that they needed dresses for a banquette (banquette, as in an occasion attended by grown folks) they planned to attend the following weekend.  Then it happened: Mama Amazon picked up the gold dress I had dismissed only moments before.

The best thing this gold number had going for it was its colour.  Nope, that was the only thing it had that was good.  The dress was a backless halter top number.  The back plunged low enough that wearing knickers really wouldn’t be possible.  The front of the dress plunged into a deep V that stopped just at the navel; however, as an ode to modesty the V was bordered by a ruffle-like collar that would at least keep your ear-lobes warm.  Also, it had a long train-like swath of cloth that flowed from the left hip and touched the ground (excellent for catching the heel of your shoe in so you could be propelled into the air before falling flat on your face!).  Oh, and the skirt … I`m a few inches shy of being 5 foot 3 inches, and its length would have been obscenely short on me let alone a taller woman.  Despite all this (or perhaps because of it), Mama Amazon shrieked with joy when she picked up this hot little number.  Her friend and the woman-child did too.  And guess what?  They had lots of these little numbers available including one in Mama Amazon’s size (I estimate she wore an 18 … I worked at woman`s dress boutique during high school and developed a knack for being able to guess womens` dress sizes).

Mama obviously brought her own shoes to try on dresses that day because came out of the dressing room wearing the dress with six inch heels (like I said, she was at least six feet tall already).

B`JEYSUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I didn’t know where to look.  Mama Amazon had all her goodies on display.  ALL OF THEM!  It was the sort of look that would have caused the old folks in the deep American South to cry out, “LAWD-AH-MUSSY!!!!!!” (no typos here people!!!)

I can picture it now: the old women clutching hands to their chests, weeping “LAWD-AH-MUSSY” while praying for the soul of the Amazon hussy before them. At the same time their male counterparts (most likely their husbands) would be cackling to themselves, and mumbling “LAWD-AH-MUSSY” all the while rubbing their hands together, smiling like fools as they’re delusional about both their ability and prospects with same said hussy.
I have to say it again.  The Amazon was an obviously mature woman: a young ingenue she was not! Unfortunately, she didn`t realize it.   This may have to been due to the woman-child telling her how great she looked and the friend yelling (in what I imagine a hyena would sound like if it could talk), “You go girl! … Twirl girl! Twwwwiiirrrrirllll!!!!“

Okay, I can understand the woman-child`s motivation for encouraging the foolishness: she was conniving and looking forward to a commission on the sale.  But, I can`t figure out the hyena-friend.

In this sort of mess a real friend would have gently suggested that Mama Amazon try on another style of dress.   And if failing that, the Amazon still insisted on trying on the gold dress, then parading about the shop, a real friend would have just told her the truth and whispered into her ear that the edges of her lady garden were showing.

“Twwwwiiirrrrllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …”

I never found a dress that day.  I think I was too traumatized I focus.  Writing about it has brought back all those memories and now I’m sure I won’t be able to sleep tonight … lawd-ah-mussy!!!!

Laters & G`Night,

Mantha

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