Sunday, 21 December 2014

Are you ready?

Getting ready for Christmas means different things to all of us. To my mom and dad it normally means baking a poppyseed cake. For my friend's husband it's all about making sure that the traditional fish has been ordered in time. For my friend's daughter it means getting a new iPhone. For me, just in case you ever doubted it, it's all about THE DRESS.

One may think it's completely insignificant or even vain. You couldn't be more wrong. We put so much pressure on ourselves during the festive period. The gifts must be thoughtful (and with a receipt attached just in case it doesn't work out). The cards must be personal (or just signed as the mind-reading message is already inside). The bird must be succulent and juicy, be it goose or turkey (with clear juices coming out, just like when Mary Berry elucidates the word prefect and simultaneously produces a perfect smile on her face). The brussels must be tender and sweet (not like the usual overcooked bitter type that everyone remembers from Christmas before).

But what about ourselves? It we were lucky enough and remembered to make a hairdressers appointment back in August we have the roots sorted. If we focused enough by the end of October we managed to grow our nails by hiring a gorgeous looking teenager from the bottom of the road to do the gardening and adopting the yellow gloves into our family (of course one of them breaks a week before and we need to cut them all off with tears in our eyes and seek for a set of fake ones with loads of glitter). If all that, including loosing a few pounds just to have an excuse to put them back on, is in place and the fridge could not possibly stretch any more here comes the BIG QUESTION: what am I going to wear?

As much as Christmas jumpers are a great excuse to avoid this potentially stressful situation, certain ladies, like myself, like glamming up. Especially for Christmas, as well as for no reason at all. In life you can never be overdressed or overeducated. Since I have two MA degrees I must dress up to the standard, right? Or is this a poor excuse? The hunt for the perfect outfit started back in October. For some reason Topshop and all went all crazy with sequins this year. Maybe it's just me growing up, but I don't fancy looking like a disco ball and make all my guests at the table blink every time I move. I've decided to look for something classy.

As nowadays class is a rare quality to find, it appeared to be even harder to find it on the clothes racks. Dear high street, some of us are neither 4ft tall nor 14 and would like to wear a dress that covers a bit more than the bottom of our knickers. Also, not everyone looks like a boy. Hips. Remember hips? That sexy, curvy part of the female body than men are meant to adore? Yes, some of us still have them and would like to put on a dress that doesn't look like it's about to burst open when we sit down (or not go for 3 sizes up and ruin our self-esteem). Despite the lack of light in the tunnel, I am a woman full of faith and even in the beginning of December I still believed that I was going to find THE ONE.

And so I did. Found it. Right in front of me in the cyber digital world of online shopping. Perfect! I would not even have to leave my desk to get it. I couldn't be more wrong. The dreaded: Out of stock appeared in front of my eyes as they filled with tears. The world stopped for a second. My heartbeat went back to normal when I realised that I'm down in London in a few days for a work thing so I can nip out to this shop and pick it up myself. Ok, no need to panic. It turned out that I could be more wrong. They didn't have it. I had to go to another location to check. Still nothing.

But I finally tried one more shop more locally and, to my surprise, they had the last 2 in stock. I had to wait an hour for them to get it from the stock room, The longest lunch of my life! But finally, we found each other embracing in the changing room. I've found THE ONE and did not let go of it. Literally. All eyes in the queue at the checkout were on me. They were all screaming where did you find this? As proud as I was, the purchase has brought me comfort and piece of mind. I was ready. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the perfect little black dress. I hope you are ready too!

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