I left for Chicago right after my offer on the condo was accepted. As a result, I swore to everyone that would listen that I was going to be on a strict budget. There was budget for the hotel, and for food, and for activities -- but no budget for shopping.
Of course, my brother has a close friend who has a boutique in Wicker Park (or is it Bucktown?), and he thought I should go to her store. So off we went. What happened next is a blur. I tried on skirts and jeans and shirts and tops. Some things looked good -- others not so much -- but almost nothing ever fits me right because I am so short. But my brother's friend was not deterred, and kept bringing me new cute things to try. If this was what shopping with a personal shopper is like, then I totally understand why people do it.
Then she brought me a dress -- a simple sundress, spaghetti straps and a slightly empire waist leading into an A-line skirt, made out of a light blue cotton fabric with white polka dots, red roses, and green leaves. The dress was nothing I would have picked out for myself, seeing as I have a closet full of skirts and dresses that I hardly ever wear, telling myself that I am just not a dress person.
I put on the dress, zipped up the back, and stepped out into the store, where my brother sat on the couch, next to the mirror. He looked at me and his face changed. "That is your dress," he said. I knew it too -- and not just because my brother almost never says anything complimentary about the way I look. I knew it the second I pulled up the zipper. It was like the dress had been magically waiting there for me to find.
Of course, the dress was very expensive. There went the budget, before it had really been in effect. But the dress and I were meant to be. It was fate. Kismet.
This morning, after I heard the weather report, I decided to wear the dress to work with a white crocheted sweater -- mostly to cover up my tattoo, but also to protect my arms from the air conditioning. And all day, everyone kept commenting on the dress -- and I kept telling the same story: The dress found me.