This year, I had decided that there were a couple of things that I really wanted to do. One of which was to go to an annual formal event that is held at the local art museum. I had decided that I was going to do this. I was unemployed at the time, but it didn’t matter to me. I wanted to go to this event, and would look at ball gowns every so often on the Internet. I had been wanting to go to this event for a while, but at the time, I didn’t have enough money for a dress, let alone a ticket, which was close to $200.
You know what’s interesting about when you want something? When you determine that you’re going to do something in your heart, and you’re serious about it, things begin to move into place so you can get to where you want to go.
I used the severance pay from my previous job to get a ticket. In fact, I had enough money to get a VIP ticket, which is what I really wanted. (I just wanted to see what kinds of people get those kinds of tickets. Plus, I’ve always liked preferential treatment. Who doesn’t??) Then a couple of months later, I had a new job. Now I could afford to buy a dress! I really didn’t want to pay more than a certain amount, and the amount I chose was $50. I know that sounds crazy for a cocktail dress for a formal event, let alone a gown!… which is what I wanted.
I looked on eBay, thinking that I could find something that was the price that I wanted as well as something that was in my taste. I had an aversion to the idea of wearing black; it was still practically winter, so that’s what everyone would be wearing. Plus, I don’t really like wearing black. I told the Lord this. I saw a yellow dress that I wanted. Even though it was a bit over what I wanted to pay, I kept it in mind. All the while, I had the strong impression to visit my favourite consignment store. They do sell those kinds of dresses. So I thought “all right; next time I have a day off, I’ll check it out.”
Sure enough, on my next day off, I went. I looked at a couple of dresses, and almost settled on one that I wasn’t crazy about… but it fit and it was the price I wanted to pay. As I walked out of the dressing room, another dress caught my eye. It was a pretty sea green and had beading on it. I asked the woman working there if the dress was for sale since it was in the back. She checked for a ticket, and sure enough, it was being sold. I tried it on. The fit was incredible, the colour looked good on me, and it had tulle for days. Plus, the woman told me that it was 75% off the original selling price. I thought, “okay, that’s great! I guess I’ll be paying $25, which is under what I wanted to pay anyways.
Well, let me tell y’all… I got the surprise of a lifetime. I guess I didn’t realize how much I would really be paying. When we rang that dress up, it came up as $12.50. For a whole gown. The woman behind the counter and I laughed! I couldn’t believe I got a full length gown that was pretty, not black, had beading and tulle for days… for $12.50. It cost more to get the dress cleaned than it did to buy it. The Lord is good. I already had shoes, jewelry and an evening bag at home… so I was set!
That day was crazy because I was supposed to arrive at 7pm, but didn’t have a way because one of the family cars broke down. I ended up getting there by 8pm. It was all good, though. I tried to rent a car so that I could be there on time, but that ended up not working out. Now that I look back on it, I got there when I was supposed to. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a great time.
The best part was stuffing myself into my sister’s little Jeep Liberty. The tulle hid the gear shift (thank God it was an automatic), and covered the steering wheel. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I got tons of compliments on the dress from different people that night. One woman even declared that I was the best dressed one in the place. All I could do was laugh; I knew how much it had cost.
I spent the night touring the new exhibit that was premiered that night (in shoes that hurt. I went back another time to really enjoy it), ate good food, talked and danced with a German doctor, and danced with a man that I’m certain was gay. My (cheap) necklace broke off my neck while I danced with him, and we found this to be hilarious. It ended up in his pocket, and as far as I know, that’s where it still is. We had fun dance chemistry and I enjoyed myself. I was so glad that I hadn’t come with a date; I don’t think it would’ve been as much fun.
I came home with sore feet and one less item of jewelry, but who cares? The gala was loads of fun, but I think the journey leading up to it was just as great. When you really want to do something, and you’re serious about that thing, watch everything around you orchestrate itself to accommodate what you’ve purposed in your heart to do.
Apparently, faith, hope, and a $12 ball gown can get you the time of your life.