Fuller Minds

Minds that are not always empty

The Turquoise Dress

What is your endgame when you go for shopping? I am not asking about when you go for a window shopping in a mall, looking at all the new accessories and clothes available in the stores, no. I am talking about having an actual intention of buying things. Things you need.

Let’s take clothes for example: I was looking for a dark turquoise color dress in either cotton or chiffon material with either self-print or running colors scheme. It was towards the end of February, when I needed this dress. The winter was at its tail end and we could feel the beginning of summer in the air. So I wanted either cap sleeves or sleeveless dress. Yes, I know! It is quite specific to find a dress like that in the mall stores. Especially when you are not buying the material by your choice, color by your choice, design and print by your choice. You get what you get from these stores. But, did it deter me in finding the dress I want? Absolutely not!

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It was a weekday, working day and most of all I needed that dress for the next day. All my shopping stints have been last minute for quite few years now. And every time, I end up buying the clothes I have had in my mind. I go with one specific dress color, design and everything. Walk out with that dress in my shopping bag, all within 20-30 minutes max. Every time! Why should this time be any different, right?

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Well, it was not only different but difficult too! After work, I called up my sister to help me with the shopping and she agreed to it after some convincing on my part. Since the mall was closer to my work, I ended up arriving early with almost an hour’s time to do the testing and trying part. I went into a well known ethnic wear store in the mall and explained what I need. The salesperson told me: this is the spring collection madam, which just came in. We only have light colored dresses available in full sleeves.

I had two questions for this person: Women will not have periods in spring? If they do, do they have to wait till some other season comes, in which this particular brand creates dresses in dark colors? (Since most women are comfortable wearing dark colors during their periods) My next question: why would all the spring collection be in full sleeves? It is not winter, it is only going to get warmer! And our sleeves need the air too!

Of course, I had this monologue only in my head, pretty sure she would have thrown me out had I told these things out loud. As it is I gave her a hard time in picking the right dresses. Did I pick my dresses soon after the monologue ended? Nope!

I had to visit all the ethnic wear stores in the mall and expressed my disappointment to all of them, by which time my sister showed up. These days, mica print has become a constant in ethnic dresses. Every other dress I pick from the rack has mica print on it. I have tried these clothes about a decade ago and have learnt my lesson! The print fades away after first few washes, even if your dry-clean it. What is the whole point of you spending so much money on one single dress and it is good to be your dishrag after three washes? No, sir! I am not spending money on it again!

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Anyway, it took me an hour’s time to explore an entire mall to decide, the good old shopping was much better, wherein you chose the color, material, design, length of your sleeves, which apparently is an issue with me! Only problem? The tailors would not have managed to stitch the dress overnight.

So, did I leave the mall knowing I would not get the dress I wanted, for the first time? No, I went back to “the spring” lady again, who made an unhappy face by looking at me thinking: God! She is back! Well, what can I say? I am persistent like that. I am sure she was happy by the time we left the store, because I did not just leave with one dress but two!

Did I get the color I wanted? No!

Design? Maybe.

Sleeves? Definitely not!

Why all the fuss, you say? Well, it is not everyday you turn 30! Entering “the dirty thirty” needed the flare.

I do not want to call this an experience, because it is not in my repertoire to spend so much time in a mall to buy a dress. Much less likely to leave exhausted, hungry (more like hangry!) and running late for dinner at home. One good thing I learned from that evening was: never go for last minute shopping.

Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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