When I was a boy, I made a list of about 30 things I wanted to do or achieve when I grew up, and shopping for a ball gown for my wife at a winter ball gown clearance sale in Vienna without an oxygen tank or sherpas was not on it for good reason. There is a limit to the danger I will expose myself to in my international search for adventure and thrills.
The cell phone came in handy. Alpha could call me from the dressing room to come and give her a thumbs up or down if I happened to wander too far off. Eventually I sort of hung around the dressing rooms which of course got me some funny looks from the salespeople, like, who’s this man hanging around the ladies’ dressing rooms sort of looks.
Like, watching matrons and pimply debutantes climb in and out of taffetta sausage skins is a source of arousal for me. My favorite part was when Alpha sent me off into the fray to find This Same Gown in a Different Size and Different Color. And when I got back with it, proud I’d found the right size, she explained that it was purple and not dark red like she’d wanted. And I told her, dark red was only available in really small or really large sizes. Just as well; I didn’t tell her that I’d accidentally kept stepping on the dragging hem of the dress with my muddy steel-toed boots as I carried it across the shop.
I seem to be telling this story backwards, sorry. Ball season is coming up, which is a big social event, or series of big social events; kids all go to dance school here. All adults with my sole exception can perform ballroom dances at varying levels of proficiency. The winter clearance sales started this week. 30%-50%-70% off various items. Including ball gowns. The department store was packed. Alpha stood in line for 45 minutes at the cash register, just to pay and get her dress packed up.