I started feeling so much anxiety yesterday morning.
I couldn't figure out what was happening.
I was reading, still in my soft wool thigh high Free People socks and velvet floral print kimono, in case that interests you.
It was about eight a.m. and I had only had one cup of coffee, which is all I usually ever have.
I thought about everything that's going on this weekend, and next week.
I thought about getting a Christmas tree.
I thought about going to a party I'm invited to tonight with Rob.
I thought about how this Sunday is the Sunday when the church choir I'm singing with for Advent has two services to sing at...........
and I suddenly remembered that the first service we aren't wearing our choir robes.
The choir director said we should wear our Sunday best.
I thought about how the last few Sundays my mother has been very vocal about me not being dressed appropriately for church.
This after I put in serious brain power trying to wear the clothes I own...and have loved...in a way that would work for the church scene, but knowing that I had my long coat to wear over whatever I chose and the choir robe to cover it all up anyway in church.
But this Sunday, no choir robes.
This is so frightening for me because I like to wear sort of rock and roll inspired stuff.
For ten years now of touring and recording and hanging out with Rob Genadek, I've integrated rock and roll into my wardrobe, into my personal aesthetic, into my bloodstream.
Okay, so, the country church in Minnesota, big wealthy country church, but church none the less, is not ready for my silver studded dog collar necklace at the nine a.m. service.
And no hats allowed.
Black cowboy boots, or even my platform Doc Martens are okay, passable.
Mini dresses, sequins or otherwise, probably not going to fly.
I could wear Rob's bathrobe.
Or the top sheet from our queen sized bed.
I have my new black ballgown skirt I sewed myself...which I adore and will probably wear tonight to the party...but it looks best with my cropped black leather jacket and I don't really think a black leather jacket would be okay.
All to say that I started wishing I could buy a new dress.
I sat and looked on my laptop at dresses from Urban Outfitters, Free People, Zara, and more.
A long dress in black, with maybe a festive floral pattern, and a slim waist, not a big billowy thing, something slim and flattering but not tight at all, not revealing at all, not see through at all.
I saw a couple dresses I would love to wear this Sunday to church.
I paid the heat bill and the phone bill yesterday, and the IRS takes $150 out of my account every month on the first, so that's coming up.
We still have to get the Christmas tree and the kids are coming, so we need to keep the refrigerator stocked.
No money in the budget for a new Christmas dress.
So I went up to my closet in the guest room where Nina sleeps.
I stared at all my stuff, hanging neatly on hangers.
I asked myself what I would give for a new Christmas dress.
And I started pulling things off hangers and stuffing them in a big tote bag.
I was ruthless.
I filled three bags with stuff from the hangers in my closet, saying, "do you like this more or would you rather have a new dress than this?"
I drove it all over to the Buffalo Exchange thrift shop.
They were excited to see me.
They gave me $140 for my old clothes.
One weird thing, slightly sad and disconcerting, was that the things I gave them looked more used and soiled and out of style to me once I got them there, out of my closet, out of my memory of what they used to be.
The good thing was that the young women loved all of it, so whatever.
You don't get a lot of money when you sell your things second hand, but it was enough money and that's what matters.
I got back in my car with my cash and drove to a fancy shopping place called The Galleria.
I went into several shops and looked at dresses.
I got to the Free People shop which is usually my favorite.
They had a dress hanging by itself on a hook.
It was one I had seen on my laptop earlier in the morning.
It was a medium and medium seemed good if I didn't want it to appear tight...at all....anywhere.
The price tag said $148.
I had enough money, I could spare an extra few dollars of my own to do this.
I took it up to the clerk at the counter and got out my money.
As she was taking the dress off the hanger we both noticed that there was a small tear in the tie for the waist, a tie that has two wonderful black tassels that I love.
She apologized that this was the only one they had of this dress.
She offered to give me forty percent off the price.
I can sew, and the tiny tear could be sewn in black thread and be completely gone.
I accepted this offer and paid $80 for the dress.
I left with a spring in my step and joy in my heart.
The dress has a long full skirt with a small festive floral pattern all around the hem.
It has fluttery sleeves with flowers around the edges.
It has a high collar with black ribbon trim and tiny black buttons down the front.
It has the wonderful tie belt at the waist that cinches tight...but not too tight....and has the heavy black tassels that hang down onto the folds of the skirt.
It's the best Christmas dress ever.
It's the perfect thing for the choir morning.
And for Christmas Day.
Last night I met a wonderful writer friend for drinks and a bite to eat at my favorite, The Lynhall.
She and her husband are embarking on new career paths and while she used to be able to offer to pay for my drink when I was frightened and struggling last year, this year she is concerned about their bills for January.
I surprised her by not only offering to pay for myself, which at one time would have even been surprising, but I paid the whole bill.
She offered to cover the tip, and it worked out nicely.
I used my cash from the thrift shop.
My closet has a lot of bare hangers now.
Do you know what that means?
Something, many things, to look forward to.
I used to think I better hang on to everything in case I needed it.
That way of thinking weighs you down, cuts you off from new ideas.
I'm so happy I did what I did.
I'll ask Nina to take a picture of me in my new dress.
If what I do matters to you and you'd like to support my artistic journey, consider making a donation here: