Reason No. 147 Why I’m a Total Tool

Chris’ office holiday party is Friday. Don’t ask me why it’s so far after the holidays; this is not the point. The point is that as soon as I found out there would be a holiday party, I started to fret about what I’d wear. Rather, what I’d fit into when the time came. I knew I’d be meeting all of his bosses and co-workers for the first time and wanted to make a good impression, notwithstanding the very pregnant figure I'm sporting these days.

A couple weeks ago I was overjoyed to learn that the attire would be “holiday casual,” not because I own any sort of Christmas tree sweater, but because I would not have to buy a dress to squeeze over this belly. Instead, I could get away with the decent maternity dress pants or dare-I-say-stylish maternity corduroys I already own. But a shirt was another matter.

I tried the few blouses I had in the back of my closet that I hoped might work. No go. By this time in my last pregnancy I was wearing T-shirts and tank tops, as it was spring in South Carolina. So nothing I owned would do for a holiday party in January in frigid PA.

I’ve previously mentioned how much I hate shopping, especially while pregnant, so I put it off until last weekend when we were in New York visiting relatives. While there I found time to sneak away to the neighborhood Marshall’s to pick through their racks in search of something — anything — that might suffice to look “festive” without looking “frumpy,” and hopefully nothing I’d have to pay an arm and a leg for, seeing as how I’d most likely be wearing it just once.

Within 10 minutes I found a sweater that fit the bill — and it fit the belly, too! It was a true post-Christmas miracle. A non-maternity black cardigan sweater with a deep V-neck, extra long and form-fitting with stylish sleeves in a super-soft, light fabric. The lines made it clear I was pregnant without a lot of extra fabric billowing around my middle like a tent. It was $58, marked down to $29, on clearance for $20. Sold.

I brought it back to my mother-in-law’s house and tried it on for her. “Ooh, Demi Moore,” she said, which at the time seemed like a compliment but in retrospect is a little puzzling, because anyone who remembers anything about Demi Moore when she was pregnant probably remembers her posing naked on the cover of some magazine. Which is not exactly the look I was going for.

Anyway, when I got back home I found everything else I’d need to pull the outfit together, jewelry and all. Feeling satisfied and frugal, I tossed the shirt into the washer today so that it would be fresh and clean and ready for Friday. I even shifted the dryer setting to “delicate” so that it wouldn’t dry using much heat so the sweater would retain its shape.

I never once thought to take a look at the damn tag. To see that the sweater was 100% merino wool. To read “DRY CLEAN ONLY” stitched on there, clear as day.

Now my great find is three sizes too small; I essentially just shredded a perfectly good twenty-dollar bill. And I have less than 48 hours to find a replacement, or scrap the whole outfit and start from scratch.

Anyone have a tent I can borrow?


Kim said...

that sucks. i'm sure you'll find something even better...even if it is a pain to shop at the last minute.

Sheila said...

You may recall a shirt I wore awhile back which prompted a complete stranger to ask about my pregnancy......perhaps I can fedex it to you.

Kostyn's Grammy said...

I still love the one Lisa gave you for Christmas. Add a long necklace and earings and it will be great and the color is an in-shade of green. But I'm sure you'll find something you feel does a better job "slimming" the pregnant look. Whatever you do, I KNOW you will be beautiful.

Robyn said...

I do remember that, Sheil. You shoulda slapped that stranger.

Mom, I love that sweater, it's just too casual for this affair.

Good news: I went to our local Marshalls this morning and they had the same sweater! So, not much of a bargain since I ended up spending $40 instead of $20, but at least it's something.

Heather said...

Reason No. 147 I have shopping. Ha!
You're not a tool, btw. I'm already stressing about what I'm going to wear in May to my little brother's wedding. I'm thinking of wrapping a banquet table cloth around me and tying it together with a rope. Maybe one of those snuggies?
And, Sheila, I hate it when people say things like that. A few years ago, my friend's 7-year-old daughter poked at my belly and asked, "Is there a baby in there?" in front of a whole coffee shop of people! The sad part: That wasn't the first time that happened. Just change the setting.

Maestra said...

For the record Robyn looked gorgeous in the sweater, as she always does. Even my three year old spontaneously told her she looked beautiful. Then again, we all know she could wear the banquet table cloth tied with a robe and still be stunning.

Robyn said...

Wait, you didn't prompt him to compliment me?! I assumed you had. That is soooo sweet!