No guy alive has any idea what I’m talking about here.

But ladies, I’m sure you’ll all understand.

You pick out an outfit for an event. Maybe you don’t put it on, but you have it in your mind. You KNOW what you’ll be wearing that day.

Then, suddenly, at the last possible moment, the outfit dies. No pulse, not breathing, might kill you with its hideousness—dies.

Maybe you didn’t realize that the skirt had faded just enough to look like it doesn’t match. Maybe the sleeves of the shirt are too tight. Maybe the proportions are wrong…maybe the shirt would look better with pants…but all your dress slacks are dirty, wrinkled, and/or covered with pet hair. Ladies–I’m sure you’ve been there. It’s fashion victim hell.

So, then you go into a closet-panic. You pull out dresses that you haven’t worn in years, skirts that may have gone out of style. You throw a back-up outfit in the wash, knowing that it won’t be dry by the time you leave. But still, you try.

If you’re lucky, you have enough sense to go to your nearest shopping center and just bail yourself out with a credit card.

If you’re unlucky, you wear the wrinkled/cat hair outfit and spend most of evening brushing yourself off. Very attractive.

On Saturday, I was the queen of fashion victim hell. My original outfit died, but it died hardcore—-complete with an ill-sewn seam over the bust. “Did I get something pink on this shirt? Oh….no, it’s my bra showing through the hole I didn’t know existed.”

In my closet panic, I found nothing useful, except the dress I’d worn to the event two years earlier. Not gonna happen, trust me. I’m all for re-using outfits, but not to the same event. (Ladies—you’re with me, yes?)

The worst thing about this particular event is that it’s a fundraiser I used to organize in my first position out of college…a job that I loved for eight months despite the $12.50/hour pay. Then it went sour and I quit. In the end, I left on good terms, but it felt like a bad breakup. It’s been two years now, but when I first left I felt used and hurt and disrespected, I sat home and ate a lot of ice cream for a week, and I really didn’t want to run into my former co-workers.

But mostly, if I did run into them, I wanted to look HOT.

Not wrinkled and covered in cat hair.

Now, I might have to mention that when all this happened, it was about 3:30 in the afternoon. The event began at 6. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Except that the event was in a different city, 90 miles away. Yuck.

So, I did what any self-respecting 25-year-old would do.

I called my mommy.

She lives in the 90-mile-away city, and she did what only a mother can do…she pre-shopped for me. As I drove from one city to another, she called with status updates.

“Nothing good at Macy’s…I’m heading to the mall.”

“Dillards has velvet skirts, how do we feel about velvet skirts?”

“Call me when you get to the mall…I’ve got some things set aside.”

So, I flew into town wearing a long pink sweater, leggings and flats. I found my mom and her stack of skirts, and I hit the dressing room.

I tried on one skirt (not the velvet one, but a black belted number with white embroidery), sent mom to find a black tank top and a shrug, and within 10 minutes, the ladies at the store front were cutting my tags off me and shoving my pink sweater in a plastic bag.

It was incredible. It was expensive (we weren’t looking at prices), but incredible. It’s my new favorite outfit.

I went to the event feeling like the girlfriend who’s gotten WAY more attractive since the breakup, and she’s just praying she’ll run into her old boyfriend.

Sure enough, I ran into one of my main former coworkers instantly—-a guy with whom I used to share an office.

“Hey Flemmily, how’s it going?”

“Great…great! How are you?”

“Doing good. You look good.”

(Of course I do.) “Thanks! You look good too. Nice shirt.”

“Oh, thanks. I’ve worn this one to [the event] for the last three years!”

**head slap** Boys.

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