21 February 2007

It was bound to happen.

I saw her as I side-stepped around the third or fourth rapidly melting ice block on M St. in between 15th and 16th. Though I wasn't wearing my glasses, I was able to make out a woman - a woman with a pretty spectacular figure - in the not-too-far distance who, evidenced by her bare legs, lightweight trench, and I'm-having-a-pretty-day expression, had made the decision this morning that today was the day she would push aside the wool, the velvet and the tweed and liberate the silk blends, linens, and thin merinos she'd orderly tucked away in Rubbermaid vacuum-packed storage boxes above her shelves and under her bed.

We were walking toward each other, the distance between us shortening with every click of my chocolate brown suede peeptoes with bronze piping and every seasoned stride she took in her caramel matte leather almond-toed pumps. Though we'd never met before and we weren't about to turn off our iPods and meet today, there was an unspoken understanding, one over-confident woman to another, that we would exchange polite half-smiles and shoot each other "nice outfit" glances.

Just as my near-sightedness no longer hindered me from taking in this size 4, 5'9" brunette with slim hips, athletic calves and honey highlights, I saw in perfect 20/20 a familiar blue and white floral print peeking out from under her 3/4 trench.

"It couldn't be," I said in a half-whisper, "Not a DC girl," my eyes involuntarily filling with fear, jealousy and confusion.

But it was. And her packed lunch and New Balance 992s slung over her daybag didn't lie -- she was a DC girl.

There's a first for everything, and this morning, I learned this lesson the hard way. Draped on a stunning frame and coming straight at me was the current top placeholder on my wish list: the 'Jessica' wrapdress in large scattered Gingko print by Diane von Furstenburg ($345 at nordstrom.com). And to my chagrin, even with a coat on, I could tell this young woman looked good in it. Really good. Potentially better than even I would look in it.


Unfortunately, I was not able to regain my composure in time to feign a you-look-good-but-so-do-I smile. She knew it - as I would have - that somewhere between passing the portly woman with a buzzcut and fuchsia stirrup pants and the man listening to "Making love out of nothing at all" so loudly you heard the song before you smelled his Axe body spray, the balance had tipped in her favor. What we both assumed would be an equal admiration exchange had turned into her victory.

As you might expect, as soon as she was a safe distance behind me (yes, I looked back at her - twice), I switched from Destiny's Child ("Bootylicious") to Fiona Apple ("Oh well") and shot a face full of sulk to every passerby for the remaining two blocks.

I hadn't experienced a defeat for which I was this unprepared since I was 12 when I was forced to relinquish my Spelling Bee crown.

And for the record, I'm still convinced the moderator said "flamingo," not "flamenco."


brown bear '02 said...

I'm assuming the dress is now off your list? If it's not, how big of you to publicize it here for all to see! It'll be on everyone's list now!

And there's NO WAY she could've rocked a wrapdress better than you.

Only I can :-)

a fan said...

Awww, little Hannie losing a spelling bee -- that's just too precious to imagine.

Let me guess, a public display of tears was involved?

In retrospect, with every election and award you won, you deserved a little defeat early on.

And I bet you *still* deserve a little defeat now. Equilibrium, remember?

love ya!

Anonymous said...

that's a great dress. I'd save up for it, anyway. Not like that many DC girls are gonna have it, and what are the chances you'll ever run into Miss Thing again? Not likely.

No harm, no foul.

nyc admirer said...

I wish you'd taken a picture of this woman, so that when you bought the dress, you could post pictures of both of you and we could vote on who wore it best.

You'd win, hands down, doll. Of that, I'm sure.

motor city fan said...

I get off work at 4, but stay an extra 15 minutes now to read your blog. It was sent to me via a friend of a friend. It's one of the best parts of my day! keep it up!