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Liz Dreier

All I ask is a decent dress.

Not a dress with cut-out sleeves, or a hem all the way to my butt, or spaghetti straps, or a dress that looks like it was designed by the wardrobe mistress for “Little House on the Prairie.”

And even though I’ve reached a certain age, I don’t want a dress that makes me look like Whistler’s mother.

I want a nice dress to wear to church on Easter Sunday, preferably with a nice spring coat, because it’s northeast Ohio, and it could be cold.

Ok I know. I’m old school. Women who go to church these days wear slacks. But I was raised in the sixties. (For all you smarties, it’s the 1960s, not the 1860s!) I wore a dress, hat, and gloves to church on Easter Sunday until I was 13. I can live without the hat and the gloves, but I still like to wear a dress to church.

In March, I searched online for my dream dress. The words “out of stock” are permanently etched in my brain. So one morning, I fortified myself with a lot of caffeine and checked my credit card limits before I went in search of the elusive item of clothing. At the first department store, I reported a salesman hiding behind a display of shoes.

“Excuse me miss. But I’m looking for the dress department. All I see are these nightgowns.

“Oh, those aren’t nightgowns,” she offered. “This is our new line of spring dresses.”

I must have looked dubious, as she added, “Maybe someone your age would be more interested in a nice pantsuit.”

“No thanks.”

On the way to destination n°2.

In this store, I found a lot of swimsuits, baby clothes and vacuum cleaners, but no Easter outfits. In customer service, I asked, “Hasn’t your dress shipment arrived yet?”

“Ma’am, you can find this merchandise online,” the extremely polite but uninformed employee said.

I bought some Paw Patrol jammies for my grandson and trucked to my next location.

At the third department store, I had my pick of evening dresses and outfits for the mother of the bride. My husband and I don’t go to fancy restaurants, and no one back home is getting married anytime soon, so I moved on.

No luck in the supermarkets either. Apparently the women who shop there wear nothing but capris and t-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Main Squeeze” and “Super Grandma”. Luckily chips and DVDs were on sale so I stocked up.

Back home, my husband found me lying on the sofa, wearing my new t-shirt and capris, munching on potato chips and watching my DVD.

“Did you find a dress?” He asked.

“No. Sit down and eat fries.

“Hey, it’s ‘Gilligan’s Island,'” he said, making himself comfortable.

Maybe if I throw my winter coat over the capris, no one at church will notice.

Liz Dreier is a mom (or “Mimi” to her grandson, AKA “Wonder Boy”), retired teacher, and blogger. She writes from Poland, Ohio, where she lives with her husband.