Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • The first one I can remember was in East Hampton, almost 20 years ago. It had a gold and brown almost pebbled pattern. It had wide shoulder-straps and a broad, silky, swirly skirt. At 19 years old, the $100+ price tag was daunting. I didn't take it home, but I thought of it long after I left the store.

    Then there was Momo Falana boutique in Alphabet City in 1999, where I was dizzy from the colors and the smooth hand of silks. Everything was designed to make a woman feel like a funky but elegant earth mama princess. The window held what I hoped would be the wedding dress that I would wear with the man who waited patiently that day. The King and I on acid, I called it. A white satin dress with a room-encompassing hoop skirt like Deborah Kerr's in the movie. On the skirt was a fantastical world, a web of delicately painted thin branches that reached from the floor-skimming hem to the waist. I know the price tag had four numbers, so I couldn't even try it on. A few months later, I dumped the guy.

    If I walk into a shop, I head straight for the dresses. I try them on and spin in front of the mirror and life is as simple as it is for a five year-old, delighted by pink and frilly things. So pretty, I think. I imagine the parties, the balls, the weddings, the galas where I will glide in, perfectly turned-out and confident in the perfect dress. I zip up and am transported into a life I don't really have.

    Every once in a while, there's one like this, one that I can't get off my mind. I hem and haw, telling myself it is wasteful, that I don't need it, that maybe if it goes on sale. I don't have the life that requires such finery very often and I have a bunch of fancy dresses that I haven't even worn.

    I tell myself that there's always another pretty dress, another one that will take my breath away, another fantasy. But I always wonder if I'm right.
  • Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.