The Perfect Dress

Leah - Orlando, Florida
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Over time, dating has warped into such a trivial thing. In my mind, it resembles a trip to a fitting room. You waltz in with your entire selection from the store, at least all you can manage to carry anyway, and you then proceed to try on each individual piece. Perhaps you linger a bit in front of the mirror in one skirt, do a little dance to force a pair of pants to make your bottom look flawless, or fling a blouse off so swiftly you barely have time to give it your pout of disgust. Then, there is that one perfect dress, that dress that fits you to a tee. That dress that you know is meant for you and no one else could possibly look this stunning in it. In your haste to try on everything in your lavish pile, you may not have realized its potential at first, but once you slip it on you know that dress is your soul-mate. Sometimes, we may have to try on a lot of others before we get to it, but on some rare occasions it is the first item on the stack.

Despite today’s doubting Thomas society, I believe that there is one person out there for each of us, our soul-mate. Growing up, I watched the entire primetime and daytime lineup of teenage dramas and sitcoms, “Saved By The Bell”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Felicity”, “Boy Meets World”; you name it. I had read the latest “tween” romance novels and I had seen every romantic comedy known to man. I had the ultimate pop culture education and wished for my fantasy dating world of movies, teen novels, and primetime television to become a reality.

In my late teenage years, I grew restless. I tucked away the dream of having that special romance my primetime idols of “Boy Meets World” shared into the back of my mind, until, when I least expected it, I bumped into a connection so strong that I did not realize it until I had already begun falling into it.

After spending my middle school years wondering when some boy would look at me how Cory looked at Topanga on those many episodes of “Boy Meets World”, I came to a realization that this idolized romance was not in my favor for anytime soon. I walked away from the fitting room of relationships empty handed and had other focuses in high school. I joined a number of clubs and made new friendships every day, one with a boy I did not expect. Our friendship’s full potential I did not realize at first, but it became greater than any bond found in books, movies, or on television.

For some reason, I did not seek to strengthen my friendship with this boy at first. It was just not a priority in the beginning. However, I was involved in many of the same activities as he was, so that meant we saw each other regularly. During the very first year of our friendship, we began to develop a strong support for one another. At first, I did not recognize the intensity and distinctiveness of our support system and our quirky care and understanding of one another. But when I did, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I fell.

I had never had such a stimulating friendship with anyone. It was real. It was meaningful. I could actually be myself, and that is the one thing that we all inevitably want in any relationship, whether it is just a friendship or something more. I finally had something more, the perfect dress and a gorgeous pair of shoes too.

I did not want to admit it at first. I was scared, truly scared. How could I risk taking a chance on something that may not work out? It was all so planned out in the movies. What if he was not the perfect boy to my girl next door? I did not want to fall off this cliff, and leave behind the perfect friendship we had built together. Of course the problem was, I had already fallen, and I could not just float safely back up to the edge.

Deep down I knew that this was something I would never fall into again. After months I decided that if I waited any longer for my shy friend to do something I would undoubtedly go insane. I took a chance and slipped into what I would hope to be that perfect dress of a relationship.

Almost a year later, I am more confident than ever that I have found my soul-mate. I feel like I have known him my entire life, when we met only for the first time four years ago. I suppose I got my teenage sitcom-fantasy romance after all.

Now, we are separated by nearly seven states, different goals and lifestyles, but we still have our bond, one that is special and can never be broken. The cynics out there are probably hurling this into a trash can as they read these words, but it is real. It is not the exaggerated fit of a spandex top, but the classic lines of that perfect dress. And once you find that off the rack miracle, that dress that makes you look amazing, and feel like a million bucks, don’t let anyone else take it home. This is what I believe, your soul-mate is sitting somewhere on a shelf, you just have to try it on. Once you find it, it is as if it has been waiting for you all along.