I know, it’s awful, these problems I have. I’ve got to go to a ball at the palace in a few weeks, and I have nothing to wear. It’s a rough life.
But seriously, it’s a challenge. I’m not a shopping person, and going out shopping, for something I’m not used to shopping for (like, say, a gown for the ball) in a language I don’t speak (German, perhaps?) really is frustrating and exhausting.
I have the usual problems I’d have anywhere — finding something flattering, that isn’t too expensive, that will be relatively comfortable, that won’t cost hundreds of dollars to have altered, that will be ready in less than 3 weeks — plus the problems that are unique to being in Austria — specifically that I have a really hard time explaining to the salespeople exactly what it is I’m looking for. I can do ok on size, price and color, but beyond that, my German starts to fail me. Heck, I’m not sure I could do an adequate job if I was trying to communicate it in English. I’m not much of a dress person, so I don’t know the right names for the materials, or how to describe the necklines, waistlines and silhouettes properly. The salespeople seem to have little patience for me, too — I tend to get passed from one salesgirl to another during the half an hour or so that I’m in the store . . . which then requires that I re-explain whatever I’ve managed to convey up to that point.
Add to this the minor frustration that I do own dresses I could wear — I just didn’t know they would work, so I didn’t bring them. I definitely could have worn one of several ballroom competition gowns that I own, but I can’t get to them right now (and I’m not entirely sure they’d fit even if I could).
This is an absolutely ridiculous thing to complain about, even a little. I realize that. I have the good fortune of getting to go out shopping for a beautiful dress for a ball at the palace (which is fun even just to type). But if anyone has the perfect dress sitting in their closet, let me know. I’ll pay for the shipping.