You’re walking along the road after work on a rainy Tuesday evening. It’s cold, but not cold enough to be exciting, and just dull enough to be entirely nondescript and unremarkable. It is, after all, a Tuesday. In a shop window you see a red dress and though you’re perhaps not a dressy kind of gal, you like this one. Like, you really like it. If only you could have this dress your life would be so much better. The problems at work would disappear if you had this dress. You’d look fantastic if only you had this dress. You’d be smart and confident and beautiful and intelligent and fit and witty. You’d be amazing. If only you had this dress.
You peer into the gloom and spot the price-tag. Amazing dresses with these kinds of superpowers don’t come cheap, it would seem. Hmm. You notice the strappy straps which are beautiful on the hard-plastic-perfectly-sculpted shoulders of the mannequin, but also see in your reflection that Christmas cheer, cheese, and chocolate have left you with shoulders which no longer take kindly to strappiness. Hmm. And likewise the waist and hips. Hmm. And what about shoes? You’d need to wear heels and you know you aren’t much good with heels. Hmm. You keep walking home, perhaps – if it were possible – a little more dulled and down than before.
But somehow, the thought of the dress stays with you. There’s a persistent If Only I Could in the back of your mind. You imagine buying it. And wearing it. And looking, feeling, being, all those amazingly amazing things in it.
You make a sneaky little budget. You see how much you’d have to save up in order to buy it. You realise that maybe now it’s time to ask your boss about that raise she promised you last year, but you were too scared to follow-up on. You prepare yourself, make your case, and approach your boss. You get the raise. It’s a small one, but you know you’ve earnt it, and all those extra pennies will go towards that amazing, super-powered red dress. Now for the shoulders. You try to do push-ups and the first time you manage three in a row is a great day. Sore, but great. A little bit each day and by the next week you’re at five. You know you feel much better about yourself when you’re physically fit, so you start walking to the farther bus-stop every day in your commute, and going for a jog around the block once a week. You see people in the park while you’re running, and they smile at you. You feel great to be outside in the open air with strangers who smile at you, but you don’t forget how much your life will change if only you could have that red dress. All that running and walking and exercise has given you more confidence, you’re standing up straighter and walking taller. You even manage to wear heels and not fall over. Or not too much anyway.
Finally the stars, bank accounts, and shoulder-and-waist-situations align and the Magical Day arrives. You go into the shop and buy the red dress. And because it’s a Magical Dress bought on a Magical Day, of course it lives up to all your expectations. You feel amazing. Your troubles at work have disappeared, after all. Your confidence is high. Your back is straight. You feel great and you feel that you look great but actually you feel so great that you don’t really care if anyone else thinks you look as good as you know you do because feeling that you look this good makes you not really care whether they think you do or not. Or whatever.
The important thing is that it worked. You were right. Just having that red dress really did make your life better!