A few days before leaving for TNNA, I popped into a few shops on the hunt for a little lightweight cardie; the sort that doesn't really keep you warm but can keep the chill of aircon away. Whilst in Asda, a dress from across the shop floor caught my attention. Now, I don't really do dresses; I have a grand total 4, and they're the informal variety that spend their lives folded up on the shelf with the occasional airing and wearing. This dress was different, and I wanted it.
Naturally, they had loads of every size except my size.
The next size up was way too roomy and I lacked the time and inclination to take it in. I squeezed into the next size down but it wasn't the most comfortable fit, and as much as I thought it would be a great incentive to loose a little weight, I couldn't really justify spending money on something I couldn't wear yet. Not that it was especially expensive at £25, but that would steal roughly a quarter of my annual clothing allowance.
The sales assistant was super helpful. She phoned every single store in this region of the country for me. And every single one had sold out; there wasn't an Asda store in the whole of the South East of England who had this dress in my size. It didn't help that this was a Limited Edition dress, as that basically meant that there'd be no more. Ever.
And by this time I'd got the bit between my teeth.
So with the permission of the sales assistant, I took a photo of this dress on the rail and uploaded it to Twitter, in the vain hope that someone, somewhere in the UK might be able to find this dress in my size. And the Twitter response was amazing! Would you believe that the hunt for this dress even had it's own hashtag? Several friends tried their local stores to no avail, and the odds of finding one were getting slimmer. Ann Kingstone was one of those kind souls who'd tried her nearest Asda for me without luck. Realising it was a Limited Edition dress, she suggested that she could drive to the next store, some 10 miles away, as they may be more likely to have it. I wasn't keen to ask her to do this; folks had already done plenty to help me, but Ann when asked me how much I wanted this dress, I simply told her that "it is so 'me' that I don't understand why it isn't with me already".
And so she went. And they had it in stock. In my size. And I was so stupidly excited, it was unreal.
What was really serendipitous about this whole episode was that Ann and myself were travelling to TNNA together, along with Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, and that meant I only had to wait a day or two before I could put my eager hands on my new dress. This photo was taken by Ruth on the last night of our stay, after taking down our booths (Becky Herrick had bought some local Vermont cider, which was perfect for letting off a bit of steam after a stressful few days). Not the most flattering of photos, but I reckon it shows just how happy I was to have that dress. It totally rocks with the Boots of Awesome.
I'm still so blown away with everyone's help in trying to find this dress, and especially grateful to Ann for going that extra mile (or 10) to get it for me. Just goes to demonstrate how good life can be, huh?