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Today Mariah and I went bridesmaid dress shopping.  Now this may not sound all that exciting, but I should point out to you that the last time I went shopping for something that was not groceries, home renovation supplies, or fabric was… a very long time ago.  And when I do go to buy things, it’s almost never with another person.  I know that women bonding with other women by doing recreational shopping for unnecessary objects is supposed to be, like, part of the American way or something.  Still, I just don’t do that.  Buying stuff is a chore to get through, not a socialization opportunity.  So this was, you know, weird.

Then, on top of everything else, we went to the Mall.  Friends, I haven’t physically set foot in a mall in well over a year, and even then it was a quick in and out to get a specific item in one specific store.  I think the last time I did the whole wander around to see what’s available thing I might have been a teenager.  Or at least in my early twenties.  Either way it was a long, long time ago, back in that golden age when I had disposable income, or at least thought I did.  And even then, I didn’t shop in the department stores.  They were never interesting to me.  All the cool stuff was at the other stores in between.  Department stores were only good for telling people the landmark where you were going to meet at the end of the trip.  So this whole trip, wandering up and down the Mall, checking out multiple department stores, and a few stores in between, was like some sort of surreal blast from the past.  And yet, I have to admit that it was fun.

You see, while I have a bridesmaid dress (or, well, the fabric and pattern for a bridesmaid dress – that’s the same thing, right?), Mariah does not.  Also, The Duchess has considerately chosen a palette of colors that make it highly likely that this dress might be that unicorn of bridesmaid dresses, the one that you can wear again.  A nice brown, tan, or cream colored dress?  Not cornflower blue or silver brocade (admittedly lovely, but how often do you really have an occasion to wear silver brocade)?  That’s a dress that can do double duty for office Christmas parties and other occasions for years to come!  So Mariah’s been scouring the internets looking for something appropriate.  Today it was finally time to go try some things on, and I came along for moral support, and also honest opinions.

We did not find a bridesmaid dress, though we did find a lot of other lovely things.  I tried on a grey Calvin Klein that looked like it could have been made just for me (though the price tag said otherwise).  Mariah found a little black dress that makes her look like a bombshell.  We ransacked the clearance shoe racks, and took a stroll through the furniture area just to see what sort of armchairs they had in stock.  We tried on jackets and sweaters and lord knows what else.  We made gagging noises at the weird dress with the odd panels of leopard print fabric in the skirt (who wears animal prints?  seriously.), told the truth about whether or not various sweaters made our butts look big, sent each other back for alternative sizes, and had a great time.

And now my feet hurt.

In other news, at work Boss J and Big Boss are being awfully cute.  As you may recall, they have decided to go through the long process of posting a job listing for my job (the one I actually do, not the one I originally got hired for) so that I can apply and be hired for that job.  This will not only make me eligible for benefits, but also get me out from under the 1000 hours/year cap that would otherwise have me laid off sometime in November.  On Monday they were finalizing the job posting, which they’ve been scheming together to try to make specific enough so that the only person in the world qualified for my job will be, well, me.  Boss J thinks it’s pretty close, since she based the job description on my most recent performance appraisal, and has done her best to rig the extra job questions to disqualify almost everyone else (she called me over and told me both the questions and what the right answers were, just in case).  As she was finishing this up, Big Boss kept poking his head out of his office with a tweek here and a rewording there to try to make it even easier to make sure I get the job without raising too many red flags in the HR department.  They’ve made sure that Boss J heads up the job Search Committee, and appointed two of my biggest fans in the office to be on it with her.

And what can I say?  My bosses are amazing.  Every time I think about what they’re doing for me, all the strings they’re pulling, the sheer number of people they’ve had to talk to, the hours they’re putting in to make this happen for me, I’m touched and humbled.  I feel so blessed.  Neither one of my bosses are professed Christians.  Big Boss was raised Catholic, but hasn’t gone to church in years.  Boss J considers herself a pagan.  But right now they are some of the most Christian people I know.