The Little Red Dress

After my interview with the New York Post on Thursday about what makes me the most desirable single in the city (Disclaimer: I still have no idea!), the reporter sent me an email about the photo shoot.

Now, I’ve had photo shoots before (thanks to many photographer friends in college) but the idea of having my photo taken for all of the five boroughs to see with a headline about being the most eligible single – that just felt like a whole lot of pressure I wasn’t quite ready for.

Or rather, my closet wasn’t prepared to handle.

Quickly, I texted my friend E, who is  a sassy, talented designer for a small label that sells to big labels, like Anthropologie, begging for her expert advice. We met post-work and scoured the racks of H&M, then the sale section of Bebe and just as we were about to brave the mayhem of the Times Square Forever 21, we stumbled across Cache – a store I haven’t been in since my pageant days in the deep South.

And there it was: the red dress.

E and I both spotted it instantly and I hesitantly looked at the tag, hoping and praying it’d be under $50 and thus, on budget. When the numbers almost quadrupled that, I sighed and reminded myself there was always the wear-once with the tags and return option, should the dress be exactly what I was looking for and I couldn’t resist.

And it was exactly what I was looking for: it hugged in all of the right places, showed a little skin but not too much, a sexy back opening, past my knees and looked great in heels. As I stood in front of the mirror in the terribly hot dressing room while E took a picture to see how it would look in print, my anxiety started to build.

I knew I needed to save money for Europe and watch my spending before I leave. I knew I was making every effort to spend as little as I could during the week so I could splurge on the weekend. I knew there were so many more responsible, reasonable things I could buy with nearly $200 but if there was ever a dress that was made for me, this was it.

Forget a little black dress -I rarely wear one. My color has always been (and let’s be honest, will probably always be) red. I handed over my card, caught my breath and vowed that I wouldn’t keep it – I’d just wear it for this special shoot and I’d always have a newspaper page to remember it by.

Or, so I thought.

When I walked out of the studio to show the photographer my selection, she said two words: “Wow. Perfect.” And as I stood in front of many bright lights in six-inch heels, sucking in what I could, standing up straight, trying to hold Lucy so she faced the camera, smile and pop my foot all at the same time – I did feel rather gorgeous. (And a little uncoordinated.)

I could hardly sleep Saturday night, anticipating the arrival of my first big feature in a daily paper, wondering what the article would say and what I would look like.  I raced at 8 a.m. on Sunday, unable to sleep a wink more to the newsstand a few blocks down. When I saw it, I couldn’t help but jump up and down in the street and buy 10 copies, excitedly showing the not-English-speaking vendor my photo.

After updating every social platform I could, I went back to the red dress, hanging up with pride in the front of my closet, the tags still on, the receipt hanging from my bulletin board. And even though I probably can’t afford it – I decided to keep it. Off with the tags and goodbye to my proof of purchase – I wanted this beauty as a staple.

Because everyone needs a little red dress.

Or a little yellow one or blue one. A little something to make them feel a little (or maybe a lot) good about themselves. Besides – red is a great dress to wear on my next great first date…

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This Valentine’s Day, write a self-love letter to yourself and it’ll be published (anonymous or not) on Confessions of a Love Addict! And you enter yourself to win a prize! Learn more here. Submit here

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I’m in the New York Post Today!!!

I tell ya, this little blog sure does bring some interesting opportunities for me. The latest interesting development? Being named New York City’s Most Eligible Single in the New York Post in their Sunday edition today.

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According to a study by PlentyofFish.com, men online are searching for the following:

-A 25-year-old
-Dog owner
-Been in one long-term relationship (at least three years)
-Catholic
-Social drinker
-Able to commit
-Thin and fit

And apart from the Catholic qualification (I was raised Methodist), I fit the bill.

Though I definitely don’t feel like the most idealist single that ever walked the glittering streets of Manhattan, I’m honored (and utterly surprised) to be named such a lucky, solo-leading lady. From the interview with the Post to a super-fun photoshoot that required a brand-new red dress (worth every penny), the last week was a whirlwind of an experience.

I don’t know what it is, but something tells me that 2014 might just bring a lot of these unexpected – and totally amazing – chances for me to put myself out there and really own being single. And writing this blog. And encouraging women to stand up for themselves.

And of course, love who you are.

Because regardless if you meet the findings of some study about what’s attractive, enticing and “ideal” -the most stunning, incredible part of anyone is their confidence. Whoever you are, own it – and know that one day, someone (surely) fall for it.

If you’re in New York – go buy the post today! If you’re not, check out this link, while I go blush for the next 24 hours. Some outtakes from the shoot below:

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This Valentine’s Day, write a self-love letter to yourself and it’ll be published (anonymous or not) on Confessions of a Love Addict! And you enter yourself to win a prize! Learn more here. Submit here