It was recently pointed out to me that the four “formal dinners” on the European cruise I’m going on next fall require women to wear knee-length cocktail dresses.

Are you freakin’ kidding me??

I haven’t worn a dress of any length since… since… Well, it’s been a very long time—I’m thinking decades.

My first thought was to cancel the trip. My second thought was to wonder how much weight I can lose by then, what size that new number on the scale would make me, and how soon I’d have to subject myself to dress shopping.

I was in Bothell when I got the dress code news, and although I was, and still am, resistant to being told what I can and cannot wear (no jeans on deck after 6 p.m.), I decided to let The Universe direct me.

And that very day, The Universe implored me to go into a St. Vincent de Paul Store on Bothell Way. So I did. Never been there before, probably will never go there again, but on that day, that little voice strongly urged me to go in and check out their dress rack.

The dresses that were anywhere close to my current size were pretty much non-existent. But there was one in a slightly smaller size that definitely caught my attention. A good, wrinkle-resistant fabric, black and purple, still with the original tags on it, and it reminded me of a dress the First Lady wore on election night, 2008.

Yes, I still remember what Michelle was wearing, cause I watched hours of television that evening, hoping to remember every single detail of that momentous occasion. Michelle’s dress was black with red—the red down the front and the black hugging in at her waist. Looking it up now, I see that the black and yellow one she wore in London is actually closer to this one, but nevertheless, I actually liked this dress!

Hoping against hope, I took it into the dressing room, managed to pull it on, and even got it zipped up! Ok, so I wouldn’t wear it in public, yet, but the potential there is absolutely phenomenal!

So I bought it “on speculation.” It “almost” fit, and I’ve been rigorously following my food plan for the past three months, so I figured hanging it where I’ll see it often might help motivate me to stay on track.

The price tag said $9.99, but when I got to the checkout counter the woman informed me it was “Yellow Tag Day” and that my dress was 50% off! So with tax, I got a great “formal dinner” cocktail dress for just $5.49!

Beat THAT, Michelle!