Here's some background information on the dress itself. Given that I have never been a frequent attendee at formal occasions, I didn't own anything that matched the two requirements - black, and long. Thus, I went shopping on Saturday with friends of mine, and we eventually settled on an unadorned, sleeveless, fitted dress with a v-cut neck. Okay, right? This seems normal enough.
Cut to Sunday afternoon. I put the dress on, and my first thought as I caught sight of myself in the mirror was "whoa." I don't often think "whoa," and certainly not in regards to myself. I thought that I looked nice and elegant.
Going to dinner with some friends, I soon discovered that the "whoa" factor was, for some reason, unusually intense. The cafeteria staff stared at me. I got some "Dayum!"s from a few, and a compliment from a guy that I wish would notice me more often. I felt like everyone was looking, and that's not something that they normally do. Even in the past when I have dressed up, nobody's looked at me like this! All this struck me as immensely strange, and I felt distinctly uneasy ... I hadn't even done my hair, or put on makeup, or the rest of the stuff I do if I am attending a formal occasion or performing. I hadn't even completed the preparations that I do when I get ignored, and here everybody was looking, staring, a flooring attention.
Then I encountered one of the janitors of the building, an old, farsighted man with little gray hair left. Normally, he greets me and asks me how I'm doing and all that, the friendly small talk that means nothing. But this time around, he didn't say any of that. He zeroed in on my chest. It was like my breasts were some sort of magnet, so much so that his eyes never even met mine. They didn't even start out that high! It was like he looked at my collar bones and just went down at about ninety miles an hour.
First time I've ever had a guy just look at my chest ... an event that rather surprised me. The entire reaction to the dress was just more than I was expecting, because I only have immunity to the dismissive glance. I am used to people noticing me as something somewhat odd, or not noticing me at all. I wish for others to see me as a awkward, strange little thing in clothing far too big - it's easier for me this way, because it's the way it has always been. So by the end of dinner, I was wishing that I hadn't worn the dress, and I didn't want to go anywhere at all.