Dress Anxiety, commonly known as DA, is a serious condition affecting many high schoolers across the country.
Your child may have DA if you have witnessed the following:
- A child completely satisfied with the dress you purchased a week ago suddenly becomes frantic because she ‘just doesn’t love it’ anymore.
- Unexpected mood swings from said child while she spends an inordinate amount of time pursuing gaggles of online dress shops.
- Especially unfriendly attitude toward family members such as “You clearly don’t know my style” or “I would never wear that color” or “Absolutely not!” when shown options of dresses to choose from.
- DA is most prevalent during the months of April and May before prom season. It creeps up in the fall around homecoming and in the early winter around dances such as turnabout and/or Sadie Hawkins dances.
While the duration of DA can be anywhere from a few days to a week, it promptly ends once the dance takes place.
While DA can be quite stressful for those suffering from it directly, it is the innocent victims that need to be most careful. Mothers are usually the most susceptible, often found bedraggled and weary after miles and miles of shopping-mall walking. Sometimes, eye-sight is impaired due to late nights of scrolling Amazon, department stores and Google, all for darling dresses which are often rejected by the teenager.
The two most frustrating symptoms affecting the innocent victims are 1. waiting and 2. the credit card charges. Waiting on teenagers is like waiting for spring in Chicago: you get teased with some warm weather (I love this dress!) only to be plummeted back into your parka the next morning (I hate this dress!) The credit card bill in April and May reads like a ping-pong match; charges and returns go back and forth line item by line item by line item.
The last symptom which actually signals the end of the disorder is the trip to the post office. With boxes and bags and so many return shipping labels mothers resemble a UPS lady on steroids. Once the final returns are made, the dance is usually around the bend, meaning the end of DA for all.
Unfortunately, you never know when DA will hit. We’ve gone some years with nary a care and then some years with a case of DA so grand, nakedness is encouraged as an option for the dance.
If you or someone you know suffers from DA, please let me know in the comments below. Perhaps a support group is in order.
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