Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Adventures in Germany, Beauty, BIG Announcements, Blog friends, Blogging, Celebrations, Europe, Favorite things, Memoir, Personal, Photos, Traveling Red Dress | 9 comments

close up of Traveling Red Dress________________________________________________________________

Jenny Lawson's Traveling Red Dress

I'm cracking up after she commanded me to "Wink!"  Now those pictures are FUNNY because, news to me, I look like a circus freak when I wink…

My sister took a thousand pictures(1) of me last week…

and I can't decide if she loves me that much or just hates me.  Have you ever had to sift through a thousand pictures of yourself and choose a handful of favorites?  It's painful at times and narcissistically(2) sickening.

But I'm ahead of myself…I need to back up a bit ~

Over two years ago Jenny, a long-time blogging friend,(2) began a ballgown-revolution when she published The Traveling Red Dress, a blogpost celebrating women, joie de vivre and carpe-ing the heck out of diem.  It resonated with me because I wholeheartedly believe every girl needs a Princess Dress and had written about it just a few months earlier. 

Jenny's following is tall, wide and deep, and soon the Traveling Red Dress became legend.  It single-handedly almost broke Twitter one night when good people of generous spirit joined hands, offering free photographic service for those who'd wear a red dress, or buying and giving away red dresses to those who needed a smattering of pixie dust.  

Twirling in the Traveling Red DressThe Traveling Red Dress is magical–whatever you need it to be it is.

It is reckoning force, a whirlwind of fire and tulle.   

Eight months later, Jenny (aka The Bloggess if you haven't yet been introduced…a loveable, wickedly-brilliant and creatively-expletive writer) followed her first TRD post with another(5) and by then its story had even caught the eye of Forbes.

* * * * * *

When I unpacked after arriving in Germany, I realized I had forgotten to bring my Princess Dress.  

An upside to living between two countries, not being able to speak the language, and starting out a fraidy cat was our anticipated travel within Europe.  With basic expenses covered through my husband's employer (i.e., airfare to Germany for starters), we planned to visit as many places as possible while on the continent.  

I dreamed of traveling to cities I had only read about or seen in the movies.  

Since finances aren't unlimited we'd have to pick and choose. But s t i l l –Austria, Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic were within driving distance; a short flight or longer drive, and France and London made the cut.  

Sugar plum visions stirred imagination–twirling in my Princess Dress in front of the Eiffel Tower, riding a gondola in Venice's Grand Canal…but mostly walking the grounds of my neighborhood castle.

Then I remembered the Traveling Red Dress.

I emailed Jenny to see if the possibility existed to bring it on a European vacation, explaining I would be in the States two months and could bring it (and my Princess Dress) back on the return trip. 

She clapped her hands and squealed, "I likey!"

And then I wrote the Queen of Spain who graciously dropped it in the mail to me.

Which sounds absolutely crazy but is 100% true(4).

* * * * * * * * * *

Then one day Katie Couric decided to create her own TV show.  

THE Katie Couric I had spent years of mornings with after the birth of my first baby, right after her temporary Today Show gig became permanent.  I remember when her second daughter was born, then when she lost her husband to colon cancer…and how brave and strong and influential she was following his death, leading the way to early screenings and making a "colonoscopy" not quite so scary.

I thought about her when I had my own.

Katie likes to surround herself with smart women, so she agreed to speak at BlogHer this year.  Four thousand amazing women, each with a personal sphere of influence that collectively reaches millions of people.   

I'm so sad I won't be there to hear her in person; I've got a date in Paris instead…. I've got a date with Paris instead…!

But Katie had heard about the Traveling Red Dress, though.  And she decided she needed it more than me…

…but not before my sister took 1,000 pictures.

To be continued….

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(1)  Oh, how I wish I were exaggerating….

(2)  I see no reason why I can't adverb narcissistic AND verb adverb.

(3)  Jenny Lawson, recently turned best-selling author of "Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)."

(4)  Jenny didn't actually clap and say "I likey" but she liked the idea.  The Queen of Spain, however, did send me the dress.  Mocha Momma had sent it to her….

(5)  The Bloggess is rated NC-17 for content and language but not nudity.  Yet.  You've been warned.