Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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This week, we asked a question in Fuel that seemed to really stir up the GB readership: "What turns you on?" Pretty simple question, right? I figured a bunch of people would say, "Wit" and "the movie 'Secretary'" and it would all dissolve into a Nerve personal ad. But, of course, this was a tremendously stupid thing for me to presume. I must have forgotten how fascinating the spectrum of attraction is, and how subtle the distinction between kink and fetish.

But I was not prepared to discover that many, many men in the readership are super hot for sundresses. Sundresses? Sundresses! And this got my mind spinning about the nature of attraction, the roles of women and men in relationships, and the pull of artificial nostalgia. Thankfully, I will spare you the transcript of the hours of time I've spent thinking and talking completely out of my ass on these topics. However, I will say that I think you GB dudes are reacting to an idea of a traditional woman from a time that you never personally experienced. And we sundress-wearing GB gals enjoy turning you guys on while wearing a garment that is relatively modest and wholly forgiving.

I expected to see tons of swingy little sundresses at Friday's Gapers Block anniversary party, but I think the weather conspired against us all. But Sunday and Monday were perfect sundress days -- and everything that implies -- so I picked one up at a local shop and wore it to a garden party. I will tell you this, Blockers, I looked adorable. Totally adorable in my little sundress and cardigan. So bring on the pearls and the kitten heels, I'm joining the cult of sundress.

Here are some stories about dresses and the women who wear them:

Red dress on the Red Line - m4w - 24
I was having a pretty miserable commute back after my third straight 14 hour day, and the obnoxious Sox fans weren't helping either. You walked on the train and my mood dramatically improved. I'm sure you're told that you're beautiful all the time, but I figured it can't hurt to hear it again (on the off chance that you read these, of course.)

You were wearing a red dress and looked tired. I don't remember where you got on, but you got off at the Addison stop around 10:30 Tuesday night. I was sitting across from you and attempting to read a book but finding it difficult because I kept finding myself stealing glances at you. Drink?

Pia had a quirky face that, if you looked close enough, you'd see was asymmetrical. So she was not told that she was beautiful nearly often as she should have been. But then again, Neil didn't have an everyday face either, so maybe that's why his eyes fell and stayed on Pia in that train car. She stared at the window and listened to her iPod and dangled one skimmer flat on her big toe. Neil also noticed that she thrummed her index finger in time to whatever she was listening to, which it turned out was Stereolab. And it's really too bad that Neil didn't know that's what she was listening to because then he'd have had the nerve to tap her on the shoulder and say to her, "You and me are molded by things well beyond our acknowlegment," from the Emperor Tomato Ketchup album he loved so very much.

short bangs, brown hair - m4w - 27
i saw you on the damen el yesterday morning around 8. you brought a smile to my face but i was too shy to make eye contact with you. i think you were wearing a floral dress. anyway, i thought you were very beautiful and i think we should get coffee sometime.

Petra could barely keep herself in her el seat. That dress had sat in her closet for so long, taunting her with its too-small tag and unforgiving seams. It was almost like having her mother there to chide her for her voluptuous insuitability. So the long year of denial came and Petra went from too much to just enough and then the zipper went up. But her verdant mood wasn't due to the weight loss or the new dress. Petra just never thought she'd see her mother have to eat her own venom, choke, and then explode.

Chicago & Halsted - w4m
This is hardly a connection, but...

You were crossing Halsted around 6:30ish. I was biking the other way. I like the cut of your jib, sailor.

Hearts, Exes, Ohs,
Black dress & Blue bike

Through the intersections, Park liked to lift her feet from the pedals and swing them back and forth like pumping on a swing. That big banana-seat bike of hers was a can't-miss scene, all streamers and flashing stickers and "La Cucaracha" horn, and that's how she liked it. Part spectacle, part rock star, all Park. And the young man who caught her fancy? Well, she already knew him of course. That was Esteban, her sometime paramour who she never really would let go. As she saw him cross the street, Park thought to herself, "Is this an Esteban summer? Yes indeedy do." And she pumped on through.

This is for the woman in the orange/peach dress. We walk in the same time. You are a beautiful woman and I would like to speak with you again?

As Polly made her way back from the restroom, her dress caught on the side of a booth. She stopped short and knelt to unhook the hem. Theo brushed her hands away from the hem and released it himself. His eyes followed the hem up the folds of her puffy silk dress. Cut modestly, in an outrageous color, and with an odd sheen, Polly's dress was so out-of-place in a sea of tight, low black cocktail dresses. They chatted for a few minutes, light conversation about nothing really, but Theo was taken with how at ease she seemed in her funny dress talking with a stranger. On the way home in the cab, Polly reached down to check the dress where it had caught and felt the rend in the silk and then thought of the young man whose hands had been there just a few hours ago. In his own cab home, Theo rubbed his fingers together remembering the nubby feel of Polly's dupioni silk hem and thought of its blazing, vivid color.

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