From Monday through Thursday, I plowed through months of old emails while my head felt like it was going to explode from the cold I came down with on Sunday night. By late Tuesday afternoon, I had had enough of organizing. The initial euphoria that I wrote about last week had dissipated, and I didn’t want to be around anyone. I couldn’t even muster enthusiasm to browse Zombie-like from low blood sugar, I walked upstairs to the snack machine to find something to eat. Surprisingly, I found inspiration as well.

A litigator I’ll call Amy was there. Someone had told me how perfectly Amy’s shirts fit and that they suspected she’d had them custom-made. I’d never spoken to Amy before, but since I’d probably never see her again, I had to ask: “Do you by any chance have your shirts custom-made?”

“Why yes,” she said, “when I was in Vietnam, I had a bunch of shirts made.” She told me that if she had it to do over again, she would request a little extra fabric allowance. As they are, her shirts fit like a glove, and she had the tailor put snaps between the buttons to guard against those surprise peep shows we know so well. When I think about it, it makes sense that Vietnamese tailors made her shirts. If you take a look at their national dress, the áo dài (I grew up pronouncing it “ow yai”–I’ll post a picture sometime of the one I wore as a little girl), you’ll see how form-fitting it is: Keep in mind that Vietnamese tailors have been making these form fitting tunics long before cotton-lycra or spandex blends entered the picture.

For ready-made shirts in the U.S., Amy has had good luck with Express. I mentioned that Ann Taylor sometimes works for me, but she said their shirts are too baggy at the waist, another reminder that what works for one full-breasted woman doesn’t work for another.

After talking to Amy, I couldn’t wait to get back to blogging and working on Red Violet. I even felt like being around people again. If something has the power to energize me that much (and this was before I ate my snack), I know I’m on the right track in pursuing it.

I left my old job last night to good wishes and encouragement from partners and associates. Amazingly, once my last box was packed and my last emailed filed, my cold had lifted as well.