2 months ago:
I took a basket of clothes to my favorite consignment shop. Favorite because 1) the owner is so much fun to visit, 2) her taste in clothing is extraordinary; she carries clothes that range from Ann Taylor LBDs to 1950’s housedresses and 3) she has the ability to make you feel as if you can totally pull off whatever it is you’ve decided to try to pull off, thus boosting your self-esteem 1,000-fold.
So on this particular day, I felt like shit when I went in and declared upon entering, “I feel like shit; I am not trying anything on today. I have an upcoming wedding, but I’ll come back another day to shop.”
But, while she was looking through the basket, she was also keep a keen eye on my wanderings throughout the racks. At one point she said, “That orange dress is super cool.”
And it was.
Just my thing – absolutely irresistible.
Thick polyester – the kind you could tie in a knot, wet, and it still wouldn’t wrinkle. And covered with beads: rhinestones and seed pearls. And hand-laced fringe at the hem. And, hand made – one of a kind.
It was only $2 more than the credit that I had just earned with my basket.
2 months ago to yesterday:
I was so excited to wear the dress that I tried it on regularly (at least once a week). I spent hours online picking out the perfect accessories. I bought a slip. I agonized over shoes vs. boots.
Last night. Wedding night:
Getting dressed, I had a moment of hesitation; Could I really pull this off or should I wear something more “normal” and less of a statement?
Then I remembered the delicious feeling I had when I first saw it, the warmth that spread throughout my soul as I examined each and every mini-bauble lovingly sewn on from neck to knee.
The gloves I bought didn’t work and the necklace wasn’t perfect. But the dress was.
Now it gets exciting:
After dinner, a woman, who I didn’t know, approached me and asked if she could speak with me. It all sounded very intrigue-y so of course I said yes.
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but where did you get your dress?”
I told her. She didn’t know the place because she’s from outside the radius of the shop’s clientele. but then she took a deep breath and said, “That’s my Great Aunt May’s dress.”
Long story short, Great Aunt May lives in Lubbock, Texas. At 90, as she prepared to finally give in to the idea of assisted living, and my gal went to Lubbock to help her out, Great Aunt May said, “Why don’t you take a couple of dresses.”
My new best friend chose the orange and brought it home to New Mexico. It hung in her closet for three years, awaiting alterations. Realizing that she was never going to join dress with sewing machine, she took the dress to the Goodwill and said goodbye.
Somehow, over time (another couple of years, I think) the beads and the fringe made their way to Colorado and my favorite consignment shop where it then made its way into my closet and onto my body and to the wedding, where Great Aunt May’s great-niece, the dress, and I finally converged.
How cool is that?