Monday, July 26, 2010

Dressed in White.

Confession: if I had some spare change, I'd buy the wedding dress I saw at DI.

It's hideous, of course. Made in the late 80's, it has long beaded sleeves and enough puffy material on the shoulders to fit an ogre. It's the kind of dress that is a visual punchline, it's that ridiculous.

And yet...

It belonged to somebody. Some girl wore that dress and felt like the most beautiful bride in the world. Maybe her mother cried when she saw her. Maybe her father had a lump in his throat when he danced with her. Maybe the guests at her wedding marveled at how they had never seen a happier couple. Maybe her new husband couldn't stop telling her how beautiful she was and how much he loved her.

Whenever I go to thrift stores, I like to look at the wedding dresses. I mean, really look. They fulfilled their duties and now they're stuck in some sort of wedding dress purgatory where the only people who will ever buy them are teenagers who are making a student body officer election video.

And as I look at the dresses, a dark thought constantly hovers over me: these dresses are probably here because of the death of a dream. These dresses saw apathy and infidelity, distrust and cruelty. These dresses stopped being a symbol of everlasting love and became a reminder of how life can go terribly off track.

That girl in the puffy dress didn't know. She thought her story was simple and beautiful. When did she start to look at the dress differently?

I'd like to buy all of those thrift-store wedding dresses because even though I don't know who wore them, I don't like that the happiest day of their life has become a joke to everyone who sees how outdated their dress is. I don't like seeing their exposed wound.

But mostly, I want to buy those discarded dresses because I do still believe. I believe that my mother's tears, the lump in my father's throat, and the way Jeff looked at me on our wedding day meant something. I want to buy those dresses because I want to pretend that that girl in her goofy dress is still out there and dreaming of how perfect her life will be.

I want to give her a happy ending.


Trent and Mandy said...

I thought your post was fascinating. You should turn it into a poem. Good luck with the move!

Jenny said...

That's a beautiful and well written thought. I like to think that my own dress is timeless and will never look silly, but I guess we'll see what my girls think of it in 20 years.

The Kims said...

I like this post. I've never thought of it that way! Probably very true though. I hope that anyone who's ever had a marriage that didn't last can find their happy ending.

Ashley and Dallin said...

That was beautiful. When I go to the DI, I like to look at the dresses as well. But I never thought THAT deep looking at them. That was very inspiring to read.