Talk about a week from bizarrro world. I’ve done so much that is outside my regular routine but yet also upheld that schedule too. It just creates such a unique experience to life when you feel it can get kinda stale, and today was no different. I stumbled upon this dress at a thrift-like store and I just kinda was mesmerized, I ended up buying it and when I was home trying it on again I said to my mom, “I wonder what kind of life this dress has lived.” and it just got me rolling. Which is where today’s writing comes from, I created a fictional history for this dress;
(I know the picture isn’t great, I’ll try to update that later.)
I was finished in 1947. The last stitch tied off in the early morning and then I was tagged and packaged and sent off to a department store in St. Louis. The ladies there loved my color and the delicate buttons at the ends of my sleeves. I was put out for sale and just three days later bought by Gloria.
I was a gift for her daughter, Liv, to wear on her high school graduation. It was special for both Liv and for myself to be apart of such fanfare. I stayed with Liv for fifteen years and while I mostly hung in her closets I also got to be taken out on the most special of nights. Everyone always ooohed and awww’ed at the way my lilac fabric complimented the tan skin and green eyes of Liv.
Once Liv settled down she never found too much opportunity to wear me out. And the few times her little girl, Darcy, played dress up with mama’s “pretty purple dress” I was so honored to bring joy to the little one and create such a memory for Liv.
When she donated me to a fundraiser I was sad to go, but eventually, a few years later, a middle aged lady named Margot picked me out of a pile and let out an actual squeal. I apparently was the exact shape and style she had been searching for. Margot was a lively one and she wore me frequently. I saw the inside of so many dance halls and my fair share of the back seats of Cadillac’s too.
One night, in Chicago, I got to dance with Frankie Vali because Margot and her friends had stumbled upon the Four Seasons on a night out. The twisting and turning and dipping went on for hours and it’s easily one of my most favorite memories. Margot got a lot of wear out of me, I loved every second, but she also took great care of me. Which is why when she sold me to a vintage shop it hurt more than I had thought it would.
And because the late sixties brought out more earth tones and jeans I sat in the back for nearly a decade. It wasn’t an ideal way to spend part of my life, but the people watching was excellent. When the store had to close down I was packed away and put on a truck that dropped me in Baltimore.
It was mid to late seventies and Cha-Cha found me first, disco was hanging on and Drag was roaring. Cha-Cha couldn’t wait to use me for a new number. It was a crowd favorite too, together we performed that piece hundreds of times and it always brought thunderous applause. I’ll admit though, ‘Turn the Beat Around’ gets old after a while.
Then I spent a lot of time in storage. I don’t think I saw the light of day until Cha-Cha unfortunately passed away in 1988 and her family was figuring out what to do with her belongings. A niece saw the suede of my belt and grabbed me quickly. Geena didn’t lead an extraordinary life, so she only wore me to a few things; way too many weddings, family celebrations, and an occasional date. But she refused to let me go because I reminded her of her Uncle, of Cha-Cha, who had meant the world to her.
But Geena got cancer a few years back and it was quick and stronger than she. There was no use for a bright lavender dress that didn’t fit her the way it once did so I was hung up in the back of her closet, still a cherished item. When Geena was finally gone she was an only child who never married or had any kids so nobody inherited me. They knew I was well loved but none of her friends found me as appealing. They put myself and boxes of others together and gave us to a thrift shop.
My look is a bit out dated and my pigment bold so I’ve had more chuckles at me than anything. Until today when a young woman, maybe in her twenties, spotted me. Her hair a deeper shade of purple than my own fabric and a floral print top on. She took her time eyeing me, unsure. She took a photo and then held me out to her mother and said, “I kinda…love it. Can you imagine the life this dress has had?”
She bought me and took me home and I realize that I’ve had a pretty great one, but it seems I am not done living just yet.