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White Wedding

October 4, 2010

A few weeks ago, as part of the Great Purge meant to make room for Boyfriend’s continued seepage into my home, he and I made an epic trip to Amvets to divest ourselves of all manner of junk determined by a wise and just jury of yard sale aficionados to be unsalable. Included amongst the ranks of clothes, books, and oddities was my wedding dress.  Since Boyfriend is my boyfriend, you’ll have by now deduced that I was previously married and that this dress is a vestige of a not-super-awesome time gone by.  Still, it’s hard to part with anything that makes me feel like a princess, as 20 pounds of petticoat and rhinestone are wont to do.   But part with it I did.  And that was that.

Or so I thought.

This past weekend, I stopped by that same Amvets on a mission of a different sort and found myself perusing the racks of discarded formalwear in search of some perfectly heinous something that might catch my eye as the cornerstone of a potential Halloween costume.  I rifled through the disorganized grimy racks of slightly pungent clothes considering what proportion of donors might not launder their cast-offs before dropping them at the store while at the same time wondering if the nationwide bed-bug epidemic had hit small cities like mine yet.  I vowed to wash my hands at the first opportunity. Worse, the selection was uninspired.

I had almost given up entirely when I spotted it.  It took me a while to come to grips with what I was seeing, in part because it was surreal but also because I couldn’t believe what tragedy had befallen my beloved princess gown.  The transformation was so complete it was as if I’d seen my 9th grade English teacher shooting heroin under a bridge and had to check three times to convince myself it was her.  My wedding gown, worn but once for an indoor wedding and professionally cleaned to the tune of way-too-much-money before being hermetically sealed in a cocoon of acid-free paper and thick tinted plastic, was trashed.  Beads were missing, the train was blackened – it looked exactly like my former marriage would have, had only it been comprised of 18 yards of polyester and tulle.  In a few short weeks, this thing had been through exactly as much hell as Ex and I wasted two solid years conferring upon one another.

I don’t quite know how to feel about that.

While it’s current condition is certainly fitting, I am insulted as a frequent donor to this particular store to think that they so carelessly allowed what could have been a $100 item (indeed, it was priced as such) to be essentially worthless.  For what it would take in cleaning and repair, any industrious bride-to-be could buy a cut-rate floor model just as I did.  Pathetic.

What’s worse, I can’t stand the thought that the dress was destroyed and I got to play no part in its demise.  I turned it in in pristine condition in the hopes that someone else would get to love it and a local charity would benefit at the same time.  Had I known it would so soon become garbage, I’d have had a bit of fun with it.  Halloween is coming after all – I could have worn the dress, saving myself whatever my actual costume will eventually cost me, and with any luck spilled a cosmo on it to end the night proper-like.

So if my poor, sweet, innocent Barbie dress had to go through the wringer at someone else’s hand, I’d like to think its actual story might go something like this:

A young couple stumbles into Amvets, wasted on NyQuil and methamphetamines.  They’ve known each other for almost 72 hours now, having met at a party that concluded some 20 minutes ago in a house fire.  She leads him to Amvets because she needs to use the bathroom.  He obliges, and begins shopping for second-hand leg-warmers.   Wending their way through the aisles, the duo stumbles upon a small selection of wedding gowns.  Most are at least 20 years old, mildewed fabrications of lace and taffeta with bulky puffed shoulders and overcomplicated bustles.  But there’s one, just one, that looks modern – a clean, sleek, glimmering vision of ironically white luster and Swarovski-encrusted buttons.

“Should we…?” she begins, trailing off.

“I think we almost have to,” he replies.

They purchase the dress before common sense gets the best of them, and immediately call a cab to the airport.  An hour later, they board a flight to Vegas.

By the following Tuesday, having finally sobered up, the pair realizes that they really don’t like each other at all.  After a quick annulment, the girl returns the dress to the same thrift store from which it came, only one drug-fueled weekend worse for the wear.  If she had a paying job, it would be a great tax write-off.

Yes, that’ll do.

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