Saturday, July 5, 2014

Say Yes To The Dress


So I was invited to march in the Gay Pride Parade. What to wear? Nothing is really out of limits at these things. In fact, "nothing" was the choice of many of my fellow marchers, or close enough to it. I considered frothing up with an expanse of white tulle and a flowered hat. And then I scanned my closet, and there it was--the perfect outfit. My wedding dress. From  1983. It still fits! Well, it's a little tight in the neck region now, but I don't want to talk about that. What you're supposed to do with your wedding dress is have it dry-cleaned and wrapped in plastic and hung up in your closet until you die, and then let someone else figure out what to do with it. This way I'd get a whole 'nother day out of it.

My friend Kevin sewed the thing for me to perfection. It was one of those Folkwear patterns, Victorian Wedding Dress, with lots of lace and ribbon. "What color ribbon do you want?" she asked at the fabric store, assuming that "white" was not going to be the theme. I picked out pink and blue; maybe I was hedging my bets about the sex of the baby we were definitely not going to have. "Pink and blue," she repeated, to give me a chance to reconsider. "You'll look like bunting." She was right. Politicians could give speeches on top of my head. Despite my ribbon choices, the dress looked fine.

Dave thought marching in it was a grand idea. He tied my ribbon sash for me, admired his old bride, and promised to help me out of the dress when I came home. "Have fun! Bring home a nice tall girl," he said. The dress isn't the only thing from that wedding that still fits.

It was raining off and on, so most of the time I had the dress bunched up in my fist with my non-waving hand, revealing my Keens and colored socks. I was marching alongside my friend, the delicious and willowy Pat Lichen, done up in basic black and rainbows, and we were a hit. "We?" she queried. Oh yes. "Congratulations!" we heard, up and down the parade route. "She's the lucky one," I confided to onlookers, because I am just that obnoxious. It was a great day. We were marching with the Unitarians, spot #94, just behind the Pugs For Pride.

I've heard disgruntled people complain about the whole pride thing. "I don't see why anyone needs to flaunt all that," they say. "You don't see me strutting around being all obvious about being straight." Well, yes, we pretty much do, but never mind that. There's a point to be made that it is silly to be "proud" of the way you were born; proud of being white, for instance. But in this case Pride is the opposite of Shame. It hasn't been that long since people were afraid to march in such a parade, in case someone from their church or neighborhood or workplace saw them.

Twenty-five years ago I picked up my friend Margo in my 1969 International Harvester pickup truck. I had a spike haircut and was rocking a loose pair of denim overalls. She looked me over. "Oh," she said, approvingly, "you could 'pass.'"

Now I can "pass" in a wedding dress.

46 comments:

  1. How cool is that? Wearing your old wedding dress in a Gay Pride parade. I am quite impressed. :-)

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    1. I couldn't stop grinning. Just like on my other wedding day.

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  2. And fitting in your old wedding dress, to boot! Wow!

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    1. Well. Contents may have shifted during handling.

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  3. The Gay Pride parades are kinda like giving the finger to close mindedness,

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    1. I'd say you have that just right, Joe.

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  4. What a neat experience! My wedding dress was a size 7 Bobbie Brooks cotton thing that I had worn under my graduation gown. There is no way at all that I could wear it now. I'm doubly impressed.

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    1. I probably should note that it isn't fitted and it ties in the back, so I could wear it with an extra 25 pounds, but I'm only five pounds heavier. (All in my neck.)

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  5. What a perfect way (and attire) to celebrate and what a perfect post!

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  6. Love it! And Congrats on fitting in your wedding dress and still fitting your wedding man.

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  7. Huge smiles. And a touch of envy. If I had ever married, my wedding dress would not fit many parts of me now.

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    1. Many of my parts that got larger got lower also, which works with this dress.

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  8. You little party animal, you!

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    1. Incidentally, have I ever mentioned how much I admire your blue chicken?

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  9. Such a perfect thing to wear! Great story, as always.

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  10. I âm impressed your dress fits. I bet you were the hit of the parade…I would be afraid even attempting to try my wedding dress on. It would not fit and I would be depressed.

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    1. It would be hard to be the hit of THAT parade. We sure did get a lot of positive reaction though.

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  11. I love it. I absolutely love it.

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    1. Well we can't do any better than that!

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  12. Pat Lichen, my fearless Leader from Chrysalis writers, sure does get out and about!! Probably several people I know were there! Looks like it was colorful!

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  13. Gosh but I remember you in that dress... with Mt. St. Helens on the skirt? I have absolutely loved your last two posts. Hysterical! Anyway, we hope to get Don and Betty here in August. Will be in touch. I still can't figure out google...

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    1. Good memory! It's Mt. Hood. Keep me posted. I'll be real busy and gone a lot in August, but.

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  14. This is awesome all over the place. Well done on so many fronts - original marriage, still fitting the dress, joining the parade. Awesome.

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    1. That seems weird, because it's a common saying in these parts. Colloquial, maybe? I don't care; I'll take Murr Praise any day of the week and I'll take credit for inventing it, too :)

      Also, on closer inspection of your wedding picture, which is extremely charming, I just need to comment on Dave's footwear. Nike? Again, awesome.

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    2. Dudette! Yah. Dave wore his shiny white new Nikes on our wedding day. I wore a pair of sandals one size too small.

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  15. This makes me want to pull out my wedding dress, which is wrapped in plastic and under my bed, to be disposed of when I die, to see if I can get into it. I am thinking NOT. Very, very impressed, Ms. Steel Cut Oats. Very impressed.

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    1. Can Phoebe get into it? (In two senses?) Again: it's a voluminous wedding dress cinched in the back with a ribbon sash. In other words, it's expandable. Maybe not indefinitely, but. I do loves me some steel cut oats.

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  16. Love the wedding dress! Brings back a memory, I sewed two similar dresses for my girls when they were in primary school. It was book week and they had to dress up, so they chose to go as someone from the Victorian era and lucky me got to make the dresses.
    My own wedding dress was chucked into a goodwill store bin the day my divorce became final. But years before that, my older girl wore it with a safety-pinned deep hem and a tall paper hat as a princess on another book-week parade.

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    1. The DAY your divorce became final! Now there's an exclamation point. I never understood why little girls wanted to be princesses, but I sure like the idea of a book-week parade.

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  17. Hey Murr! Hats off to you! We don't have the same scale of event over here, tho I;m sure they exist. I may have to check my wardrobe if it really takes off. I am reliably told I have a sweater that could help me "pass". Is this why I can't meet the right lady? FML, Indigo x

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    1. Aw hell no. The ladies love that. It might be your back hair.

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  18. Delightful! Delightful dress; delightful activity. I'm glad you did all that.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. Thank you! In happy receipt of Bear hugs.

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  19. Brilliant or as we say here in Boston - wicked awesome! - and you still fit in your dress - that is so cool. Like River, I tossed mine into a Goodwill bin when the divorce papers got signed - so good on you for not only fitting in that dress, but better yet, still together with that cutie in the white Nikes.

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    1. "Wicked" has drifted south from Maine? Wicked good! Yeah, divorce is so much more traumatic than just stomping off to another room mumbling, and then returning for Beer-Thirty.

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  20. Wow! You wore a wedding dress to get married? Wikked pissah! <--- That's northern New England's version of 'wicked awesome' and the original, if you care.

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    1. I do care. I love it all, and a bunch of my very favorite people live in Maine.

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  21. I can still get into the apron I wore on my wedding day 20 years ago.

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