Back in July, when it was still warm and sunny and my car was in tact, I went to a garage sale in a swanky area of West Seattle. I arrived there during the final hour so most of what I wanted had already been picked up. What was left were Ikea knives and a season of Felicity. As I was about to leave, she said, “Wait! Why don’t you just take these? I just need to get rid of it.” She pointed to a box of women’s clothing and a Macy’s bag and was practically hauling it towards my trunk before I could accept.
Do you think I took the free clothing? Does a bear shit in the woods?
The thing was, the woman had the measurements of Olive Oyl: 19-19-19. Roll her in Crisco and she could squeeze through a railing. She was a size 2 and I was a size elephant.
At home, I sorted through the clothing. I kept a sorority cap but gave most of it to my 12-year-old niece who appreciated the Express jeans and Limited blouses.
I kept the Macy’s bag though because inside was a wedding dress and veil. Her wedding dress. Who gives away her wedding dress to a complete stranger? There were no rips or tears. I could tell she had danced it in since there were dirt lines along the edge, but still… I remember an urban legend about a poor girl who bought a beautiful dress from a thrift store but it turned out to be from a dead woman and the sweat and fluid transfusion from the fabric caused her to die. I didn’t think I was going to die, but I didn’t want to give it to my niece because I didn’t want to send some sort of message like, “I know you’re only twelve, but hey, if you get pregnant, all’s we need is the shotgun!”
I’ve had it hanging up in my closet because until this morning, I hadn’t decided what to do with it.
Then I was knocked on my ass by the most brilliant idea ever.
The world’s largest baptismal gown!
It meets all the Catholic criterion. It’s white. It’s a dress. And besides, Nathan doesn’t seem to mind. I was going to try on the veil, but thought, that’s just wrong.