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Works in Progress – July 20, 2023

Locations: Fiction, Opinion Published

By Rosemarie Romeo

When a girl gets married, her main focus is on her wedding dress. She shops for hours, spends a lot of money to wear it once. Most people think that is foolish, but they do it anyway. When she finds the right dress, she knows immediately, that’s the one. Price is usually an issue. 

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Linda, a young lady found a dress she loved and it only cost $99. It was perfect. The bodice formed large scallops that surrounded the breasts and continued over the shoulders. It was unique, modest yet sensuous. The plain skirt was adorned with lace appliques, hand-sewn by the seamstress at no extra charge. She was paying for her own wedding not to burden her parents who were hard working but had very little. 

It was a simple wedding and a simple dress and it was beautiful. The guests enjoyed the homemade food prepared by friends and family. The lawn was green and the sky was blue. It was the perfect day.

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A year later, her friend Kathleen knocked on her door. They were friends from childhood and Maid of Honor for each other, a pact from childhood.“Would you consider letting me buy your wedding dress? It was so simple and so beautiful. I loved it and I can’t find anything I like as well.” She shrugged her shoulders and flopped down in a chair, looking exhausted and dismayed. “Do you still have it?” 

“My dress isn’t for sale,” Linda seemed alarmed that Kathleen would even ask. ”I’ll tell you what. I’ll let you borrow it.”

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Kathleen’s eyes lit up. She jumped up from the chair and threw her arms around Linda. “Thank you, thank you,” she cried out. “I’ll take good care of it and I’ll have it cleaned when I’m done.” 

The two girls ran up the stairs to the attic of the old house that Linda and her husband were renting in the old section of town, where rents were cheaper. A large white box sat on the floor under the eves. It was a special box with an acid-free lining to preserve the dress after it had been cleaned. Linda opened it and lifted out the dress and held it up to Kathleen. “It will fit you perfect. Just be careful, okay?”

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“I will. I promise. And I’ll have it cleaned and get it back to you right after the wedding.”

Linda was flattered that someone else would want to wear her $99 dress and she was happy Kathleen could save money and not have to pay for a gown. 

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Kathleen’s wedding was lovely. It was in a beautiful venue with an orchestra and beautiful flowers donning the tables. There was a huge dance floor and people danced the Polka, the Cha Cha and the Foxtrot. The dress was beautiful and Kathleen got many compliments. Little did they know, it was borrowed. It was the “something borrowed,” of the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Each time Kathleen got a compliment, she winked at Linda. The dress was $99 and it was worn for two weddings, by good friends, which made it priceless.

The following year, Linda’s brother was getting married. He was in the military and had very little money starting out as a lieutenant right out of college. Her sister-in-law to be, Tracy, came to her house one day and asked Linda if she would help her pick out a dress. Tracy’s mother had passed away and planning her wedding on her own was sorrowful.

Linda rose up to the occasion. She would take Tracy shopping and pay for her wedding dress. She wanted Tracy to know that she was not alone. She was part of their family and she deserved to be pampered for her wedding. They shopped, and they shopped. They shopped online and they went to New York trying to find a dress and bonding over the experience.

They checked out all the Boutiques and found a honeymoon wardrobe while they were at it. Tracy finally found a gown, but she didn’t seem thrilled about it. When Linda started to pay for the dress, she stopped and said, “I have a better idea. Let’s go home. I have something to show you!”

The next morning, Tracy came for coffee. Linda took her to the attic to the special white box under the eves. “Open it,” she said. Tracy opened the box and moved aside the special tissue that was covering the dress. She lifted it up to herself and looked in a mirror. Tears came to her eyes. She looked at Linda.

“You’ll let me wear it?” she asked.

“If you like it,” Linda said. “I wore it, my friend Kathleen wore it, and you’ll be the third person to wear it if you want to.”

Tracy held up the dress. The lace bodice with wide scallops was like nothing she had ever seen. “Of course I’ll wear it. I’ll be honored to wear it.”. 

Linda smiled. That would make three of them wearing the same dress that only cost $99. Again it would be “the something borrowed.”

After Tracy and her brother’s modest wedding. The dress was cleaned and returned to the special white box and returned to the attic. Possibly it could be worn by future brides, maybe a daughter or a niece or a granddaughter for that matter. It was only a dress, but it was a very special dress for three people who loved it and had pictures in it and shared the love of friendship on their wedding days. 

Linda was in all three weddings, one as the bride, the second as the maid of honor and one as a bride’s maid. She was happy to share the one thing that she still cherished from her own wedding and will keep it forever, until someone else knocks on her door and asks her, “do you still have your wedding dress?”


High-alpine columbines, by Benny Blue 

Tags: #Rosemarie Romeo #The Sopris Sun #wedding dress #Works in Progress
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