Month: April 2019

Lilacs, 1996-?

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(In honor of Spring Cleaning: Seven Days. Seven Dresses. This is Day Five. Day Four is here) Just after midnight, Istood with my three best friends (and the charming Brooklynite dating one of them) at the edge of the ugly oval fountain, in the center square of my otherwise lovely hometown. It was a starry night, warm and mild. The streets were almost silent, though it was the first Saturday in June: high tourist season […]

Big Peach, 1990-1996

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(In Honor of Spring Cleaning: Seven Days. Seven Dresses. This is Day Four. Day Three is here) In the old days at Belk department store in the Asheville Mall, they had an all-Evening and Wedding gown department. It was oval-shaped the department, blocked off from the rest of the store with artificial, faux marbled columns and draped curtains. In the center, there was a tufted velour pouf under a chandelier, and a glass table strewn […]

The Holy Grail, 1995-?

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(In Honor of Spring Cleaning: Seven Days. Seven Dresses. This is Day Three. Day Two is here)  The Salvation Army store on Williamson Road, in Roanoke Virginia, was barely more than a shanty (one whole portion was walled in with corrugated plastic and the red dirt floor puddled when it rained )but it was a mecca for Dior-style party dresses. I imagined there must have been a whole mess of elderly ladies that downsized out […]

LBD, 2000-2014

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(In Honor of Spring Cleaning: Seven Days. Seven Dresses. This is Day Two. Day One is here) What a fabulous dress for a dinner party. Mom gushed when I came out of the dressing room. It was both flattering and modest, black eyelet, which felt like a fascinating contradiction. I felt a little like Jackie O in it, and I had never felt like Jackie O in my natural born life. I hemmed and hawed. […]

Plaid Romance, 1995-1997

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In Honor of Spring Cleaning: Seven Days. Seven Dresses. (Probably) Seven Bad Puns.  It was a cotton-blend shirt dress, roughly forty years old, in a brown tartan print with a hint of antifreeze blue woven through the plaid. The bodice was unflatteringly long-waisted and missing two of the five covered buttons that otherwise gaped over my breasts. The skirt fanned out into uneven box pleats at the hips. Worn to shine in patches and reeking […]

Queen Bee

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I was still wearing sweat pants under a dress coat when I got to The Countess’s house. I hadn’t changed since I got home from school and I’d run out of the door and down the street on converse high-tops, purple, inscribed with Smiths lyrics, boys’ initials, and that Oscar Wilde quote about the gutter and stars. January needled my lungs and numbed my fingers. I must have looked horrible, all greasy-haired and sniffling when […]