Monday, March 28, 2005

Lady In Red.

Well, I did it.

I was booty-shaking, spring cleaning, belting out cheesy 80s lyrics at the top of my lungs when I decided to take the plunge and clean out ye olde closet. Yikes.

I do this more often than you'd think, because I just love purging my house of unnecessary items. Of course, I deem things 'unnecessary' if I haven't personally used them in the last 2 weeks or so. Lots of things get thrown out or given away, especially Jason's things that I have little or no use for.

Still, the closet always has a great yield of things for me to purge because I'm a little sentimental when it comes to clothes. I threw out pants that were completely worn out in the crotch...

a) Why was I hanging on to them anyway?
b) Why do my pants always wear out in the crotch?

I packed up clothes for charity: things I know I'll never wear again, things I bought and never wore, not even once (what the hell was I thinking?), and things of Jason's that I wish he'd never wore, and now he never will again.

I was ruthless (well, at least on Jason's side I was). And then I got to the back of the closet, and my heart fluttered with trepidation. There they were, all 3 of them bunched up together, hanging unused but well-cherished. My dresses: red, pink, and white.

They are the reason I cleaned out my closet in the first place. The Agape Centre is collecting old prom dresses to outfit girls who couldn't afford one otherwise (the Girls and Dreams event). A worthy, wonderful cause. But parting is such sweet sorrow. These dresses recall to me the best of times my teenage years had to offer, and it's hard to close the door on such an important chapter in my life. But I knew that I would never wear those dresses again, no matter what occasions arose. They were "prom-y" and adolescent, and besides, Mummy loves new dresses. And I knew that these dresses would find good homes, and be loved by new owners. But still. It's hard.

I had them dry-cleaned, hung, and I brought them tenderly to the drop-off point in garment bags. I handed them over to a grateful woman: a goldmine of 3 beautiful dresses, none with puffy sleeves or butt-bows or taffeta. And I left them there. I walked away. My heart broke thinking about how I'd never see them again, never feel their luxurious fabric in the back of the closet, hanging with the other naughty silks. Gone forever.

Goodbye Red

This one I wore to my first prom. I bought it while shopping with my mother in the 'petite' section, and I wore it with 4 inch heels. The theme, as I recall, was Tropical Paradise, although most of us refused to sully our expensive dresses with cheap plastic leis. The yearbook says "It was an evening for wine, excitement and 'break dancing Jean', 'The Silver Fox Jesse', and 'Marilyn Monroe Jay'", which I can laugh about to this day. Sure, I felt somewhat glamorous, but let's face it: fancy dress aside, it takes a lot of gumption to wear a red dress with bright orange hair. I think Marilyn would have vetoed that one. And yes, as fate would have it, the cheeky DJ did play 'Lady In Red', whether it was from his own volition, or my silly friends who requested it. We danced, and laughed, and had the time of our lives.

Goodbye White

This one I didn't actually wear to a prom, I wore it just a few months (and a few hair styles) later, to an event that had an open bar. Therefore, I remember the night with much less detail, having spent a great portion of the evening with my good friend Crown Royal. I do, however, remember scoffing at the Macarena dancers, losing my little silver handbag on numerous occasions, and dancing barefoot long into the night.

Goodbye Pink

Pink I remember most fondly. Pink got me voted 'girl with most matchingest hair'. Pink had me waltzing to Stairway to Heaven with a boy I've known since I was 6, both of us wearing our King and Queen crowns. Pink had me getting some love from Melly in the yearbook. Pink had me on the arm of my husband-to-be.

And I gave them up.

But I was wrong about one thing: I did see one of them again. On Saturday, leafing through the paper, I saw Pink on page 2. The coordinator of the program was appealing to the public for more dresses while holding mine up to the camera. It's the end of an era for me, but the beginning of one for Pink and its new owner. May the lucky girls who bring these dresses home have half as much fun as I did in them.

And to any of you who may have old prom or bridesmaid dresses lying around, do donate them to a worthy charity. A dress is meant to be worn and loved, and every girl should go to her prom if she wants to.

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