Friday, June 15, 2012

Just a Dress

 It’s just a dress. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s only been in my closet for 23 years, moved from house to house, stuck way back in a closet behind other never-worn-again sentimental items of clothing.

I’m going through a major organizational/cleaning/purging phase, and this purple dress is one on my mental list that I simply must get rid of. But there are so many memories attached! Mom and I went shopping together and bought it for me to wear for my high school graduation. I got new black heels to go with it, too. And the shopping trip itself was special – we bought it back when people didn’t run out immediately to buy every single thing they needed – it was special to go out a shop for a special dress for a special occasion.

And we put a lot of thought into it. Our school colors were purple and gold, so the dress had to coordinate. And it couldn’t be too brightly patterned and show through my graduation gown in a weird way. And it had to look good peeking out from the bottom of my gown. We thought of everything, and we did finally find the perfect dress. A purple dress with a small floral print and a simple lace yoke. I wore it for my graduation with the diamond necklace my dad gave me and those new black heels that confirmed my feeling of adulthood.

 I know I shouldn’t keep something just for a memory. It hangs there with four prom dresses, the yellow dress my mom made to wear for her sister’s wedding in the late 60’s, and a pale blue taffeta dress Mom wore for a piano recital at age 16, when she wowed the crowd by playing music far advanced for her age.

We do have space in our extra closet for these things, so I could leave my purple dress there indefinitely. It’s not hurting anything. But I’m feeling the need to clean out things, so here I am, feeling guilty about getting rid of a dress.

 And writing about it, as always seems to happen, is making me feel better. I will take a photo of the dress before I donate it, to commemorate it, and I will hope someone else will appreciate it. After all, it’s considered “retro” now, right? Maybe getting rid of it will feel so good that I’ll also donate those prom dresses, too.