I bought this dress eight, maybe nine years ago, from Boomerangs, a thrift store in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. I spotted it between a fur coat that was shedding everywhere (I figured it was the universe’s attempt at finally putting the poor creature it was made out of to rest), and a really bad replica of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Jacket – you know the one. It was love at first sight; the silk was water stained, the beaded Peter Pan collar was coming loose, and my boobs were too big. No matter, it was fifteen dollars and it was mine. I actually paid thirteen for it, because the guy I was dating worked there and got a discount. Months after I bought it I married the guy, wearing this dress, in a backyard in New Hampshire. We very recently became divorced, the process, the death of that relationship was terrible, but in hindsight it was the best thing for Foos and I. My ex-husband was not a good person to me, nor a good father to our daughter. I am cautiously hopeful that with time he will work on himself and be a better person for Foos. As for me, I very recently got the closure I desired and feel, finally, mentally and physically, divorced. It is a wonderful feeling.
The dress hung in my closet throughout my marriage. After my separation I folded it up as small as I could and put it in a tiny box, put the tiny box in a bigger box, and exiled the bigger box to the back my closet. And so it was that long after I (filled with uncharacteristic impassivity) purged my life of wedding mementos, the dress remained. We took these photos on Little Talbot Island, in Jacksonville. They are my “divorce” photos. It was nice to wear my favorite water stained 1930s number, removed from the context of my wedding. Stripped from its meaning I learned to love that dress again. It is still water stained and falling apart, but now it hangs in my closet again. Just another thrift store find aching for an occasion.