Don’t be shocked when I tell you this, but I am a wedding gown and this is my forever tale.
I once had such youth that I hung around in a swank salon! The ladies who came and went appreciated my unique flair and sense of style. They were also drawn to my exquisitely understated exterior, which covered any shape or form to create drama from scene to scene, or I should say seam to seam.
Touchy-feely patrons went into a trance of visions as they ran their fingers along my French Alicon lace-topped bodice. I felt shy with all the attention from those betrothed young women. I stepped back on the wide wooden hanger and hid behind the shoulders of other gowns — like a wallflower. I knew I had beauty, but I was very modest.
When I told you I was a wedding gown, I sang because it feels so lovely to be me. Yes, you heard me right. I have a singing voice. It formed while I was being designed and sewn. The rustle of silk organza and the rhythm of my stiff crinoline creates lovely sounds. As well, I reach heavenly tones just from swooshing my hem. From my own musical entrances, it was natural to become a dreamer.
Once, I dreamed of a young unassuming girl taking notice of me. She was delicate and, figuratively speaking, saw her future through rose-coloured glasses. My strongest desire was to find a real girl like that — a girl who would stay interested in me forever and love me just the way I am.
I dreamed she’d walk right in to the salon with her heart on her sleeve and, perhaps, be naïve about life, but sincere about love. I dreamed she was looking for me, and then, one gorgeous day, I looked about and found her!
I elbowed my way into the front row centre of the rack and when Melody, the saleslady, pushed the other beauties along the rod, I almost suffocated. The last thing I needed was to get crushed and crinkled just when I had finally spotted my dream girl. I struggled to overcome my shyness; for the first time in my life, I truly wanted to be noticed. When the girl approached and saw me trying to survive the wishy-washy clients in the salon, she reached out her slender manicured hand, complete with a diamond ring, and touched my shoulder as if playing tag.
“You’re it!” she raised her gentle voice and sang along with mine.
Her touch was irresistible and I was hooked — or rather un-hooked from the hanger. I got a great big bear hug, which made me limp with disbelief. I laid over her arms like a hopeless waif as she carried me to a change room. The décor fit the tastefully fashionable clientele and I wondered, ‘How did I get so lucky?’ I was given the liberty to sprawl over a chair and I was even allowed to drape onto the thick carpeted floor. No one scolded me to get up off the floor — such freedom!
The most beautiful girl in the world shed her clothes and stood bashfully in her bra and underpants before the full-length mirror. A slight shiver rolled over her shoulder and, in a flash, I was being man-handled by Melody. Her matronly voice suggested, “This one’s easier to step into, dear, rather than pull it over your head.”
The bride-to-be slipped her slender arms into my tapered sleeves and, in an instant, the covered buttons down my back submissively allowed themselves to be scooped up by a pick and twisted into their partner loops. Melody gathered my flowing double pleats and guided them to fall graciously to the floor around the girl’s bare feet.
In the flurry of excitement, I sensed love in the air. It was love at first sight for me. The young woman stood erect, examining every angle, scrutinizing every curve — and although the mirror reflected perfection, the moments were agonizing for me. When I could barely take any more, she wrapped her arms around herself and hugged my bosom while twirling me.
Her decision was made. Eureka. Everyone in the salon agreed we were meant for each other.
Melody carried a protective shiny wardrobe bag over to me, then tied my sleeves up with ribbons so my narrow shoulders wouldn’t slip off the satin hanger. She scrunched and shoved until I was completely inside the bag. Just like that, everything went dark as I heard the slim zipper wriggle up the middle of the wardrobe bag imprisoning me.
One spring morning, my nightmare of seclusion ended; my girl came back, unzipped the bag and kissed my lace. I dignified a counter and, as though Melody had done it all before, I was folded into an ornate box with crocheted handles. Yards of mint-scented tissue paper engulfed me. The next thing I knew, I was on the back seat of a Karman Ghia en route to Niagara Falls.
Behind closed doors of a private dressing room, my girl wiped tears from her cheeks. To add to her joy, befitting a bride-to-be, I caressed her whole body. She primped before the looking glass and I perceived, from her adoring eyes, her thoughts. We make a beautiful pair.
At the chapel, lifting an armful of me to avoid tripping, she climbed the altar steps. There, I bowed with her as she knelt. When she stood, she clung to her fiancé’s arm. I whispered my love, through a swoosh of my flared hips, as she whispered her vows. Her husband wrapped us in his arms and I knew he loved us both. They kissed and held hands while we descended the altar stairs—like a trailing ivy descends over its own banister.
To conclude my forever tale, my girl often holds me close, even though I’m a jaundiced, wrinkled antique; for, to her I will always be precious.