Cruel Question


Cruel Question

It bothers me, I must confess.
What happens to a wedding dress
after it’s had its opening day?
Is it simply packed away?
If so, you’d think once time has passed
they’d finally reappear at last
in church bazaar or resale store
or other places where things of yore
emerge from attic, basement, closet
or other area of deposit.
(In whatever dark place they’ve all lain,
thinking they’ll be used again.)

There should be rooms filled with selections
of these nuptial confections.
Warehouses stuffed full of them,
varied in neckline, cut and hem.
Why do we not see huge barrages
of wedding gowns sold from garages
along with strollers and kiddie toys
cast off by grown up girls and boys?
Surely every aging bride
has a wedding dress inside
a trunk or closet—way up high.
What happens when their wearers die?

Garments of satin or nylon net—
what could be the etiquette
that guides a family in such matters?
If the gown is not in tatters
and worn away by age and mold,
surely it would be resold.
If so, where are the warehouses
where gowns bereft of brides and spouses
lie stockpiled awaiting chances
for other wedding vows and dances?
Where is the wedding gown museum
where we might journey to go to see ’em?

I’ll now chance being thought abrupt,
unsentimental, cold, corrupt
by saying what I have to say.
Do families throw these gowns away?
Buried under hills of trash
is there a wedding veil or sash?
Satin bodices and trains
diminished by decades of rains?
Do gowns once virginally snowy,
and spectacularly showy
now lie buried like their dreams,
slowly decaying at the seams?

These images, you might guess,
seem calculated to depress.
Who wants these pictures in her head
as her wedding vows are said?
This poem is meant for crones like me,
bent of back and stiff of knee,
who’ve run out of memories to ponder
and so must journey over yonder
to the macabre side of pondering
for their mental wandering.
That said, past brides, will you confess
what happened to your wedding dress?

The prompt today is abrupt.

20 thoughts on “Cruel Question

  1. Christine Goodnough

    I’ve seen the odd one at Value village. 🙂
    This thought is mercenary: she keeps it for her second and third wedding?
    In our church girls or family females sew the wedding dresses, making a typical Sunday dress they can wear often, to friends’ weddings, etc — for as long as it fits. (Time tends to broaden one.)
    When it doesn’t fit anymore they put it away to show their daughters; “You know, I was once this size.” 😉

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ha! Can you reuse the something old and something blue as well? I keep getting visions of family closets devoted to ten generations of family wedding dresses! When does it all end? ;o) Thanks for answering. Yours is the most original to date.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. kindergartenknowledge

    My wedding dress has been in the back of my closet for almost 35 years in our current home… plus 7 years in our first home. That’s 42 years, two children, one four month old grandson, two dogs, one cockatiel, two careers, vacations for 7 years in a row to Red River NM and then we decided we might expand our horizons (!), who knows how many disagreements and countless happy moments!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Have you ever tried it on in all those years? I still have mine as well but it was a very unconventional wedding dress! I wore it many times years ago when it still fit. Thanks for answering…

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      Reply
      1. kindergartenknowledge

        I have tried my wedding dress on several times, but not lately!! It was a size 5 and I am certainly not a size 5 today! Our daughter married about three years ago and she thought about having a Rehearsal Dinner dress made out of it. She could not wear it for her wedding dress because she is 5’7″ and I am barely 5’3″!! She did try it on and the dress fit everywhere except the length. She is so slender…I try, but I can’t seem to get to the slender stage again!!! Oh well!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Patti

    First marriage, I happily relegated it to the Good Will box. Second (and still) marriage, it hangs at the end of my closet. It, too, was an unconventional dress, so I wore it a number of times when I was still a size 4. It’s sadly out of style now, even if I could still zip it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. DailyMusings

    There are many places where I live that take the wedding dresses and lend them out for a small fee. They need to be dry cleaned before returning, but beautiful gowns can be worn again and again. It is especially helpful for those who cannot afford an expensive gown

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  5. Pingback: India Shot Lily: Flower of the Day, May 2, 2018 | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  6. Tamara

    I made my wedding dress and kept it for many, many years after the marriage ended in a dark closet. When I was packing to move to Mexico I got it out and the fabric had yellowed, the armpits were stained, and it was ugly and horrible. I’d even gotten it dry-cleaned after the wedding, but time takes its tole. It went into the trash and I will remember it in its glory days from my wedding photos.

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  7. koolkosherkitchen

    Let me tell you, you old crone you, mine is waiting for my granddaughter, if she wants it. So far she loves raiding my closet, as we share the same taste and have the same size. But seriously, there are free lending societies for brides who do not have the means to have their own gowns made, and those who do have the means are encouraged to donate both wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ gowns.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      If you know of one, post it on my blog. It may come in handy for someone. I especially love hand-me-down clothes. Always have. As the youngest of three girls, I got a lot of them. I’d wait and watch greedily for my sisters to grow out of their clothes and for me to grow into them–until the tide shifted and my married sister would come home and raid my closet!! I’d like to see your wedding dress.

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      Reply
      1. koolkosherkitchen

        I know of a few, but my favorite is http://www.pickupsforbreastcancer.org. They take not only clothing, but also kitchen and household goods, and even furniture. Another good one is http://www.clothingdonations.org which is for veterans, but that’s clothing only.
        As the oldest of my generation, I never had a chance to raid anyone’s closet, as my mother was quite plump by the time I was a teenager. The only time I filched her high heel sandals, I went to play badminton in them and broke my ankle – of course!
        There is a photo of me at my wedding, but I totally forgot which post I had stuck it into. It is quite unusual; I designed it myself, and it was a wedding present from the lady who made it.

        Liked by 1 person

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