I took my wedding dress to GoodWill today.
In a trash bag
In the rain.
But I refuse to look at the situation through specs of symbolism. This, after all, is my real life and not the life of a character in one of my stories.
At least not yet.
I have been divorced for years now. I have moved four times since leaving my husband, (and yes I suppose that fact should be noted somewhere in black and white: I left him) and the dress in its hermetically sealed expensive white box has moved with me.
I kept meaning to get rid of it. But there were hesitations. At first I didn’t want the reminder of what I had been, what I had lost, what I was most afraid of. Later, I wasn’t sure what the protocol was… how long does one wait before disposing of something that had at one point, such sentimental value? Eventually, the box was in a closet (a series of closets to be more precise) and I just didn’t think of it.
It became like the bridesmaid dress I wore to my cousin’s wedding, the prom dress I wore in high school,… symbols of the past sure, but more accurately simply just dresses that I had worn, would never wear again, and couldn’t really pass on to any friends or family members.
In fact I would go months without remembering the dress’s existence and then while looking for a lost scarf, a forgotten pair of shoes, or during the preparations to move yet again I would find the box and vow to actually do something with it once and for all.
That usually ended up with me talking about doing something and then forgetting about it again… and in this way the dress and its gigantic box moved with me to an apartment in San Jose, a studio in downtown, a townhouse in Milpitas, and then finally to my quaint little nest here in Santa Cruz.
Until today. Today I pulled the step stool over and pulled the box down. I planned to grab my purse, hoist the thing on my shoulders and off we would go….
…. And then I found the mold.
The side of the box that had been against the wall was covered and the wall in the closet as well. This meant a few things. 1. I am going to have to call my complex and deal with the mess while also finding a place for my secret cat to live while all that happens and 2 I was going to have to open the box and make sure I wasn’t donating a ruined dress.
I hadn’t planned on opening the box. To be honest, I was a bit nervous. Was I going to suddenly turn into a puddle of misgivings? Was I going to be haunted by the yards of white satin? Was I going to randomly feel the urge to put it back on?
Thankfully no. The dress was fine, the box was ruined. The box therefore was taken to the dumpster and the dress was gently folded into a black trash bag (used solely for its size and not any deeper meaning) and then carried the five blocks to GoodWill slung over my back like a Santa bag.
Two more notes:
Making room in the closet is in part because The Maifan-San will be moving in with me in less than a month.
While I was walking to the GoodWill it started to rain, hard.
Again, I refuse to find symbolic meaning in any of this (mold included).
On a totally unrelated note, I have the overwhelming urge to cut and dye my hair.