The bride-to-be fears her wedding will be an earthquake casualty. She rushes through a park holding up her white dress with one hand, the phone with the other.
My first thought, "Great dress!"
And a millisecond later, "But she's on the phone! Really? In that dress? It doesn't fit. She must be a doctor."
But she's not.
The show did go on, a few hours later.
Valeriya Shevchenko, 18, evacuated a NY courthouse during the earthquake panic but the eye-catching photo of her wedding-dress dash created complications. The young bride and groom were keeping the nuptials a secret from their disapproving families -- not such an easy feat with the highly circulated image that is now being called the “Earthquake Bride.”
“They’d say we’re too young and not for each other,” Shevchenko told the New York Post.(Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images, cropped to oblivion by therapydoc)
2. Someone told me a story about a different young woman. When asked what she wanted for a college graduation present, she replied,
"A new dress."Her parents thought it a little odd. They had been thinking:
|Box as furniture concept|
She must want something practical, maybe even the gift that keeps on giving. . .But it's not weird at all, a new dress. If you haven't shopped for yourself in years, have had a nose in the books and haven't dropped more than a dollar on rare occasion at a pick-it-up-off-the-floor-and-buy-it department store sale, then the thought of taking a few Franklins and feeling pretty is very, very seductive.
She's up to her eyeballs in student loans, has an apartment to furnish. She might want to replace the box as furniture concept.
So a kitchen table. A lamp. A painting.
Or something sentimental. A bracelet, a pendant.
The nouveau-riche get it, those who never had money and suddenly find it. This doesn't happen often any more, finding money, but in the days of prosperity, when it did happen, the newly endowed were known to spend it like crazy, and who can blame a person for that, deprived for so long.
Not all do, of course, spend it, even after a lifetime of deprivation. Many immigrants and second, even third generations who make it here don't find it so simple. Some never get the hang of it, which is why, in this dreadful economy, they still have some.
But back to that new dress.
3. In my tribe we have self-imposed eating, drinking, and shopping deprivation for different reasons. For a full year, after a parent dies, more observant people who have lost a parent don't listen to music, go to parties, or buy new clothes (not unless work demands it). Ironically, wine and spirits are still permissible, and there's no mourning on Saturday. It's just the way we do things.
So shopping the year after losing a parent is a No, No. And if that parent has been ill before the loss, then the nouveau mourner might have spent the year prior to the death trying to work and still juggle a thousand other things, shopping for food for these elderly parents, shlepping to the life support doctor appointments, running to emergency hospitalizations. So it is likely that this person hasn't shopped for two years by the time she finishes her official year of mourning.
But when you are ready, when you get it together to shop, there really is nothing quite like the new dress, and nothing better than putting on your contac lenses and a little make-up, showing up in it at a party and hearing people say,
You look so young! You look wonderful! Where, oh where, did you buy that dress?
And your partner, if you have a partner, is watching you walk, is steering you away from the crowd to a quiet room to talk about his day, your day, and later, that night, after the party, he says to you,
"The men were watching you all night, you know."And you say,
"No, dear. I didn't notice." And you didn't.
He looks confused, so you add,
"I did it for you, dressed up, you know."
And until that moment you thought it was the women, their opinions on dresses, that counted.