Thursday, May 4, 2017

Red Dress

My parents, Herb and Roberta, had a small wedding in late February. The forsythia was in bloom, and the yellow flowers graced the reception. Roberta wore a red wool dress. It was bought at Hattie Carnegie
My grandmother Clara loved to tell the story of the interaction that her daughter Roberta had had with the sales lady. But I can’t remember the exact details. The gist was that the woman was condescending and assuming, bringing out only the cheapest merchandise for my mother to see; Roberta was insistent and demanding. Finally the uppity woman brought out the finest dress and my mother was satisfied.
After having children, my mother grew too large for the dress, but then, ravaged by disease and chemotherapy, her body shrank. She had the dress altered and began to wear it again.
It’s hanging in my closet now, and I can just zip it up; my shoulders must be a bit wider. The dress is horrid to have on for more than five minutes, it’s like a hair shirt. 

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