Catharsis in a dress.

A funny thing happened yesterday. My younger brother is on this “cleaning out the basement” kick so he has my mother and I digging through boxes that have old clothes inside of them. Well, last night I went through a box that had dresses I’ve had for a very long time. So long that I had forgotten about them. It’s what happens when something’s been tucked away, out of site, isn’t it? So there I was digging through this box and when I got to the bottom of it what do I see? My high school prom dress. I had no idea my mother had kept it. Although I suppose if she had gotten rid of it, she would have told me she was going to.

I took it out of the box and held it up and wondered if it might still fit. Well, at least fit me now. Now that I was in better shape. And you know what? It did.

promdress

I was thrilled, of course, at first. And then I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if it fit me because I had been a chubby high school kid or because I was simply thinner now. Mostly I was thrilled because how many women can say they still fit in their prom dresses? But I couldn’t help but wonder. Because I wasn’t happy with the way I looked back then. I thought I was fat. I felt fat. So wearing a prom dress felt like an uncomfortable thing to do. But I did it because I wanted to have that fairy tale prom experience. Which didn’t happen, of course. No, my prom night ended in tears. Tears because it was so not how I had imaged it would  be.

So the fact that 23 years later that same dress would fit me was kind of cathartic. Because I’m certainly happier now than I was then. And I guess it was nice to see that same dress on and not feel that I looked bad in it.

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