Today while I was dropping off decorative pillow cases at the dry cleaner I was struck by all the prom dresses that were hanging, cleaned and draped in plastic waiting to be picked up. I wondered about the young girls, who they were, what they wore, what their night was like, was it everything they had hoped for? And now what? What will become of that dress. Will it be worn again?
I recently saw a picture of myself in my prom dress. And if it wasn’t packed away again I’d scan it and post it b/c it was SO fabulous. It was black, taffeta or taffetaish, with puffy shoulders, and a peplum waist. It was knee length and boy did I think I was rockin’. It was, after all, the 80s. Early 80s, even worse. With my smart Olivia Newton John hair ( sans Let’s Get Physical headband) I was a vision. A vision of what, I’m not sure.
What I look at that picture I think about how complicated that girl’s life had already started to become ( long story for another day) but also how innocent she was and how much would come her way. All the wonderful things that life would bring her her and all the challenging moments that will force her to grow and learn.
That night of the prom as I said goodbye to my parents I couldn’t have imagined a day when they would both by gone; one as a result of a horrific accident and the other from grips of lung cancer. The disappointments that come with growing up and moving through my 20s, 30s and now my 40s. Living through a failed first marriage that I finally, with age and wisdom, take at least 50% responsibility for that failure.
That girl had no idea on the night of that prom how many career re-inventions should would go through (and love every onef them). Or relate to the intense sense of failure and sadness that she would feel from not having children but growing to accept it over time.
The girl would have been delighted to know about all the incredible people she would meet, the dear friends she would cherish along the way. That young girl, 15 years after that photo was taken, would meet and marry the love of her life. An incredible life, a real person’s life was waiting for the girl in the black taffeta dress.
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