Lives of Dresses, Vol. 5


I think anyone can tell by looking at me that I'm a Tuesday dress, but that's okay. When I was new I didn't like being a Tuesday dress so much. It's not glamorous, like being a Saturday night dress. Sometimes a Saturday night dress would come home (late, they're always out late) and start whispering and giggling with the other Saturday dresses, and I would wonder how it would be, to go out at night, and to be around so many people, all at once. I used to try to ask them, you know, to tell me what it was like, and what they saw, and what a party was like, but they would just laugh at me, so I gave up. I'm not a great talker, anyway.

Now I'm pretty happy to be a Tuesday dress. The Saturday dresses, they don't last long — especially the night ones. They get worn hard, and they get so tired out. It's okay for a Tuesday dress to get a little worn, but not a Saturday dress. One day they just never come back to the closet, and then a little while later there's a new Saturday dress. The Sunday dresses, the ones that go out Sunday mornings; they last a long time because they don't get worn hard, but they keep themselves to themselves, and don't chat much. They sit a lot, I think, because of where the creases are when they come back. I don't like sitting so much; I like to be up and doing. And of course the suits, they get to go to the city, and ride trains, and have the best hats and even gloves, but they only get to do it every once in a while, so I wouldn't want to be a suit, either. I don't like to be cooped up.

I say I'm a Tuesday dress, but of course I get worn other days. It just seems like I see a lot of Tuesdays. I like Tuesdays. Tuesdays are new library book days, and George the butcher days (he always says how pretty we look, and I know he says it to all of us but I do like to think he means me especially), and carpool days. Lots of Tuesdays we go to old Mrs. Hewitt's, and see if she's doing okay, now that her daughter's married and moved away. Those Tuesdays we often bake in the morning, so we have something sweet to take to her. "Oh," we'll say, "These were left over from bridge group, and I thought you'd like some." I know it's a lie but I also know it's a nice lie. Mrs. Hewitt wouldn't feel right if she knew we baked just for her.

Tuesdays we're usually in a good mood. Sometimes we'll swing by the drugstore, give the kids a dime each for penny candy, and spend a while talking with the pharmacist. His wife died in the spring. We brought him a pie once, about a month or so after, but he cried and couldn't help it and it was awful. So we didn't do that again. But we'll go by and talk to him about the weather and how the high school team is doing and whether they're going to build the new town swimming pool finally this summer, while the kids decide how to spend their dimes.

Tuesdays our man usually comes home on the right train, too. I don't see him very often, because a little before that time we'll give ourselves a shake and say "Time for glad rags, girl!" and off I'll go into the laundry pile, and then a different dress, a dinner at home dress, will come out of the closet. If I do see our man it's not good, usually. It means that the repairman didn't come or the dinner burned or one of the kids did something terrible, like break a window or come home with a note from a teacher or jump off something high and have to see Dr. Michael, and so the whole day is out of whack and just wrong. So I don't really want to see him, if it means something like that has to happen.

So I don't mind being a Tuesday dress. I hope I'll be a Tuesday dress for a long time yet.

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0 thoughts on “Lives of Dresses, Vol. 5

  1. A lovely plaintive little tale – thankyou. It is such a Tuesday dress, Tuesdays always have and always will be a bluey turquise experience for me .. in a kind of synasthetic sort of way..

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  2. Secret Lives of Dresses gets better with every posting. Thanks for this insightful, creative section of your blog. Atta girl!

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  3. Erin, I just started reading these (all of them) and LOVE them. You really do have a great writing voice, and they only work to further confirm the fact that you are my hero. I want to be like you when I grow up, with a groovy word-related job and an even groovier hobby-related blog.

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  4. You are so good at putting all the words in my head down in black & white.. I never think I think these lovely thoughts until I see how you’ve written them!!You are sincerely talented and a beloved part of my day!Jen

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  5. Brava!!! If you listen closely you will hear the dresses in my closet (and laundry room) cheering. Your generosity of time and talent are greatly appreciated.

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  6. This is my first secret lives story, and now I must rush to archives and check out the others. You are so great!!!Oh, yeah. I like the dress, too.

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  7. Ah, that dress is such a doll. I love the perspective- it is just so fresh. You depict the lady’s character wonderfully through the way she wears her dresses- especially this gem of a tuesday dress.

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  8. Thank you for another wonderful entry in The Secret History of Dresses. Perhaps your musings on these dresses will be published in a book one day? That would be swell. You seem to have really struck a cord here. Everyone I’ve talked to just loves them. Myself included! I’ll be looking for links for you. Holly

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  9. That’s wonderful. Thanks for posting that. I love the Secret Lives of Dresses.And I have a new–well, modern, anyway, it’s not “new” anymore–dress that looks a lot like that. It’s Bodens “Fifties” dress from a season or two ago, and it has blue and green circles on a white background. It’s a great dress, they’ve updated it a little here and there, but they seem to sell it in new patterns every year. It’s comfortable, cut well, and even lined, which you’d never find in an American dress for $100 or les.

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  10. This reminds me of “The Velveteen Rabbit” except that it’s about dresses insread of beloved toys. But the meaning is the same.

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  11. I’d like to be a Tuesday sort of person. Nice, average, pleasant but uneventful, in a comfortable sort of way. This day features just my sort of people, just my sort of activities, just my speed.

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  12. Yes,definitely my favourite so far! Great work. 🙂 It’s a sweet dress, with a gentle, unselfish story to tell. Well cone. 🙂

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  13. This is such a pretty Tuesday dress. I love the post today Erin. I have a lot of Tuesday dresses. This is like the Velveteen Rabbit except dresses.

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  14. Erin you are so good at this maybe you must write a collection of secret lives of dresses and sell the book you could make a killing.Bravo

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  15. wow, that was exceptionally cute. good work. I’d be happy to purchase this in a little book that I could keep on the coffee table or give to a friend as a gift, complete with a little pink sash tied in a bow. 🙂

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  16. And the dress sold on ebay for $36.Wonder who the lucky owner is, and if she knows about the story.

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  17. I just came across your site today and I loooove these stories so much. You are an excellent writier! Not only are the functions of clothes captured, the very personality of the owner seeps through and is practically calling out to the reader. It runs along similar themes to the “desperate housewives” television shows, except with less high-impact drama. I do hope that you continue to write them. I certainly enjoy reading them!

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  18. It would be fantastic if you could do a book of these stories. Please put me down for a first edition–they are wonderful! And you capture their personalities so well. I got teh link from my costume group list, and it is addicting, as I was warned!Yours in costuming, Lisa A.

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  19. It would be fantastic if you could do a book of these stories. Please put me down for a first edition–they are wonderful! And you capture their personalities so well. I got teh link from my costume group list, and it is addicting, as I was warned!Yours in costuming, Lisa A.

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  20. Hi! I found your blog through a yahoo interview, I really love these stories, but this one was my favorite. I always associate dresses with random personas. Like, “aww that dress is so 60’s go go dancer from outer space”. You get the idea. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in a project of mine, dresses made from recyclable materials. You can see them on my blog,artylife

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  21. I have a tuesday dress. I am going to take it out one night so it has something to say to the other dresses.These stories are wonderful and you should publish them.

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  22. Hi,I love your Tuesday dress. It can very well be a Saturday dress with the right accessories, I think. I just started a blog on dresses but so far I have been very slow at putting my thoughts down. I think it’s because I have never thought of the dresses the way you do, which is brilliant! I will not copy your idea, of course, but you are such an inspiration to me and I will now do my best to put more thought into my dresses and give them character and personality the way you do. At this moment, I feel like a Tuesday dress. I shall endeavour to be a party dress or a ballgown from now on. Thank you for introducing your dresses to me. I feel like I know them all now. Well done!

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  23. I would actually wear that dress in the summer. im not much for dresses, but that ones pretty great. And of course the stories just get better and better.

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  24. This dress is so sweet and practical. Washable cotton maybe. I bet she wore an apron over it, not a fancy one, but one that, lifted up at the front hem, was also used as a basket to carry in produce from the garden or dry a child’s tear or as a dust rag when unexpected callers show up. Sweet story and real life. Such a talent.

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