The Little Black Dress I Loathe

Some of you already know. Some of you have recently had the unfortunate occasion that required you to pull that dusty old little black dress out of the back of your closet. I dug mine out at 530 this morning. Mine has a little shine to it. It’s really more silver than black and I wear an infinity scarf that my mom loaned me years ago that I have never had a chance to return. Sorry mom. But it adds a little something, that scarf, and on days like today, we all need a little something to break up bleakness.

I hate that little black dress. It didn’t used to be so little. But the years tend to add in some ways and take away in others. But, I have to say – I’d rather have my dress a little smaller than to have had to sit in the front row of that church this morning. It wasn’t my time to sit in the front row. It wasn’t my time and it’s not my place – to speak on their grief.

But I can talk a little about how much I hate those specific pieces of fabric, stitched together by someone or some machine with no inkling in the world that it would be my go-to funeral dress. That I can speak on.

Hate is a bit strong. And honestly, it feels selfish. It’s really a wonder how much love you manage to feel when you’re surrounded by people saying their last goodbyes. So I guess I’ll go with “loathe entirely”. At least then, it might elicit a smile as you think about the grinch. But honestly, “Hate, hate, hate. Double hate. Loathe entirely.”

I almost titled this one, “Funeral Suitcase” but I thought that sounded confusing and didn’t really get to the point. In what universe have I ever been able to get to the point?

When I woke up this morning and stumbled bleary to the bathroom to get ready, I saw that little black dress hanging there and what popped in my mind was a vision of the open suitcase on our bedroom floor, waiting for me to add the last item before I headed off to face what we all knew was coming.

Three years ago, almost exactly.

Three years ago, I was 400 miles away in Louisiana, driving back and forth, thinking every time I returned that he would get better and I wouldn’t have to pack another bag for a while. But somehow you know when it’s the last suitcase. You know that you have to put that damn little black dress in there because it could happen at any moment and Lord knows you’re not gonna be in the right head space to go to the mall and buy another one.

But denial made it really really hard for me to put that dress in that stupid suitcase. Packing it would be like an admission. An acknowledgement. Lindsey…you’re losing your dad. If you love him and don’t want to look like a homeless person, put the dress in the suitcase. I suppose, in some ways, we were lucky. We had an idea of what was to come. We didn’t get hit with it like someone throwing a cold glass of water in our face. There was time. Not enough time. But time enough to put a dress in a suitcase.

I forgot kleenex today. I suppose that was a bit overconfident of me. But luckily, I had my mom’s scarf and while that may seem a little gross, when I wiped the tears with that scarf, I could still smell a little bit of mom’s perfume. Mom is the most alive person I know so you can imagine how comforting that was. Part of me wished I could share the feeling of love that came from a simple scarf with those folks in the front row. But, all I could do was sit there and hope that all the love in that room somehow made it through to their broken hearts.

It makes me wonder what their little black dress will be. What memories will be stirred by random reminders of this day and the person they lost? I imagine the list is long. It’s a trivial thing to be mad at a dress but it’s better than being mad at God for taking someone we love. So, I choose to hate that stupid thing and put it in the far far far back of my guest closet. And I hope the next time I need to wear it, I will be so old that it would look ridiculous and I’d be better off in a pant suit.

2 thoughts on “The Little Black Dress I Loathe

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  1. Absolutely loved this! Totally depicts what we all know and feel about that little black dress. Thanks for penning the emotions woven deeply into the fabric.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings! And I love that ‘penning the emotions woven deeply into the fabric’ – just beautiful!

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