Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sister Wedding Gowns

I’m always surprised at things I read about on the Internet. Some make me gasp in disbelief.  Some make me laugh uncontrollably. Some make me warm and fuzzy all over. 

Sometimes I experience all these emotions at the same time.

Recently I read about a woman in China who’s worn a wedding dress every day since the day she was married.  It’s been ten years.  At first I laughed… A wedding dress every day… In her mind is she trying to hold on to that moment before the wedding night when she was still a virgin in a princess gown and soon to be a woman?

It seemed preposterous to me.  Who’s a virgin on their wedding night?

I love my blue and grey hoodie I wore the night I won first prize at the Korean karaoke bar singing a mashup of “I Will Survive” and “I’ve Never Been to Me” but I’ve never felt the desire to wear it daily. Sure I’d love to relive my 3 minute 25 seconds of fame when the audience cheered and I sang with abandon, but truth be told it was vodka that made me the success that night not the pullover. 

I read more and saw photos of the woman the locals call Sister Wedding Gowns. The gowns are not all white and as a fashion statement they seem pretty non-fashionable.  Orange isn’t the new white is it?

Colors can be non-forgiving. I remember the 80s and the rather unfortunate color palettes I chose with the confidence of new wave rhythms and MTV sensibilities.  Black leather pants with a purple neon shirt with extra wide shoulder pads and a head of permed poodle like hair was not fashion forward but fashion freak show scary.  What was I thinking? Maybe it was the vodka.

Why was this woman obsessed with wearing wedding gowns every day?

I read further and was suddenly filled with warm and fuzzy compassion.  I felt moisture beneath my tear ducts.

Sister Wedding Gowns did not grow up privileged.  She was 18 when she was kidnapped from her village, sold as a slave, and forced to marry a man she never loved. It was only after she escaped 15 years later, with the help of a local woman, that her life became better. She met that woman’s brother and as Sister Wedding Gowns said, "I had only ever known a violent and abusive man, and I avoided men until I met my new partner, who brought me truly out of my shell and treated me so differently… I am very happy now, as my husband is very good to me."

All I can say is congratulations Sister Wedding Gowns. Wear a wedding dress every day for the rest of your life if you want.  You’ve earned your happy ending. 

I’m still searching for mine…

But rest assured I’ve given up vodka and bad taste.  I now only drink water and wine. It’s my Jesus complex, but that’s another story for another day…

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