Monday, November 1, 2010

Come on, Gift Horse, open up ...

Sometimes, you live to regret any nice thing you ever offer to do for anyone.

Right now, I am thinking of a pro bono project that I took on at work.  (Patience, saved drafts file ...)  But I'm also thinking of an incident that happened my freshman year of college.

I was off living in the dorms at the Blessed U, and my sister Echo was getting ready for prom.  She had a friend in her group who needed a dress.

Here's a weird thing about me - I am very "what's mine is yours" 95% of the time.  You want the shirt off my back?  Take it.  (But seriously, give me time to do some crunches before I have to walk home in my almost-altogether.)

Contrast this with Echo, who is 95% of the time "keep your filthy mitts off my stuff."  In fact, the vast majority of our fights growing up involved the fact that (A) we shared a room, (B) I was always willing to share with Echo, but she never wanted anything of mine, and (C) Echo was never willing to share with me, but I was always more impressed with her shirts than I was with my own.  (Now that we're grown ups, and live in different states, Echo is much more willing to lend out, and also much more impressed with my stuff acquisition abilities.  Ah, maturity.) 

But on this one occassion, because Echo's friend needed a dress, she finally wanted something of mine.  (Cue the Mr. Burns finger-tapping.) 

I went to my junior prom in what is probably the Top Three of Greatest Dresses I've Ever Worn.  (Top spot still reserved for Fantastic Boob Dress Tri Delt Formal Spring 2005.  I hope that's the dress I'm wearing in heaven.)  (Hey Tri Delts out there, do any of you have a picture of that dress?  I need proof of hotness for when I'm old.) 

Ahem.  Back to the prom dress. 

Unlike FBDTDFS05, the prom dress was super wholesome.  Think the dress on the left, cream and gold brocade, floor-length.  Yes, technically sleeveless, but a high boat neck and not particularly form-fitting.  I bought it because it made me feel like a seventeen-year-old Jackie Kennedy.

And Echo's friend had seen the Jackie O Prom Dress in my closet while Echo was trying on her slightly-less-wholesome-Scarlett-O'Hara-at-seventeen dress.  (Man, we had good taste in dresses.)

So Echo called me and asked if it would be okay if her friend wore my prom dress to their dance.

I'll be honest - I briefly hesitated.  At nineteen, that prom dress was the most expensive thing I'd ever bought, and yes, I knew it was unlikely I'd ever wear it again (although I did recycle it for one more Tri Delt formal), I was squeamish.  So Echo piled it on, explaining how her friend's parents couldn't afford to buy her a dress (I was less impressed there, since both Echo and I had to pay for our own prom dresses, but whatever), and please, please, please be a good Christian, okay?

So I relented and said of course her friend could wear my awesome dress to prom. 

Fast forward three weeks, when all the little Davis Darts get their dance picture packets delivered to 8th period.  I was home from college that weekend, and so I was there to see Echo's prom pictures. 

"Oh Echo, you look so prett ... what the hell did that girl do to my dress?"

Sitting on the far left of the photo was Echo's friend.

Wearing the awesome dress.

And some damn t-shirt.

"Oh ..." Echo said awkwardly.  "Um, her parents wouldn't let her wear a sleeveless dress.  So her mom made that for it."

Cue the slow burn.  "Why didn't she just give it back then?" I said through gritted teeth. 

Echo rolled her eyes.  "What does it even matter?"

"It matters because that dress is perfection, these people were too cheap to buy their kid her own dress, and they're judging me for owning a sleeveless dress by putting that hideous THING over it, and I was just trying to be a good CHRISTIAN, damn it!" I yelled.

"Dude, chill out," Echo replied calmly.  "Just be glad our parents never burkafied you for Prom."

Wiser words were never spoken.


  1. AMEN. I wore tank-tops FREQUENTLY through-out high school, my prom dress was sleeveless (though my neckline was a bit lower, and DAMN I looked GOOD), Know what? I didn't become a stripper. SHOCKING, I know.

    I even got married in the temple! Double shocker, right?

    It's nice coming from smart parents, isn't it? :)

  2. I don't think I have a pic from FBDTDFS05, but I do remember you saying "my parents will never see this dress." HAHAHA. I remember the $hit out of that.

  3. Wow! I'd be mad too! Ok, so I'm confused though (this happens pretty easily) - did she ever give the dress back? Also, what ever happened to a good ol' shawl? We all question "when is the right time to wear a shawl?" at some point, right? THAT would have been one of those situations if you ask me. :)

  4. MJ - you skank! Just kidding. I would live permanently in a tank top if I could ... and now that I live in a non-snowing state, generally do.

    HulaBuns - for reals. I would not have been remotely insulted if she had accessorized the dress with a shawl instead of the icky t-shirt/jacket.

    Kris - pretty sure no one has a pic of that dress. Despite showing all that (tasteful) cleavage, I was pretty worried about photographic evidence, which of course now I regret.