Is there anything in life more stressful than moving house? Having found my dream home in Northumberland, I am now starting to get my house packed up and ready for the big move North. Today’s task was sorting out my garage. Easy enough, one would think, albeit a tad dusty with the risk of a spider encounter every now and then. (Reader, I am not fond of spiders).
My plan was simple. Go through everything, and designate it in one of three ways:
- Items to be moved;
- Items for the charity shop; and
- Items to be recycled/binned.
It was going well, and I was making good progress. Up until I came across one box, still wrapped in brown paper from the last time it had been moved. I knew exactly what it was: my wedding dress.
I had left it at my former marital home when I left my ex-husband. My reasons for doing so were mostly pragmatic. I left in a piecemeal fashion, and once I had left, I did not really want to take it with me. Why would I, really, given the way in which my marriage fractured? However, my ex-husband arranged to have certain items of furniture that I wanted shipped over to me. Alongside the lamp, tables and other personal items I had asked for, he included my wedding dress, wrapped in brown paper.
Unsure of what it was at first, I ripped open a tiny corner, and as soon as I saw the colour of the box underneath, a wave of sadness crashed over me. My wedding dress.
How I had loved that dress. I had chosen it with such care, a designer dress from a boutique in Beaconsfield, which I drove to because it had THE dress that I wanted. I had seen it in a bridal magazine and knew it was the one for me. At my first session of trying on dresses, the boutique owner insisted I try on other dresses first. She had me in all manner of dresses, short ones, fitted ones, even the traditional marshmallow princess ones that I hated. Then she had me try on my dress. And from the moment I walked out of the changing room, I knew it was my dress.
My memories of my wedding day are joyous. To have my family and friends there to celebrate the longed-for wedding is something I will always cherish. It was a beautiful September day, the leaves just starting to turn golden, and despite the odd thing going wrong, it was a glorious day.
There was just one problem. I took my wedding vows seriously. My ex-husband did not. I am not sure how long it was before he was dabbling with internet dating, but going by what I now know about his past form, my guess would be that it would be a matter of months, or maybe even only weeks after our wedding that he was sleeping with other women. I will never know when it was he decided to throw our marriage away, and at this point in time, it no longer matters. But because it would be some time before I would discover this, I sent my wedding dress off to a specialist cleaner, who returned it to me in a beautiful display box, and when it came back to me, looking so pretty in the box, my heart filled with joy.
But that damned dress has been in the box ever since. I don’t want to move it. I really don’t want to take the either the dress or the conflicted emotions I feel about it, with me as I move North. Part of making this move is freeing myself from my past and giving myself the ability to soar. But you cannot fly when weighted down by the ghosts of your past. That dress would suffocate me now. It is time to let it go.
And now the dilemma. What am I to do with a wedding dress in the middle of a pandemic, when no one is able to have the wedding ceremony of their dreams? Do I just give it away? Leave it with a charity shop if I can find one open? I need to mull this over, but with so little time to go before I need to move, I now find that there are four ways in which my garage has been sorted:
- Items to be moved;
- Items for the charity shop;
- Item to be recycled/binned; and
- What the hell am I supposed to do with this?