I Bought My Wedding Dress for $27.99 (I'm Not Engaged)

When I wandered into a Brooklyn thrift shop and saw this sweet brocade dress marked down to $27.99, when I tried it on and teared up as the zipper closed perfectly, I knew it was my wedding dress.

Feb 9, 2012 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

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For a giant slut, I'm suprisingly into monogamy.

As a teen, I imagined myself taking many lovers, who would ravish me passionately when I wasn't scribbling poetry on wine-stained napkins in the middle of the night or whatever. I wanted to lead an adventurous life, and I knew instinctually that a husband would only hold me back from becoming my authentic artistic self.

I still believe that, to some extent. Hitching yourself to another person means necessarily considering their needs and desires, which can be limiting. I would be doing different work if I were single. It might be better. But it wouldn't be better for me.

Because as I grow older and begin to understand the havoc trauma has wreaked on my life and psyche, I find what I really need is a safe harbor. A rock. A place to come home to.

I did take many lovers, but by the time I was 20 years old, I had met the man who made the lyrics to one of my favorite Dusty Springfield songs echo in my head.

"In my life
I have known many sorrows
In my time
Troubles have shadowed my way

And my path has been covered
With teardrops from my eyes
Like the cold, cold rain
That comes in the fall

Oh, but I have found my way through the darkness
And nobody but you could have brought me out
You fill my life with sunshine
You always bring me gladness
And nobody but you could have brought me out"

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It's a little upbeat for slow-dancing, but I always imagined that being the first dance at our wedding. Which isn't to say I really ever imagined a wedding wedding -- I have no money, I'm uninterested in party planning and expensive jewelry isn't important to me.

I'm not feigning coolness here -- I do care about getting married. I do want a celebration. I just don't have the energy or expertise to fuss over what other people are wearing or what kind of flowers happen to be near me or I don't know, where people sit? God, I'm so tired just thinking about it!

But to quietly exchange vows in front of trusted friends and family, to declare a permanent commitment to one another, and most of all, to have a wedding cake made entirely of stacked donuts, as I've been promised? Yes. I would like those things, please.

So after 8 years, we are beginning to discuss it in earnest, to duck into jewelry stores and let beaming store clerks measure my (size 8 1/2) ring finger. And when I wandered into a Brooklyn thrift shop and saw this sweet brocade dress marked down to $27.99, when I tried it on and teared up as the zipper closed perfectly, I knew it was my wedding dress.

I even told the clerk, although I bluffed and said we had a date to seem less like a crazy person. But isn't it perfect for joining myself in matrimony with the darling man who gets up 5 minutes early to turn off the alarm because he "doesn't want me to have  to hear that nasty thing"? Who waits by the door with a towel when he knows I am coming home in the rain? Who wasn't even freaked out when I came home with a WEDDING DRESS, but instead just told me it was nice.

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I want to know: What did you wear to get married in? Or what would you like to be married in, presuming you intend to get married some day? And are you jealous of my donut wedding cake idea?