A time for every purpose (including black dresses)


My dad and I are flying to Richland, WA, today to say our goodbyes to my grandpa. We bought last-minute tickets, and needless to say, the past 24 hours have been chaotic.

One of the tasks I had last night was to find something appropriate to wear to a memorial service. Now, given the circumstances, perhaps this should have been the last thing on my mind. Maybe this was a vain endeavor. But when it comes down to it, I simply do not own anything appropriate to wear to a funeral. Period. The only black dress that I own is a saucy little number that someone once called my “sex on a stick” dress. And can you imagine? The blatant impropriety? It would be the horrifying equivalent of wearing white to someone else’s wedding, or saying “bomb” on a plane.

And yes, even if I wore a shawl.

Earlier yesterday, at Dooce’s recommendation, I went out and bought these shoes – and on a terrific sale, I might add. So last night, I was searching for something that would complement my new wedges. Perhaps I was working backwards?

Here’s the problem with shopping for a funeral dress during the holidays: nothing is basic. Everything is flashy. Everything is jewel-toned and sparkly and velvet and see-through. Rule of thumb: funeral attire should not be capable of doubling as your New Years’ get-up. In fact, if you can even refer to something as “get-up,” then it should get the proverbial trap door.

In a brief hour and a half period, I searched high and low: Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Target, even Kohl’s (gasp) and Wal-Mart (scandal!). I ventured into stores playing music featuring backup singers who were panting. I saw sheaths that appeared to be shredded, but were, in fact, “meant to look that way.” What ever happened to a basic, affordable, modest-yet-well-cut dress? That I could possibly wear again?

I returned home defeated, empty-handed, with a blister from my new shoes. And I went up to my room, opened some boxes, and searched until I found a black skirt and top. That’ll do.

Perhaps my urgency in insisting that I find a new dress was in order to distract my mind from the fact that I am about to see death up close – something that has never happened before. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit scared.

And yet, selfishly, I pray that we arrive in time. I hope we’re not too late.


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  1. Greta on November 27, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    I’m glad you’re going to see him. That stuff is important. Even if he’s already gone.

    Praying for you darlin.

  2. Sarah Kate on November 27, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Oooh, I hate to say what I’m about to say given the circumstances but YOU BOUGHT THOSE SHOES?!?!?! I saw them yesterday and almost left immediately to go to DSW. Oh, and you went to Kohl’s? Was my roommate Caroline there? ha ha ha

    Anyway, I shop to relieve stress and avoid certain feelings too. Why do you think I have so many shoes?
    Love you, praying for your family.

  3. My name is Annie. on November 27, 2007 at 1:51 PM

    I KNOW – I feel a little weird about even mentioning the shoes in a post like this, but yeah. Got them. They were cheeeeap – I think I paid $20.

    Grandpa died this morning. :( We’re getting on the plane now. Thanks for the prayers, my friends.

  4. eurorebs on November 27, 2007 at 3:02 PM

    SO sad to hear about your grandpa. I lost my Poppop this month on the 3rd. That was really hard for me.

    Sending prayers to you and your family.

    P.S. LOVE the shoes and am slightly jealous that you found them for so cheap! :)

  5. rachel rianne on November 28, 2007 at 9:23 AM

    lots of prayers.

  6. I'm Ashlee. on November 28, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa, Annie. I’m praying for your fam.

  7. I'm Ashlee. on November 28, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa, Annie. I’m praying for your fam.

  8. Anonymous on November 28, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time. Love you Annie.

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