It's Been 1 Year Since 'The Dress' Ruined My Life


I can’t believe it’s been a whole year.

That Thursday was just like any other. I had finished work in midtown and was getting on the subway to go to trendy TriBeCa to meet some girlfriends for a drink—there are four of us, and I’m the Samantha—when my phone buzzed. It was raining so I had to kind of juggle my umbrella, my magazines, and my scooter to get it out. When I did, I saw that my mother, from whom I’d been estranged for half a decade, had sent me a text.

It was a picture of a blue and black striped dress with the note, “I miss you. Would love to know what you think.”

“What I think of what?!” I yelled at a hot dog vendor.

I let it go for the moment.

When I finally got to the hip downtown bar that was my crew’s “spot,” I was drenched—I had thrown out my umbrella during my temper tantrum and run the rest of the way there. My friends were waiting for me at “our table.”

“You’re soaked!” Charlotte said. “And dripping wet!”

“Well, you know Samantha,” said Carrie, the witty, terrible one.

“It’s nothing, girls, really,” I said as I took off my cape and joined them. They had already ordered me a Cosmopolitan, which is “our drink.” I was so upset I drank it in a gulp.

The girls could tell that something was wrong—they always can, because they were all sharing a cab when that toxic waste truck flipped on the West Side Highway.

“Show us the text,” pragmatic Miranda said after I told the whole story. “We’ll help you figure out what it meant.”

Charlotte started crying the instant I showed her.

“Everyone is getting married but me!” she screamed into her personal fondue pot. “When will I find my soulmate?”

Evil Carrie hugged her sympathetically. I wanted to slice evil Carrie then, and all the time.

“What are you talking about?” asked Miranda. “What wedding?”

“That’s a white and gold wedding dress,” Carrie explained smugly.

“No, it’s a blue and black cocktail dress—to wear to meet a man in New York City,” I responded. Miranda nodded supportively.

Well, then the shouting and fighting began. The restaurant manager (his name is Bill; we’ve met a number of times, because we come here every day) had to shut down the whole restaurant, which was hard to do because it makes a lot of New York Magazine power rankings, due to its trendiness. But since it’s our spot, Bill was happy to do it, and anyway we were so busy kicking, punching, and even crying. We didn’t know what was real, or why Carrie continued to be such an insufferable c-word.

During the brawl, I received another text, this time from my sister.

“Mom died,” she wrote. “Also, your landlord called to say he’s evicting you for paying in IOUs with winky faces. Those aren’t money.”

So, by the end of the day, I had lost my mother, my best friends, and my loft in the up-and-coming Meatpacking District.

Great. Just great.

I went home with Bill, and fell asleep in his bathtub.

My healing process has been slow, but steady. I’ve learned a lot in the past year—like what money looks like and feels like, and about perspective too. I have a new apartment, and a whole new group of girlfriends, and am slowly learning to forgive and forget. After all, I guess I have my mom to thank for that. My mom, and one silly dress.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via the internet.

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