Monday, August 23, 2010


I looked for a dress for months-- online, in catalogs, and in stores. As a person living in abject poverty, I generally buy used, but not for events that matter, like my daughter's wedding. The search is complicated by the fact that unlike Aspie Temple Grandin et. al., I’m about as non-visual as any sighted person can be, so I have no idea what people are wearing. Also, when looking through catalogs, I'm pretty much limited to the outfits pictured being worn by models, and in stores I limit myself to the outfits on the mannequins. That way I know what goes with what, and, like sticking with recipes that include a picture of the finished product, I get an idea of what to aim for.

Anyway, after months of searching, the dress I finally chose looked terrific on the mannequin, and according to a fellow-customer in the dressing room, it looked pretty good on me too, though it did not make me look as good or as perky as the model on the left does. (Incidentally, when you see someone standing in front of a dressing room mirror, tell them the outfit looks good if it does. They might be me or someone, God forbid, like me.)

When I got the dress home, I hung it up high where I could keep an eye on it and where the General and the Commander couldn't climb on it, swing from it, pee on it, or hack a hairball down the front of it. The wedding was still a few months away, and I had to exercise constant vigilance.

Finally, with the weekend of the wedding nearing, I decided to get the dress ready for travel, so I took the plastic dress bag out of the back of my closet and prepared to pull it over the dress. Then several ounces of Mmander-pee streamed out of the bag and onto the dress.

So it went to the cleaners. Because none of my senses are particularly reliable, Asperger’s being, among other things, a sensory input disorder, I asked the clerk if the smell was gone. She said it was, but she was also the one who worked on it and who wanted my money. So I told my daughter that I'm wearing the dress and that if people scrunch up their noses and ask her if her mother is a chicken farmer or something, she can say, "Oh no, she just lives in Tennessee. At least she's wearing shoes today."

"No," she said. "If people ask me, I'll just say you're the mother of the groom."

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