So The Boy went and bought The Red Dress yesterday afternoon. That was a good time. Don’t know about The Red Dress yet?
Let me just tell ya’. It’s too funny.
It all started a long, long time ago.
In our family certain customs are observed religiously. They vary a bit from generation to generation, but some things just are not done, and some things just must be done. There’s no real logic to it all, it’s just the way it is, and breaking the rules is cause for long-term ostracization. You do not spit in public. Ladies always wear dresses to church. You do not drop the F bomb in front of your seniors. You do not discuss family dysfunction.
And you simply do not wear red to funerals.
The full story is below the fold.
Well before I was born, back in the mid to late sixties sometime, Aunt Helen and her family had come to Pennsylvania for a visit. This was an annual or semi-annual occurrence because the trip from North Carolina was very long, and with three young children and jobs and school and whatnot, it just wasn’t something that happened a lot.
While in town on this particular visit, someone in the immediate family happened to die. Rather rudely, they croaked at a most inconvenient time, as Aunt Helen didn’t happen to bring a black dress for her pre-teenaged daughter, and money wasn’t freely flowing from the money tree at that time of year.
Always the practical one, Aunt Helen did the only reasonable thing she could. She dressed her daughter in the only dress they had brought along for her – a red dress.
To begin with, apparently Grammom Helen (Aunt Helen’s mom) thought that red was for whores. Ladies did not wear red, ever. Not red lipstick, not red fingernails, not red dresses. Red was most definitely for whores.
Now Grammom Helen wasn’t terribly circumspect in her language. I loved her, but she was from a different time, a different school, so we didn’t always see things around us in the same way. I, being the younger of the two of us by some 70 years, properly observed family protocol and kept my trap shut at such times. But to the day she died, one of the most nerve grating expressions that frequently emanated from my otherwise mostly wonderful Grammom Helen was in reference to Aunt Helen:
“First, she joined the Marine Corps. Then she married that God. Damned. PortoRikkin.” Whether she was more affronted by that, or I was more affronted that she would think such a thing, I suppose we’ll never know.
So when Aunt Helen showed up at the funeral home with her “half-breed” daughter dressed in red, it should have surprised no one when she observed very loudly that my cousin looked “like a Spanish whore”. It did not make it any less painful that it was unsurprising.
Discussing this once just a few years ago, Aunt Helen observed that she wanted to be buried in a red dress. Then she got off on a tangent about how she didn’t want a bunch of mourning and crying at her funeral, but she rather wanted everyone to put on their best red party dress and come to celebrate her life.
Our family is not known for still tongues.
The Boy – “Well, that’s just what I’ll do. I’ll go out and get me a brand new red party dress, shave my legs, and come and celebrate your life.” Aunt Helen, having the most wonderful sense of humor, made him promise.
Well the time has come. The dress is bought, the legs are shaved. But the boxer shorts just did. not. cut. it. Talk about a panty line!
The white stretch lace thong will work much better. (I think he kinda likes it, too.)
From whence came the art: