I can't see polka dots today without being reminded of my
Demendante dress. Do you ever name your clothes? Well, I did,
and still do. This particular dress happened to be one of my very
favorites in high school. It was a wonderful little silky nylon navy
blue number with white polka dots, complete with an elastic mesh
waist, and elastic at the scoop neck, and sleeves. Very '70s. Very chic.
Mrs. Demendante was a little old woman (gosh, now that I think
about it, she was most likely the age I am now; funny how that
happens) who attended my family's church. My sister and I would
wait until the very last minute, before the organ prelude finished, to
dash in and grab a seat that was anywhere, but directly in front of
Mrs. Demendante. You see, this dear woman had the most annoying
habit of slurping her dentures through the entire service, and for
some odd reason, she enjoyed finding a spot in the pew directly
behind my sister and me. We would start out giggling, but by the
time the preacher was finished, we would be gagging like hell, and
not from the fiery sermon, either.
Well, one fine Sunday morning, I happened to be wearing my oh-so-
classy polka dot dress, feeling like a million bucks, when we slipped
in at the last minute; no Demendante in sight. Just as the prelude
ended, the dear missing woman appeared right next to me, in the
same pew, wearing my navy polka dot dress, only about 16 sizes
larger. We were now Bobbsey twins, separated only by age and
And you know what? It turned out to be her favorite dress, as well.
For some uncanny reason, we would choose to wear it on the same
Sundays, and greet each other with wry little smiles.
That, my friends, is how my favorite polka dot dress came to be
known as "Demendante".
photo: my favorite polka dot Boleslawiec mug