Thursday, January 7, 2010

my demendante dress


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
size.
.
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

110 comments:

  1. Wow Willow I thought for a moment that was your entry into Mr. T's Creative Tuesday. I loved that story. We were a typical fiesty little girl and still are I can tell. Love your blog dear one. Blessings
    QMM

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  2. I meant to say you were a fiesty little girl.
    QMM

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  3. Nope, QMM, this is for Theme Thursday's "polka dots". Hmm, yes, these polka dots do resemble Cheerios, don't they?

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  4. What a lovely story willow. It is funny how we can remember clothes we wore years ago - but I for one can never remember what finally happened to them. What happened to your dress? Do you still have it?

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  5. Not into naming clothing( tho' Mom does... )Gotta love this story tho'; I mean the similar dresses and all, heh, heh. Happy TT Willow :)

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  6. Oh, Weaver, I would love to still have the polka dot dress. Sadly, I have no idea what happened to it. I do, however, do have my tiny pinafore style faded denim jumper from the '70s. I should post on it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. Isn't it funny how things stick in our heads and we begin calling objects by some name that means nothing to anyone else. Great story, it's brought back memories of some of my "named" clothing.

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  8. Haaaa! That's a riot. I never gave "name-names" to clothing, but I do remember my younger sister Claudia and I used to look at the fashion illustrations in the NY Times that took up entire pages with splashy news of the latest "must-have trends." One in particular was pretty much just a loose, filmy sheath, but they dubbed it the new, "naive chemise." Claudia and I would flit through the house asking "where's my naive chemise?!"

    And then, of course, when the nice little clutch bags suddenly came into fashion, we'd egg each other on with "where's my clutch?" "or is it my handbag?" Cracks me up to remember this, and your Demendante dress brought it all back. Hahaaaa! (Incidentally, I think polka dots are always just fun.)

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  9. Well you totally HAD to name that dress after that! :) I love that story pretty big. :)

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  10. I am laughing and laughing over this one!! LOVE IT!
    Now...since you THINK you are about the same age NOW as Mrs. Demendate was THEN...how are YOUR dentures? Do you slurp too?????

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  11. what a cool tale willow...love the conection you made where others may have been upset over sharing a favorite dress with another.

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  12. Jill, thank God, I don't have dentures. (I did from age 3 to 6, though, until my permanent front teeth grew in!)

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  13. That story is hilarious! And yes, do show us your denim jumper. Makes me wish I kept some of my clothes from the seventies!

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  14. Hi Willow,
    Thanks for the comment .
    I had thought all of Maries children died. Shocked to find one lived.
    The French are a little kinder than the Russians, with
    the Romanoff's

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  15. Sue, "naive chemise" is so great. (Uh-oh...I feel a poem coming on.) Wait, I'm just grabbing my clutch...or is it my handbag? (in the classiest Grace Kelly voice) Love it.

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  16. I love your life, you fill it with such magic. I love that you both had the same dress...and loved it the same.

    much love

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  17. when I first 'read' the title for this post I thought it said: "my demented dress"

    I love that line of pottery - although I personally don't have any, I often pick up pieces as gifts for a sister-in-law who is very, very proud of her polish roots.

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  18. Great story! But at least you looked better in the dress than she did. A guest at my son's wedding turned up wearing the same dress I had on -- and she was many years younger and many pounds lighter than I. Not surprisingly the dress looked a whole lot better on her -- Quel bummer!

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  19. what are the odds! wonderful story Willow :)

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  20. Vicki, I did then, at that. But now, if the tables were turned, I'm afraid I would be the one in the big dress!

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  21. What a great story! I have named a few frocks but the most memorable came from my ex-sister in law... a frothy, old 80's dress she wore to our wedding. Her husband dubbed it the 'fruit salad' dress. The name has made me giggle for years :)
    ps love the polka dots.

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  22. Oh noooo - the same dress as the denture slurper! I would have been devastated as a kid, but now it's amusing. Wonderful story.

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  23. I remember all of my favorite clothes I had in high school. I didn't name them, but I remember them as the green velour, the black sweetheart neckline and the snakeskin dress. I also love a maroon corduroy skirt that was circular. I wore it with a wide belt.

    I hated sitting behind people who couldn't carry a tune at church. I'm not a good singer either, so they made me even worse.

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  24. Small world, I drank out of my favorite blue & white polka dot Poland mug today & ate off a matching plate!

    Love the story!

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  25. polka-dotted dresses are so feminine and pretty. I also used to have a fifties style one but I never named it.

    xx

    You've not mentioned your favourite mug for ages - do you still have it?

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  26. FF, I have several patterns of the Polish mugs and yes, I drink my tea from one every single morning.

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  27. Oh, I shudder to think. I had 5 dresses and girls couldn't wear any pants back then.

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  28. I am with QMM...I thought you did an entry for Creative Tuesdays at first too. The one polka dot looks similar to a Cheerio : )
    I have put my clothes into categories before. Like my Saturday pants are any that are very comfortable : )

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  29. Willow - since she's older, you might want to make those smiles whole wheat instead.

    (I'm riffing on your use of "rye" instead of "wry"... go ahead, kick me!)

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  30. What a lovely story !
    I have my "mini skirts" from back in the seventies. I showed them to my grandson one afternoon, his remark "Those are not yours, you couldn't possibly fit in them "...awwww life is such ;)

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  31. Marcheline, like I said, I am the world's WORST speller. I'm fixin' it...

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  32. I think it's that buttermilk rye I baked this week!

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  33. Cool story! I don't believe I've ever "named" my clothes... But I do remember some of them fondly as my favorites!

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  34. firstly, i have a dress very similar right now, i loooooove it! secondly, i have this thing, if i see someone wearing something the same, i can never wear it again...ugh...perhaps recycle after a couple of years though :) i like the idea to name your clothes, very inventive and kind of sweet to place claim and add even more character to the cloth of which identifies you as your 'style'

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  35. Simple story, told with style. Sharing a meaning with others. The secret of Theme Thursday.

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  36. What a cute story Willow....I really enjoyed it.....

    I bet we would have FUN cooking together....

    and wooly socks sounds pretty cozy right about now..

    more later, dear one

    Love,
    Kary

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  37. Hello Willow,

    I was hoping it might have been an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny yellow polka dot bikini! How mortifying to appear in the same dress - and in church?! Fun memories.

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  38. I just can't believe you're at the slurping stage. Polka dots are so appealing, not sure why. Lovely story and with that touch of humor...

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  39. i love this story, willow!! my mom once wore a dress almost the same as mine to a family wedding. and, no it was not an accident. she saw mine in advance and then went out and bought one just like it. i wasnot amused. hee hee

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  40. Oh, I can relate, Julie. Mine wore an off white gown to my wedding. Psychological, to say the least!

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  41. A Frock By Any Other Name."Ummmm Cheerios"(in best Homer Simpson voice!)

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  42. I love it. I've never named my clothes. Perhaps when I'm dressings as I wish and not as I am required I shall give my garments fabulous names as well.

    Jen

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  43. Oh, great polka dot post. But i'm terrible remembering names, so I'd probably end up insulting my clothing if i tried naming it...i might call my sweatshirt Bob, Larry...then he wouldn't talk to me for a week.

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  44. Fun story. The pic reminded me of your light fittings!

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  45. Only, Tom, if your sweatshirt was a girl.

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  46. Oh, no, Alaine, your're telling me that not only do I have boob lights, but I'm drinking my tea every day from a boob mug? Ack! No!

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  47. Willow,
    You are sooo funny... this could win another award for you!!!
    Hugs,
    The Bach

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  48. I never thought of naming my clothing! Wow. A whole new avenue for creativity. I draw on my clothes, and have "lucky" and "unlucky" clothes, but naming them??

    Perfection.

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  49. There is probably some young girl at church now that says, "Did you see that Willow lady wearing the same dress as me?" LOL!

    I need dentures, or at least half of them! :)

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  50. Great story. And at least you didn't run screaming from the church!

    Some of my clothes have names. They are usually given by my husband, as a comment on their peculiarity. Womblejumper. Twangytop. Skirtytrouser. He called one of my hats Potato Collector.

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  51. Oh,Willow, you write with such voice! Great story.

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  52. Hey, Willow - remember "hot pants"? I'm wondering what you'd have named them! Ha!

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  53. Brings back memories. I recently found slides of the years when I was around 5. I had the best navy blue dress with giant smartie-coloured polk-dots on it. I wore it to England with my folks.

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  54. Dirtywhitecandy, Potato Collector?! Now, that's a novel name for a hat. I'd like to know the background on that.

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  55. wow
    what a trip.
    when you bought the dress....
    in a million years, i bet you never expected there to be another.
    much less on a big old grandma sized one sitting next to you.
    ha ha

    and it is also a 'sweet'story.
    because you are.

    xx

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  56. Funny, funny! Makes me feel sick to swallow at the moment! LOL!

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  57. What acute story if not a little cringing too I suppose. Well, too bad she isn't around and won't be by the time you are sucking on dentures although not in that church I should imagine! For a moment there, I thought it was some art you had done for the cheerios theme! :)

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  58. funny, just read QMM's comment. LOL.

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  59. Mmm, yes, hard to swallow indeed with such "sounds!"

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  60. Utterly charming story, Willow! I LOVE it!

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  61. That is such a sweet story! I wonder if she 'sought' you out. That would have been enough of an excuse to prevent me from going to Church. I don't name my clothes but I do refer to a small portion of anything after a little old lady called Mary Stokoe. She would always ask for just a 'little bit' so now if someone asks would I like a piece of cake or some more of something, I'll say "just a Mary Stokoe please".

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  62. Oh dear! I hate when that happens.

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  63. That was a wonderful story. I really like how you made a situation that could have been very embarassing into something nice and memorable. Funny how age is relative. Hopefully we will never have to wear dentures no matter how old we get to be.

    Happy TT.

    God bless.

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  64. Ciao Willow, nice post :) I love dresses, sweaters, jeans, but never done names. I think I have to do it :) happy 2010

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  65. Potato Collector was a blue knitted thing shaped like a pimento, with a tassle on top and an ear flap on each side that ended in a plait. I put it on and Husband boomed, in a Russianish accent, 'I am a potato collector'.

    Another outfit of mine that he christened was the Fisher Clown. It was a multi-layered thing of baggy jumpers and leggings I threw on to go running on a freezing cold day. And possibly there were stripy socks, to keep my spirits up.

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  66. Dirtywhitecandy, your husband sounds just as delightful and creative as yourself! (I would love to see a pic of the pimentoish potato picker)

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  67. Got to this late, but had to comment. I LOVE your dress story. I never named my clothes, but I did name my cars. When I was a child, we had an Oldsmobile from the sixties with fins named "Bluebell." When we were first married, our Firebird was nicknamed "Vamp." Our current white minivan is named the "Marshmallow." ("Do you want to take the marshmallow to the store?")

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  68. OPS, now that I look back on it, I wish we had named our cars; we'd have quite an interesting legacy behind us. We did have a dear Volvo we fondly called "Old Red", that took a lickining and kept on ticking. I love "Marshmallow"!

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  69. Yes! Been there, done that! I was a lover of polka dots, too. Cute post! Happy Thursday! ♥

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  70. Ha, ha, what fun and certainly memorable.

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  71. Priceless story. I can imagine being in the pew with the lady slurping her dentures behind me. My friend wore a daring little navy polka dot dress with a wide white color to her sister's wedding reception. The shocking thing was its length. It was the first mini dress I ever saw in person. Very late 60's!

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  72. Wonderful story! I love polka dot fabric too and had also had a favorite dress that was black and white... wonder where that went?

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  73. Willow times five, in polka dots, at least there was no chance of mistaken your identities! ;-)

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  74. Merisi, although I loved your cuppa avatar, it's so wonderful to see your smiling face!

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  75. Willow, I have adopted your sugar cookie recipe. First, the amounts are easy to remember and it makes a lot of dough. Second, I love the thicker, chewier cookie and it is a relief to have them be "rustic" rather than strive for the store-bought-looking cookie perfection of my talented neighbor. I made Christmas trees and stars this year, but I am going to look for an ornate snowflake cookie cutter and put silver dragere's (spelling?) on them for my own special touch. Also, I, too, make bean soup from the Christmas ham, but reading your recipe makes it seem so special! I sure enjoy all that I find here on your blog.

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  76. Thank you, Shari! I'm so glad you liked the sugar cookies. They are the best, aren't they? The snowflakes sound perfect, btw.

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  77. Really enjoyed that story, Willow. I can only remember one piece of clothing that I actually named: my "pony" skirt. Oy! That was a l-o-n-g time ago.

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  78. lol,really cool!I have a clothe that I call "my red thing",it's old and travelled with me around!Like kids I have my thing!lol

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  79. Same age? Let's hope you're not slurping your dentures... ;)

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  80. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  81. I somehow found my way here and as I stopped to read discovered your ancestry.
    I too have a ggg grandmother that was full-blooded Cherokee, Lucinda Shoemaker she was born, married a Lambert and moved North from the Carolinas to Canada where she was laid to rest in 1866 in a tiny cemetery along the shores of Lake Ontario.
    Love the tale of the polkadot dress... my fav was a corduroy skirt in purple paisley.
    Susan

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  82. I loved your post! Never thought about naming my clothes.

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  83. That's so cute! I have had a few favourite polka dot dresses too. Isn't it funny how our perception of age changes as we ourselves grow older? I had an English teacher, Mrs. Egan, in Grade Nine who I thought was about 80. She was probably only in her 50s!

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  84. lovely story; it was hard topic, but I think it brought out so many different perspectives.

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  85. wonderful fun post, as is your usual! loved it!!! some time ago i did a post on my favorite "friday shirt" - a thing i do with my clothes - categorized more by day of week or occasion - anyway, loved the post - it's always such fun to visit the manor!!!

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  86. I love that you name things! I named my broom, Broomhilde:) Thank you for leaving a comment on my Theme Thursday post, and for becoming my first follower! You've been my blog idol for a long time. Now, maybe Mr. Sugar Plum will buy me a polka dot dress instead of another blouse...

    ~Angela

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  87. Very funny story, very well told. Happy TT

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  88. Did she also wear an itsy bitsy teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini? Maybe not to church!

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  89. Hmm... I should start naming my clothes, too.

    Albert sounds like a good name for boxer shorts. What do you think?

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  90. Albert is perfect for boxers.

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  91. I do love that you name your clothing. And, oh how I love this trip down memory lane. It strikes me as odd that I can relive your memories and enjoy them so very much. Maybe not odd, that's really all reading a book is, isn't it?

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  92. My sister and I were the same...fits, I mean fits of laughter! Actually my mother was the same too! I've so enjoyed the comments!!

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  93. Willow, this is a hoot! I can just imagine you guys sitting there giggling about all the slurps. I haven't named my clothes, but it makes sense. My adopted mother was born in 1901 and she used to tell me she would say, "What will I wear today? My new one, my blue one, or the one I wore last?" I still think about that little saying. I was about to tell you I was very impressed that you had a dress from 'back in the day', but then you said you don't know what happened to it. I love remembering favorite outfits. Of course, that was when I was young and skinny. As Peter Sellers said about the priceless grand piano when it got broken, "Not any more...."

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  94. Oh, Trish, we had a Pink Panther marathon with the kids over Christmas. We all just howled when the woman said, "That's a priceless Steinway!" and Sellers replied, "Not anymore."

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  95. Make sure you brush you teeth three times a day.

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  96. I mean brush "your" teeth...

    How hard can it be to write one sentence without making a mistake?

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  97. I cannot say that I have ever named my clothing but you got me thinking...

    Great story and church giggles are just the best aren't they?

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  98. Willow...I crinkled my nose over here in my little, creme rocker reading that another person was wearing YOUR dress. SO sorry you had to endure such tragedy!! ;)

    Happy TT. I think of you often and all you have been through. I believe I can relate in many ways. Big hugs!

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  99. I just realized that I don't own anything with polka dots..hum. Oddly, I Don't think I ever have..

    I don't name clothes but I certainly name my hats:D...

    Fun take on TT...

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  100. Hi Willow. Great story for the polka dot theme!Just checking in again after a long absence, to wish you a happy new year! :)

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  101. ha.

    a little surprising but very cool that this didn't put you off wearing the dress.

    my nan used to slurp her dentures like that, thanks for the thoughts of her
    :-)

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  102. Just like scents, memories like this bring to mind where you were at the time...this story made me smile.

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  103. My mother had this navy blue dress with white polka dots that she just loved. And I made fun of her every time she wore it. I think she still has it in the back of a closet somewhere. lol

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)