The Wedding Dress

I was wondering if my daughter still has her wedding dress and could she still fit into it. Even if my dress had not been consumed in the fire, I would not be able to fit. Indeed when I got married, I weighed less than I did as a teen. Now it is doubtful I can fit into the dress I made for my daughter’s wedding.

Anyway, it’s all a matter of nostalgia. While I designed the wedding dress (with a jacket so it could be worn for other occasions), I wanted my mother to make it because she had bartered her very beautiful wedding dress, which I wanted for myself, to gain early notice of the resumption of emigration to the U.S. Yes, she bribed an office worker so we ended up with numbers 45 and 46 to go to “the land of wild Indians.”

The mantilla I wore had been purchased at one of the stops on the trip, by freighter, from Valparaiso, Chile to New York. The mantilla did not go up in flames because my mother had arrogated it, unbeknownst to me, to turn it into a blouse for herself. I was supposed to be grateful it had been salvaged. You see, that is how the narcissistic brain works.

The trip through the Panama Canal with stops in the Caribbean was necessitated by the fact that a copper strike has interrupted West Coast freight traffic. So, to get out of Chile, we decided to head to New York.

Santiago, Chile just did not compare favorably to, get this, the Watts neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles. Little did I know then that there were comparable slums all over the South of the U.S. Indeed, I did not discover dirt roads in the U.S. until we went to Mississippi on our honeymoon, got stuck in a ditch and had to be pulled out by men on horseback, outfitted with long guns and ropes.

The U.S. is a strange country.