“It’s my favorite muumuu,” she told me.
Come again? I was in my twenties (long ago) and had never heard of such of thing. I was curious. She was happy for me and my honeymoon, and wanted to celebrate with me by letting me wear her favorite dress. She handed the muumuu to me unwrapped, not in neatly wrapped bright, island-getaway paper or anything.
My first thought. Yuck. I think I want to throw up!
It was a bubblegum pink, tube-top spaghetti-strapped dress with flowers in violently clashing colors that had no business being on the same fabric together. Now I’m smarter and wiser and know that muumuus don’t have spaghetti straps. Although, for all I know, maybe this was a special muumuu with spaghetti straps. Anyone?
“Really?” I said, holding the dress up to my chest, the curtain of vomitous pink sweeping beneath me. “You’re giving it to me?”
“Sure, wear it! It’s no problem!” she said.
“I can have this? You’re giving me the dress?” But I really don’t want it, I wanted to say. Here, take it back.
“Oh, yeah. Sure. Sure. You can have it! Sure.”
Notice how I asked twice, because I do remember doing this. I’m fairly certain, no completely positive that I asked her about the giving thing. She was giving me her favorite muumuu dress! Oh bumble, the writing was on the wall there.
This was the dress my co-worker, who shall be named Linda, had given me for an island getaway/honeymoon I never had vacation. Linda was the head office admin, full of connections, the office gossip, knew the boss’ schedule inside and out, and could get you things (like office supplies).
So, I held the dress up to my chest, “It fits perfect.” I accepted the dress graciously, smiling, as if to say, “I won’t let you down. I’ll wear this dress proudly and represent our office well on the island. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
I realized I could have handled things differently. I could have just graciously declined. Oh no, I couldn’t possibly take your favorite dress. Or, any color in the red family is just wrong for me. I’m a Spring, can’t you tell?
Island or no island, I’d never be caught dead in this dress! In fact, I wanted to dispose of the dress as soon as possible. I don’t know what took hold of me. Linda, I thought, is going to completely ruin my vacation! I couldn’t deal with the dress any longer. The dress was mine, right? She gave it to me. When someone gives you something it’s yours, correct? They don’t want it back. That’s another concept. Just another word. It’s borrowing. That means you can have it back any time you want. Actually, usually, it’s discussed up front. But when would she most probably want it back, bumble? (I’m talking to myself.) Oh, like, probably after the vacation?
To be safe I could have just hung it up in my closet, right? That’s what you’re thinking, right? Well, this really would have been the best plan of action. It wouldn’t really have taken much space. I have countless items in my closet that have taken up space for years and years and years! Some I don’t want to part with it. Other things, really should go. As a matter of fact, I have clean closet on my to do list right now.
I guess I was a having a bumble moment. What I did next was march to my neighborhood Goodwill and got rid it! I donated it so someone else could have the miserable dress. There, all done! Right? That could have been the end of my story. But no!
After my vacation, Linda strolled up to my desk, “Do you think I could have that dress back?” Gulp. You mean your favorite dress? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. If I were quick on my feet, I could have said I left it on the island. But it was her favorite muumuu. “Oh, sure. I’ll get that right back to you.” I told her. Promised her.
So, you guessed it! Now I had to go back to the Goodwill and buy the dress back and that was if, a mighty big if, I could find it! I searched for it immediately after work and scanned the aisles quickly, hoping the pink would pop out at me! No such luck! There were lots of brightly colored items there that day in this huge warehouse-style sea of clothing. Aisles and aisles of pants, shorts, tops, dresses. I started to panic. What will I tell her? This can’t be happening! I couldn’t find it! Oh, what would I tell her?
The next day, sure enough, she came back to my desk to ask about the dress. “I’d like to wear it to a dinner.” I think she could sense something was wrong. It could have been my averted gaze, sweaty palms. Who knows? I had to find it! Oh, man.
So, once again I searched for the dress at the Goodwill, sweating, out of breath, almost out of hope. Then there out of the corner of my eye, the pink muumuu appeared! Yes! It’s a miracle, I cried out. There were tears in my eyes. I had never been so happy to see that muumuu!
Maybe I kind of made the dress go missing, but at least I found it. I think I may have had that one coming to me. Bumble.
Lesson learned: If someone gives you a dress, keep it forever in your closet, even if you’re just borrowing it! Let it collect dust!