This is the story of the blue and white dress.
Back a bunch of years (a loooong time) I worked for IBM with a terrific group of people here in New York. One of my co-workers was a woman who became a good friend. Such a good friend, in fact, that she and her husband and me and my husband traveled together to Spain and Portugal on a vacation.
She ultimately was divorced from that first husband and fell in love with another man whom she married in Kansas City. I was there for the wedding, in fact I was her Maid of Honor and for that occasion I had a special dress made. It was a blue and white silk print, empire waist, down to the floor. Truly lovely. I remember seeing a picture of us at that wedding but can't recall where I put it. Anyway, I never wore the dress again, but continued to pack it up each time I moved. Most recently, it's been in the storage warehouse in the Bronx where my second husband and I stashed tons of stuff when we combined our households and realized we had way too many belongings to accomodate in our New York apartment.
And I lost touch with my friend. Had no idea where she was or what had intervened in her life since we last talked, years ago.
One of my sons is getting married in June to a terrific young woman and she requested that the bride and groom's Moms wear some shade of blue. Hmmm, I thought. I have nothing that is blue. So I scoured the our storage area and found wardrobe boxes, in one of which was...the blue dress. I pulled it out and realized, yes it is the right color but it is a dress for another era. I put it back and almost forgot about it again.
But I couldn't find anything I liked in the stores so I thought again about that dress, pulled it out of storage, took it to a dressmaker who agreed to use the fabric in an entirely different kind of dress. I plan to pick it up the new dress tomorrow.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to find my friend. I finally located her first husband with whom I had also lost touch. He lives in Virginia, is also remarried, and was delighted to hear from me. We talked about that trip to Spain and Portugal and other crazy things he reminded me we had done together years ago. He had no idea where his first wife was, but he did give me her "new" last name. And that was all I needed to locate her on the web.
So I called. And she called back. And we picked up the conversation where we had left it years ago. About her life in Oklahoma, about her getting an MBA and her business achievements, and about my life in California and now New York again, and my four sons. And we talked about the blue and white dress.
We've reconnected in a way valuable to each of us. I'm fascinated by the ease with which our conversation took off, based on an old friendship that made it possible to skip over issues of trust and credentials--we had established all that years ago--to what matters in life and why we had enjoyed each other in the first place.