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The Great Gown Giveaway (by Donation)

Part spring cleaning, fundraiser for It Started With an Allergy, and showcase of Pretty Stuff!

Have a look HERE.
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Why I hate being single #3: Clothes

When you’re little, you have your mom, aunts, and grandmas to help you get dressed. When you’re older, your sisters or girlfriends help you choose what you’ll wear, and help you get into it. Presumably, when you have someone else at home, be it a roommate or significant other, they’ll do up anything out of reach.

A number of years ago – okay, 12 – I made a disconcerting discovery when I tried to get into my red dress. It was my bridesmaid’s dress from my friend Jessie’s wedding.


I loved this dress, and some time after the wedding, I wanted to wear it to a theatre event. Problem: it had a hook-and-eye closure at the top of the zipper. I got the zipper at the back done up fine (it took some flexibility), but there was no way I could do up the very top myself. The day of the wedding, this had been no problem: I had two fellow bridesmaids, a bride, and the bride’s mom to choose from in doing it up. I have no idea who DID – because it was irrelevant. NOW, however, alone in my apartment in a beautiful dress that I realized I couldn’t wear, it was agonizing. I ended up introducing myself to a neighbour by asking her to finish doing up my dress!

That night, when I got home, I realized I had the same problem in reverse. But it was after midnight, so I was stuck figuring this out on my own. I figured if I undid the zipper, maybe I could slip the dress off over my head, which worked. And then it occurred to me…since the hook-and-eye was still done up, maybe THAT would work in reverse. I slipped the dress back on over my head, did up the zipper, and voila.

I love dresses. I have lots of them. And, because I’m still on my own, 12 years later, that’s how I get them on. But it means doing this kind of contortion in the store change room for every piece of clothing I buy.

Single = Invention.

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The day a dozen firemen rescued me!

Sort of.

Once again, we can thank Twitter:

Here’s what happened:

Back in the late fall of 2001, after the attacks on New York City and Washington DC, came the anthrax. I worked at The Edmonton Journal at the time. One day, I came home to find my electric bill in my mailbox, and this written on the back in thick, black, greasepen:


Now. I’m working at a newspaper. Canadian soldiers were walking around in fatigues and driving around in tanks. In Edmonton. I decided to be cautious and brought the (unopened) bill to the electric company’s main office downtown and asked a customer service representative about it. His advice: it was probably nothing, but don’t open it anyway. Thanks.

This was just down the block from work. So, I brought the envelope to show my boss. This is where the teasing began.

“OH, so you decided to bring it to work and share it with us?”

No. Not serious at all. Which is why one of the paper’s photographers later took a photo of the (still unopened) envelope lying on my desk while the firemen walked in.

Because: after my boss had a look at the envelope, another co-worker suggested I call 311 (the city’s helpline), and just ask about it. So I did. And got transferred to 911. And was told there would be a big bunch of people there in just a moment.

FREEZE ON: Me realizing I’ve just accidentally called the fire department.

So a dozen (or so) firemen come in, approach my desk, have a look at the envelope, and bring it into an empty boardroom to open. EVERYONE in the newsroom has gathered round, staring into the glassed-off room, partly because they’re newshounds, partly because they want to know what the HELL is happening?!

Finally, the firemen came out…envelope safely opened, nothing but my innocuous statement inside. And then the jokes started:

“You’re turning as red as your hair!”

“The good news is they owe YOU money!”

Telling my friends about this afterward:

“Your life is so much more interesting than ours.”

“So? Were any of them single?”

My friend Jessie gave a copy of the book The Bad Girl’s Guide to Getting What You Want to each of her bridesmaids. It contains advice on how to meet firemen. It’s funny how closely I unintentionally followed it.