Family / Finds (Frivolous)

Frankendress closure and how my grandparents met <3

First event! Live band, full wood floor, vintage dancers. So fun!

First event! Live band, full wood floor, vintage dancers. So fun!


So I was looking at my visitors last night…seeing what people have been reading and what not. It turns out people keep checking for updates on the “Frankendress.”

So I thought to myself, “Self, I think you should let these fine people know what ended up happening with that dress.”

And I will! I finished it (mostly…with the allowance of one safety pin) in time for several dances!

Dance number one! With this fine plus-one, my friend Matt! I’m wearing a fur shrug and little black gloves. ❤ Oh, we had a good time!

The first dance was at a beautiful historic ballroom–live big band (ohmijosh so good!), incredible dancers, an inspiring little number by a local high school, and lots of fun.

We ran into friends (one even commented on the blog! I was like, "Whaaaaaaat?!?"), admired all kinds of vintage clothes, and danced our hearts out. The plus-one told me someone approached him as we were leaving and said, "You and that girl in the green dress were the best dancers to watch."

It wasn't true, all, it wasn't true…there were many talented dancers there. But it was kind of lovely nonetheless.

We left early because we had to attend mass the next day and we're responsible like that. But then we talked to my sister about love languages until 1 a.m. Yes, you read that right. We left a party early to be nerdy. Oh well. No regrets.

Party number two was the next weekend. There were actually TWO dances that weekend…on the SAME NIGHT. Lauren (who, as you remember, encouraged the dress in the first place) and I went to lunch to settle the EXTREMELY important question of which dance to attend.

Me! Lauren! Paul! Mark! Conor took this picture, and we are grateful.

Me! Lauren! Paul! Mark! Conor took this picture, and we are grateful.

  1. Dance one: potentially people we knew, a dance we knew
  2. Dance two: maybe an older venue, and a TANGO lesson.

We went with the tango lesson, and it was a good choice. We waltzed, tangoed and boogied across the dance floor all night with top-notch dancers.

So, the dress. It danced well, guys, it danced well. The skirt flows and flares when I spin, and the pockets are just the ticket. I also like the emerald color…it’s not a color that frequents the dance floor or my wardrobe, but I do like it.

Can I share a funny realization?

I took this before I left for work at approx. 7:45 in the morning. Forgive me for not ironing the dress...

I took this before I left for work at approx. 7:45 in the morning. Forgive me for not ironing the dress…

Yes? Why, thank you.

(Disclaimer: My mom is currently working on a family-history project where she gathers stories about our ancestors, so maybe that’s why I have family on the brain.)

Anyway, on the day I finished the dress and went to try it on I remembered: my grandma’s favorite color was green. So favorite, in fact, that she made herself green clothes so she could wear more green…and she loved pockets, too, and modified her shirts so that they would have deep pockets for her landlady keyring and her Juicy Fruit gum.

And, here I was, in a dress I made in green material with pockets…to go dancing. For the record, I firmly hold that it was my grandmother who taught me to love dancing. Here I was, continuing the love.

I decided I wanted buttons for a finishing touch, too, so my mom brought the large plastic box of buttons from the basement. There are probably thousands of buttons in this red plastic container, sorted by color (I remember doing this chore when I was a child) into gallon-sized bags.

The buttons! Want to know something fun? I have earrings to match! An almost-perfect match, too, even though these buttons are from a vintage era and I only bought the earrings last winter.

The buttons! Want to know something fun? I have earrings to match! An almost-perfect match, too, even though these buttons are from a vintage era and I only bought the earrings last winter.

We sorted through the black buttons and my mom pointed out that it was her mother, my grandmother, who provided us with the bulk of this vintage-button collection.

It was so much: the green, the pockets, the dancing, the buttons. And so I decided I would find a picture of my grandmother so that you could see her, too. I knew that my cousin had recently uploaded a photograph of her to Facebook. I knew this because I saw it and showed it to my coworker who exclaimed, “Why, she looks like you!”

I never thought so. But, I guess it’s possible.

So I returned to Facebook to find this picture (and, frankly, steal it…sorry, Hanna) so I could publish it here so you could see this lady who taught me to dance, who loved green and pockets and gum.

I found it, opened it, and gasped. Because I realized: they were standing in front of my grandfather’s tailor shop. My grandfather was a tailor. A tailor! Who sewed clothes! I sew clothes, too! 😀

Of course, they didn’t always know each other. They met at his tailor shop. My grandmother brought in a dress (maybe green? I feel like it could have been green) to be cleaned.

My grandfather said, “This is a nice dress, are you wearing it on a date with your boyfriend or maybe to a party?”

And my grandmother said, “Oh no, no…I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m not going to any parties, I just need it cleaned. Would you clean it for me?”

Grandpa Leon, a friend of my grandparents, and my Grandma Cecelia.

Grandpa Leon, a friend of my grandparents, and my Grandma Cecelia in front of my grandfather’s tailor shop.

And my grandfather said (as my grandmother later recounted to me), “Oh, I would clean and die(/dye) for you.”

😉

But wait! There’s more!

So my grandmother comes back and my grandfather says, “Oh! I’m so sorry, so very sorry, we’ve been dreadfully busy and I haven’t finished your dress.”

My grandmother told him it was alright, that there was no rush anyway.

He apologized again, profusely and said, “I am terribly sorry, though. Could I have your telephone number and address and I’ll drop it off when I’m finished.”

And she went along with this…so now the man who would end up marrying my grandmother had her telephone number, her address, and a dress that he told her she could wear on their first date.

The rest, as they say, is history.


I showed a different coworker that vintage picture. This coworker is an older woman, of Polish descent (like me!). When I shared the story and she said, “Oh! How wonderful! That’s a beautiful love story! And, because it’s in your family line, probably you’ll have a beautiful love story too.”

I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’s the way genetics scientifically work.

But, I didn’t feel like mentioning that so I just smiled and said, “Maybe you’re right.”

Because maybe if green, pockets, sewing, buttons, and dancing can pass down…then love can, too.

Happy Friday, all.

XOX

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2 thoughts on “Frankendress closure and how my grandparents met <3

  1. It may not pass on genetically, but development is also influenced by environment, so I’d say you have a pretty good shot

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