The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Great-Grandmother's Lace

I have been working on my dress.  Those of you who are following our adventures know that I have created quite a bit of fuss and drama around the dress—most of it in my own mind. As Teri pointed out a few days ago, I may think I’ve only spent a relatively small amount on the dress so far, but when factoring in how many hours of stress and bother (and multiplying it by how much I normally get paid an hour), it is already a $600 dress!

Anyway, as often happens in struggles, I am starting to fall in love with my evolving dress.  It really is shaping into exactly what I want and there is something else that is happening as part of the process—a sort of meditation and prayer as I stitch and fold and shape and iron; I feel connected to something much bigger than me.

As I was hand stitching the inside of the collar (a collar I decided to modify from the original vintage pattern, by the way), I remembered a tattered box stuffed with lace pieces that I have tucked away in what Teri and I call “the blue room” (it is our second bedroom and the walls are blue; it tends to be an all-purpose room for reading, computing, drawing, etc.) The box is full of tatted lace that my Great Grandmother made.  My mom gave me this box a few year’s ago and we have been using the gorgeous and surprisingly sturdy (some are starched, but all are made from cotton thread) little medallions and stretches of dainty lace on our Christmas trees.  I decided that I wanted just a little of that aged ivory lace on my wedding dress.

I am not really a lace person (hello!  Lesbian!) but there was something pulling and tugging me to include a little bit of something “old” on my evolving dress. I am quite certain when my Great Grandmother was creating these little morsels of cotton loops, she was not imagining that they would some day adorn the dress of a granddaughter for her lesbian wedding (but what if she was?)  I have inherited many things from the women who came before me—everything from my bone structure and the shape of my hands, to the resilience and independence that I’ve tried to pass on to my own children.  The six scalloped rounds of sixty-year-old hand-tatted lace remind me that these sturdy inherited hands have the ability to create something beautiful and lasting, and I’d like to remember that on my wedding day.

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