After much reflection, I have decided to share a life lesson learnt to prevent you from also suffering the ignominy of being banned from the one and only dry cleaner in town. How did I find myself in this sad and sorry state? Well.
It all began two years ago, after the highly successful Nabiac Masquerade Ball 2016. I arrived home, hung my black formal dress on a hanger, and a day later headed off to work, little knowing it would be another 6 weeks until I returned to live in my house.
Because later that day a little home reno went awry, requiring a team of ‘specialists’ in white suits to come and free our house from questionable ‘bad’ dust. We call it the ‘bad dust’ period (although others might know it for its more formal name – ‘asbestos’).
But what’s this got to do with a little black dress?
After testing, our bedroom was given the all clear and I was able to retrieve some things, such as everyday clothes, and that formal dress. The latter I took to a nearby town’s one and only dry cleaner. A few days later they called to tell me it was ready to pick up. Well, I’ll tell you freely I had other things on my mind, namely that we were still relying on the kindness of several friends for clothing and a roof over our head. So I promptly forgot about the little black dress that until that ball had never been worn.
Life resumed, our house – now cleaner than it ever was before – was given the all clear, and I carried on. The dress hung forgotten at the dry cleaners. One year on they called me again, but after promising I would pick it up when I was next in town (a 35min drive away), I am ashamed to say I forgot all about it again. Oops. Problem is, little black ball dresses don’t weigh heavily in my daily life.
Fast forward another year, and I received another call. Oh my god, the dress. Yes, yes, I’ll be there. I didn’t forget this time, and entered the shop two weeks later doing the walk of shame. I was – cough, cough – also carrying my more recent 2018 Nabiac ball dress, which I had worn to the ball over the weekend. It was now 2 years since the last ball. Apologising profusely and paying my outstanding $25 bill, I offered to pay upfront for the next dress but found myself facing a hostile crowd of one. I was given a stern dressing down. Oh. So I attempted a lighter tone:
“Sounds like you don’t want to take the next dress! Ha ha… ha…. ha?”
“I don’t!” he replied. “Do you blame me?!”
I meekly replied ‘no’, and grabbed both dresses, evacuating the scene as fast as possible.Then I got mad. I drove around the block and went back, parking outside.
“Yes, what is it?” he asked.
“You asked me if I understood your position, and I’ve thought about it, and actually I don’t,” I replied. “I understand I was slack, I apologised, but I think you are now being very rude in return, all for the sake of $25.”
After a couple of minutes that felt alot longer, he walked one way, I walked the other, and that was that. I must now get my dry cleaning done in a completely different town, and different direction (yes, I hear you ‘city dwellers’ sigh, ‘this is definitely a small town problem’). Fortunately, I only obviously do dry cleaning at ball time (every one, maybe two years), so this is no big shakeup. But whose principle is greater?
Anyway, the lesson learnt here and which I wish to share is: don’t forgot your laundry.