Monday, February 21, 2011


So, this really remarkable thing happened to me over the weekend.

I am a member of my local Freecycle group. Freecycle groups are yahoo message groups, organized by town, where people give away unwanted items that are still useful. You can post an "offer" or a "wanted" as long as the item is given freely, and not illegal.

Last week I saw a "wanted" message for a bridal gown - only a size smaller than my own bridal gown. For some reason, my gut prompted me to respond to this person's request. My dress had been professionally cleaned and stored and was stashed away in a protective box in an upstairs closet.

I hadn't given the gown a thought in years. I had no intention of getting rid of it, but something about this email gave me a little nudge. I have no explanation. Go ahead, give it away. You loved it, now let someone else love it. Why not?

So I emailed the woman making the request with a photo of the dress.

She was delighted and said she'd be happy to have it. So I went up to the closet to retrieve the box, and this is where the story gets weird. Inside its' protective plastic bag, the storage box was wet.

My stomach sank as I tore away the plastic and began breaking open the storage box, the cardboard was soft and crumbling in my hands. There was water on the inner box as well, just starting to soften the cardboard - but the dress inside was dry. Undamaged. Another few days in the closet and the water would have eaten it's way through the inner box and wreaked havoc on the fabric. Unbeknownst to anyone.

If I hadn't responded to this woman's request, the dress would have been ruined.  If I hadn't been willing to give it away, it would have been lost anyway.

Here's a sadly undramatic photo

If you look closely, you can still see the water mark.
I didn't take this picture until the next day, so the box had dried. Bad blogger.

On an additional crazy note - it took us awhile to figure out where the water was coming from. At first we assumed a roof leak and were thrilled but confounded to discover there was no water anywhere - except within the box's plastic covering. The theory Hubs came up with is that the moisture from the humidifier in that room was condensing on the cold plastic because the box was up against a cold exterior wall. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot? (Thank you, NHGirl).

This whole story just struck me as amazing. Sometimes life just whacks you over the head.  Hey, Melissa - Don't be greedy. Okay, life - got it, loud and clear.


  1. love this story were a beautiful bride and i am sure she will be too..all this good deeds will come back to you twenty fold..just you wait and life experiences tell me that truth over and over again..

  2. Wonderful story Melissa! Seriously about the Karma thing. And, I totally agree with the above statement: you were a beautiful bride, the dress is beautiful and you have given your dress new life to be cherished by another one in love.....maybe it is the destiny of the dress ;)

  3. Melissa, I love this story. You were, indeed, a beautiful bride and now your dress will make someone else's day - awesome.

    BTW I just joined freecycle - looking for a Lego table!

  4. Thanks guys - I totally agree, I know it's hoackey but I think this whole thing was "meant to be" bizarre!!

  5. I love stories like these, some things in life really are "just meant to be". Instead of you ending up heartbroken with a ruined dress, your generosity has meant that there are now two lucky women with happy hearts.
    Gorgeous dress by the way and a beautiful photo of you in it!

  6. This story is an awesome example of "it was meant to be;" I hope it's new owner is as happy in it as you were--judging by your photo, you were pretty darn happy! :)

  7. You're welcome! :)

    What a beautiful dress! I'm glad you were able to save it just in time and that someone else can use it. Great story!

  8. Wow!

    That cosmic nudge can be powerful can't it? Good for you for listening to it!

  9. Oh I believe!! And wow you look stunning in that photo! Might be the kick in the pants I need to rehome my wedding gown. I like how you said it was loved by you and ready to be loved by someone else. Cool story!