She's a character, she has opinions.

MS and my Dress

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Today I went to a seamstress. Friends of mine are getting married and, as you do when the people you love marry, I’m dressing up. Gorgeous dress. Deep, rich green. Thigh slit. Maxi length. And just a smidge too long.

When I tried on the dress the seamstress gave me a puzzled look. “It’s fine,” she said. “Not too long at all.”

And it would have been. Pre-MS. Of course, pre-MS I would have strapped on a pair of sky-high heels and that would have solved any length problem. But to this wedding, and to all in my future, I’d imagine, I’m wearing flats. Cute flats, gold-glittered ballerina flats, but still flats. I’ll also have my cane with me, swinging by my side, helping me navigate the reception space. (And maybe helping me ride a carousel. You are jealous, I know. My friends throw the best weddings.)

I struggled to find a way to explain all this to the seamstress. It isn’t about the length, about what is proper for my shoe height or about what she thinks looks right. It’s about mobility and balance. If the dress is even the slightest bit too long I could step on the hem and that puts me at risk of falling. Or I could lean while off-balance and end up with the dress dragging on the ground waiting to be tripped upon. Or my cane could get caught in it. There are all sorts of scenarios I can foresee, all of which can be stopped by a simple one and one-half inch hem.

This isn’t a story about an unintentionally ableist seamstress. As soon as I began to mention mobility issues she understood and started testing out lengths. This is a story about the way things change and the surprising accommodations I have to make. I never thought one and one-half inches of hem would make such a difference to my life. Now I know differently.


Written by tldegray

September 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Posted in Multiple Sclerosis

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