there is a sign outside the local st vincent’s op shop here at kingsford that reads:
We have wedding dresses instore
sizes 8 to 16
i’ve been wondering why that sign makes me feel so sad. is it that someone would have to get married in a second hand dress she bought from vinnie’s? that someone would put their wedding dress in a vinnie’s collection bin? (i mean, i know you’re not going to need it again, but that just seems so…unsentimental) of course, if you can’t afford to buy a wedding dress at all, i guess a secondhand one is better than nothing. but with the premium that our society puts on weddings (not marriage, mind you), it just seems sad that someone would have to get married in a dress that someone else had been married in, that is probably not her taste, and probably doesn’t fit.
i’m a snob. but i hate kingsford, because it does have this underlying tone of desperation, covered in a veneer of lower-middle class respectability. everything’s cheap and nasty. because the main street is anzac parade, there is no sense of the shops being any sort of village or community. just a lot of unhappy people rushing here and there. amid the traffic noise there is usually someone screaming obscenities at someone else, emergency sirens blaring, groups of grey faced people blocking the footpath at the bus stop and getting aggressive if you try to circumnavigate them.
the general mood of kingsford can be summed up by this: one time when i was walking along behind a family – mother, father, two kids. the father was hassling the mother, yelling at her and pushing her. she was yelling back at him. the eldest son, who would have only been around 8 or 9, suddenly said “don’t talk to her like that, you bastard.” and the father smacked him in the head and yelled “don’t you f***ing talking to me like that! where did you f***ing learn to talk like that?”
so people buying their wedding dresses at vinnie’s shouldn’t bother me. but somehow it does.