Let me get this right out in the open: Mrs. Zone collects wedding dresses. Scads of wedding dresses. Heaps of wedding dresses. Herds of wedding dresses. From out of the blue, without warning, completely unexpectedly (have we been redundant enough yet?), we have stumbled into a wedding dress emporium, here in a lacy corner of the Joe Zone.
I don’t mean from her weddings. My wife’s only been married once (to me, of course). No, she collects other people’s wedding gowns. The dresses usually hang from a rafter in the basement. They have, on more than one occasion, led to some perplexed or amused looks from a random service technician or brother-in-law. Sometimes they remark on this enigma, sometimes they just have a peculiar look on their face. The most popular remark is, “How many times has your wife been married?” Less than sixty, I tell them.
Most of the dresses have cost her little or nothing, coming from Goodwill, or maybe being donated by a friend or passerby. To tell you the truth, I think the word is out, and my house is being used as a wedding gown dumping ground. But that’s okay; it makes her happy. And as long as Mrs. Zone has more wedding dresses than I have guitars, I figure I’m golden.
As with most predicaments of this ilk, it started slowly – in this case, on the day we were married. I think it was about 25 years before my bride acquired a second gown. I don’t remember where it came from, or why it ended up in my house. Maybe it followed her home, and she couldn’t resist its pathetic, forlorn look. I just know that no alarm bells rang in my head, proving I don’t have ESP. Had I foreseen the future, I would have taken that dress to the gown pound immediately.
But I didn’t, and then a few years later, a third wedding dress showed up. A few months later, a fourth. Then two at a time. This was becoming a situation. What to do? Being technically trained, I plotted her gown growth on Excel™ (number of gowns vs. time) and, horrifyingly, realized the number of wedding dresses was growing exponentially. Fortunately, the number does not go to infinity. Rather, it approaches a limit of 50 billion in the year 2030. I think the finite number has something to do with the available amount of lace in the world. Of course, long before that number is reached, we will both have been extinguished, as the weight of the dresses will have plunged our house deep into an abandoned coal mine.
I suppose there are worse ways to go. At least we will be dressed for the occasion