Story N˚6: Muumuu dress of memories

This month of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, and the recent loss of my last living grandparent, have taken me to places of remembering. Each time I lose a loved one, I take time to meditate on that person’s life and my memories of them. As I thought about my grandaddy Porter who died, it reminded me of the last time we all got together for my grandmama’s funeral seven years ago. I thought of a muumuu dress of hers that I was given as they were emptying her closets.
Muumuus are practically a trademark for the housewives of my family. My grandmothers and mother have preferred the roomy comfort of a wide-cut, loose-sleeved muumuu dress in large floral prints and bright colors. Especially since most of them live in the humid South or blazing Arizona.
This muumuu was massive in size, but I loved the Mediterranean print on black ground. I started to wear it around the house, and felt utterly comfy and cute, until the fabric started to tear and wear away. When I got to NYC, I had the idea to make it into a new, trim version of the muumuu. I had fun working the pattern until it fit with what fabric was left to use. I still feel utterly comfy and cute when I wear this version. And I love that it reminds me of my grandmama and her elegant ways every time I look at it. (Yes, muumuu-wearing women can be elegant.) I think of her raven dark hair and perfect manicures. I think of her tubes of lipstick, and how she would fuss over wearing the right clothing for occasions. My tomboy style annoyed her, and she would buy me feminine dresses to combat it. These days I am equal parts feminine and tomboy, but I want to be like my grandmama, who looked pulled together and lovely no matter what.

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