An air conditioner leak in a wardrobe at home caused mayhem last weekend.

Emily Jade

Emily Jade

High heels and high chairs

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EJ Wedding

As water poured into the wardrobe we frantically pulled all the clothes out to save them. This particular cupboard was the ‘special clothes cupboard’. I think most of us have one of those, in the spare room, and filled with the stuff you can’t part with.

Your first leather jacket, or your scribbled on school uniform from the last day at school, but most importantly, the evening gowns from the school formal, bridesmaids dresses or even your wedding dress.

This is my wedding dress. From my first husband. As in my practice marriage. Yes, I had kept it all these years and all these marriages later.

I’ve had two husbands, but been married four times. Three to the last guy because I have a problem – my hobby is weddings, not husband swapping. After watching me walk towards him down the aisle three times, my very agreeable husband became not so agreeable to do it again, so I became a marriage celebrant to feed the beast.

Still, this isn’t about him, well it kind of is, but isn’t.

You see he couldn’t believe I had kept the dress from my first marriage in the first place.

I made things worse by attempting to see if it still fit 15 years later. It did with a whole lot of help. From the front it looks fine, but what you don’t see is the ‘HOLY BACK-FAT BATMAN”. You know, no matter how hard you try you just can’t suck in back-fat. My back-fat was spilling over the top of the dress, creating what looked like a back bottom……I was all bum! What you doing up there? Get back down to where you belong, somewhere near my knees please.

Still I was pretty chuffed that it kinda, nearly fit. But my husband was pretty pissed that I kinda, nearly, did keep it.

So I took it off and sulked for a bit that he was being unreasonable, while he did the same back.

Look, I do get that it is a little weird to hang onto something from a previous relationship, but the dress doesn’t signify that to me. It was made by a friend, it was the most expensive dress I had ever owned (cost me a whopping $300) and then it went on to win a few competitions for design for my friend. So it now means a lovely collaboration and great start for my friend, who went on to become a beautiful dressmaker.

Sharing the photo on my Facebook, I received a lot of feedback on the idea of keeping something from a past relationship. I was overwhelmed by the response of people wanting to completely clear the old in way of the new. Most not wanting any reminder at all of the ghosts of relationships past. Or wanting to be reminded of their partner’s past, much like my husband’s argument.

And yet do those relationships not make you who you are today, and have they not lead you to the person you are with right now? If I had not worn that dress, I would not have made the spectacular stuff up which left me divorced at 25, in counselling at 27 and ready to find love the right way with the right person by 28.

That dress was the start of the ‘journey’ that led to the best husband in the world (and I say with some experience having had two), and gave me my beautiful child and the life experience to know what was good and bad for me.

I owe that dress a stuffy, leaky wardrobe life in amongst the other dresses of times gone by. And one day when I am old and being packed off to an old people’s home and my daughter sifts through the wardrobe of my life – we will be reminded of the awfully wrong choices I made and the glorious right ones!

Who knows, maybe I am more philosophical about it, whereas others are more practical. What do you think of keeping things from your past?