Random Facts About … the Corduroy Wedding Dress, Part I

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By David Martin –

The idea for this story came out of our internet tubes many years ago and while we lost the original, we believe we can supply the words for our own version. 

In the early years of the 20th century, four young seamstresses worked in the same shop. Three of these women were attractive, vivacious, and intent upon getting married, as was the custom among young women back in the day. They attended parties, gossiped about available bachelors, flirted, and giggled and were quite taken with their own superficial beauty. The fourth young seamstress was quiet, not social, and was, as one of the other three put it, “unforgivably plain.” It was true, she was no beauty. Except for her heart, which was pure. While the other three partied, she used her free time to work in soup kitchens and make clothes for the poor. She didn’t gossip or talk — as the others did ceaselessly — about her prospects for marriage. 

Until the day at the shop when she quietly announced she was engaged. The other three seamstresses, two of whom were mean-spirited to their cores while the third was unpleasant but not tragically corrupt, were astonished by their colleague’s wedding announcement. And didn’t believe it. When the plain seamstress mentioned she was having dinner with her fiancé, one of the mean ones was assigned to follow her and get a look at this man who would marry Plain Jane while the three of them, all ravishing beauties, had been so unsuccessful at marriage proposals. “He must be hideous to look at,” one of the mean ones said. “Impoverished, in rags, without prospects!” declared another. “Their dinner will be a sausage eaten on the street,” concluded the third. 

But the next day, the seamstress who had followed the plain young woman to dinner with the unknown fiance brought back even more stupefying news. The man at dinner was handsome! He dressed elegantly! They ate at one of the city’s finest restaurants! 

The three attractive seamstresses pretended to be happy for their colleague, congratulating her on getting married, but in truth they were eaten with envy. Why her and not any of them? 

The plain seamstress went to the owner of the shop and asked if she could have cloth scraps, from which she would make her own wedding dress. Because she was such a good worker and had such a pure heart, the owner readily agreed. The young woman began putting aside scraps of unused material. 

The three mean seamstresses stayed after work to examine the pile of material the betrothed woman was collecting for her wedding dress. Their eyes got big. They laughed. The scraps of material were of different sizes and different colors, which was bizarre enough. But here’s the real kicker: All the scraps had one thing in common — they were corduroy. 

(Story’s conclusion in next week’s Random Facts column.)

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