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So What Damn Dress Will They Bury YOU In? | Manolo for the Big Girl

So What Damn Dress Will They Bury YOU In?

I’m not a poetry girl, but when a poem makes me want to spike a football at the end even though I’ve never voluntarily touched a football in my life, I gotta share.  Your red dress doesn’t need to be red, but every woman needs a dress like this:

What Do Women Want?

by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.

I want it flimsy and cheap,

I want it too tight, I want to wear it

until someone tears it off me.

I want it sleeveless and backless,

this dress, so no one has to guess

what’s underneath. I want to walk down

the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store

with all those keys glittering in the window,

past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old

donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers

slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,

hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.

I want to walk like I’m the only

woman on earth and I can have my pick.

I want that red dress bad.

I want it to confirm

your worst fears about me,

to show you how little I care about you

or anything except what

I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment

from its hanger like I’m choosing a body

to carry me into this world, through

the birth-cries and the love-cries too,

and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,

it’ll be the goddamned

dress they bury me in.


A little inspiration from IGIGI

14 Responses to “So What Damn Dress Will They Bury YOU In?”

  1. Twistie August 29, 2007 at 12:13 pm #

    I have my red dress all picked out…I’m just waiting for the available cash (which I hope to have sometime this winter). It’s cherry red crushed velvet with a lace-up front where the lacing extends nearly to my belly button. It has long sleeves and a skirt that swishes around my ankles. It’s elegant and sassy and holds all sorts of bad promises. It makes me feel powerful and gorgeous and princessy and earthy all at once.

    What’s more, it’s machine washable and dryable.

    Oh yes, I have my awesome red dress alllll picked out.

    And when it’s mine, it will come off mostly to be washed.

  2. Margo August 29, 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    Three generations of women in my family, my grandmother, my mother, my sister and myself, were all wearing red dresses when we met the men we would later marry. Every woman needs one!

  3. Sara August 29, 2007 at 4:19 pm #

    Great poem. I need a red dress… Never had one, always wanted one.

  4. JustJenny August 29, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

    I love, love, love this poem! It’s amazing how powerful a dress can make you feel when it’s the right cut and fit – and red really steps that up…

  5. Jane August 29, 2007 at 5:16 pm #
  6. mywhimsey August 29, 2007 at 5:37 pm #

    I love that poem as well – but somehow when I go to put on my red dress I always end up feeling more like Dorothy Parker instead:

    The Red Dress
    Dorothy Parker

    I always saw, I always said
    If I were grown and free,
    I’d have a gown of reddest red
    As fine as you could see,

    To wear out walking, sleek and slow,
    Upon a Summer day,
    And there’d be one to see me so
    And flip the world away.

    And he would be a gallant one,
    With stars behind his eyes,
    And hair like metal in the sun,
    And lips too warm for lies.

    I always saw us, gay and good,
    High honored in the town.
    Now I am grown to womanhood….
    I have the silly gown.

  7. Toby Wollin August 29, 2007 at 7:18 pm #

    Margo – the night my man proposed to me, I was wearing a black knit dress. But, my absolutely fav dress as a child was a red Kate Greenaway dress with this huge platter collar. I wore that thing until it was a rag, and I wore it with my hair in braids. My current fav red dress is sleeveless, with white polkadots, a boat neck, a big skirt and a honkin’ big fabric covered belt(I’m sure it’s out of the 80s – I got it at a silent auction).

  8. sarah August 30, 2007 at 12:41 am #

    I have fallen in love with the dress on the left. Today must also be my lucky day for when I first looked at the dress it was $104 and then I got home this evening and it’s 70% off.

  9. CanadianChick August 30, 2007 at 12:53 am #

    my husband SOOOO wants me to get the red dress on the right…I keep telling him I can’t afford it, but I’m secretly waiting until just before my next trip to Seattle, so I can have it sent to my friend’s house there…and surprise him when I get home.

  10. chachaheels August 30, 2007 at 8:36 am #

    I love that poem and I do wake up most days feeling like I want to have the courage it would impart….so, sadly, I kind of end up feeling like Dorothy Parker’s red dress! A wrap full of dreams that’s all too familiar with the reality.

    Oh well. Red is a fantastic colour on just about anybody, and my shade is a deep blue red that’s so frosty it makes you shiver. Both of those dresses pictured are fantastic. I’d feel like I was roaring in either of them. And that can hardly be bad.

  11. JaneC August 30, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    I have five red dresses in the closet at the moment–one casual/lie-around-the-house dress, three that I wear to church or out to dinner, and one cranberry-colored satin formal gown. The satin one is my favorite–I didn’t think I could wear a column-shaped gown until I got that dress. Oddly enough, I didn’t buy it for myself; my mother found it at a thrift store, with the tags still on it, for $30, and brought it home figuring it could be modified if it didn’t fit me. It did fit perfectly (still looks great 15lbs later), so I wore it to dances in high school and college, and for my senior vocal recital. It isn’t a sexy red dress, but it is a beautiful red dress and makes me feel like a queen (the dress that makes me feel like a siren is black).

    I want to be buried in satin pajamas, though. I’d like to lay down for that long sleep in comfort.

  12. Bridey August 30, 2007 at 1:29 pm #

    A good poem, but not a happy one. Lots of anger and disappointment there.

  13. La BellaDonna August 30, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    I have that red dress; I made it myself. I’ve planned for 34 years to get buried in the first version, which I made in black velvet; but I may go for the red velvet instead. They are both showstoppers; either will work as a choice for spending eternity.

    I was much affected by movies like Topper and Beetlejuice;
    I decided long ago that I should like whatever I wear, even at home, enough to spend eternity in it – just in case! I mean, think of all the outfits you wouldn’t want to get caught dead in! So that’s always in the back of my mind … just in case … ;)

  14. Cooper December 28, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    I think I would rather be buried in slacks, Docs, and a lab coat; it would be more true to who I am.