Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Other Ladies of the House

I used to think of my wife and me as masters of our dwelling, and myself as Lord of the Castle.

But the truth is: we are not alone.

Side by side with us dwell The Dress Forms, more properly known as The Other Ladies of the House.

I only recently learned this about them. I had always thought they were just dummies. Then I learned otherwise.

“Where do you want that thing?” I asked one day, as we re-arranged furniture.
“What thing?” my wife inquired.
“That thing in the other room.”
“What thing in the other room?”
“You know, that tall standy thing you put dresses on. The dummy.”
“Oh,” she said, indignantly. “You mean Colette?”
Colette. She has a name? She doesn’t even have a head.

But I have to admit, she does have a presence. I discover it late at night when I walk past her in the dark, and nearly jump out of my skin with fright.
I see it when she’s dressed to impress in the latest garb and accessories my wife has adorned her with.
And I sense it when I stand near her, worn out from a long day of cleaning, and especially from a long day of moving her from place to place. Lifting her from place to place. She weighs a ton, and her stiff, scratchy metal wheels aren’t nice to our wood floors.

So I stand there, sensing her presence, huffing and puffing as we accost each other.
I glare at her in my indignation, trying to make her feel bad for doing nothing to help me.
But she is unimpressed, unphased whatsoever. She simply stands there, proud and tall, disdaining me utterly, then seems to end our standoff with a simple air of “Hmph!”

And I am beaten once again, humbled out of my imagined title of Lord of the Castle and back into Colette’s view of the guy around the house.
So I slink off to take out the trash.

But I have one consolation: she also is not alone. She has some competition:

Meet Della . . .

. . . and this is Marie.

What’s that, Colette dear? You’d like me to move you – that is, lift you – across the room, so you can better watch the sunset? Golly, I’d love to, but I’m afraid I’m otherwise engaged: Della needs a dusting. You’ll just to have to imagine it. Ta!

That’ll show her. Putting on my own airs, I turn my back and saunter away, to go and serve – another dress form?

OK, so who’s the real dummy? You don’t have to answer that . . .

(Sorry for my long absence. Thanks for coming back! ~BILL)


  1. OH I LOVE this story!! You make me smile and laugh imagining you lifting and dusting and talking to the lovely ... "OTHER" ladies of the house...

    Glad you are back



  2. Glad you are back. I have been praying for you and your family.

    Not one woman out here will call you a dummy... You are such a keeper of a husband. (and you can lift too)

    Best wishes to you and all the ladies in your house.

  3. I have missed you! Welcome back.

    Lest she get too full of herself, a simple reminder to Collette that Marie never has to worry about whether HER butt looks big . . . well, need I say more?


  4. I also brought home a vintage dress form. My husband thought I was nuts. I put her in our bedroom & dressed her in vintage clothes. My husband said it took him a few days to get used to having this other body in the room. He's a retired cop & when he walks into the room his first instinct is to shoot at the intruder. He finally got used to "Hannah" sharing our room.

  5. Glad your back! I love that the dress forms have names! They seem to suit their personalities perfectly ;)


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