How I lost a dress, a top and my mind, all in the space of a week

I lost my favourite dress.

I know: how do you lose a DRESS, I hear you ask? That’s what my parents asked, anyway, and I tell you what I told them: if there is a way for me to do something inexplicably stupid, I will surely find it .

And I obviously did.

The green dress had been resident at my parents’ house for a week. I’d worn it and, because I am me, had spilled food down the front of it, leaving a huge, greasy mark. I tried to remove the mark, but succeeded only in making it even bigger, so I did what any self-respecting adult would do:

I took it to my mum and asked her to wash it instead.

My mum did this, and also ironed the dress, and then she placed it in a carrier bag, along with a little top I’d bought, which she’d altered for me.

And that was the last time anyone ever saw either of those items alive. Or, indeed, dead. They quite simply HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE. Which begs the question: HOW?!

I don’t remember taking the bag out of the house that night (last Saturday). No one else remembers seeing me take it. The assumption, though, is that I DID take it, because it is no longer in my parents’ house, and trust me, they’ve searched. They’re probably still searching now, actually.

But it didn’t make it to our house, either. Neither Terry or I can remember bringing it out of the car, and we’re both as sure as we can be that this is because we DIDN’T bring it out of the car. We’ve conducted fingertip searches of both the house and the car several times. Over, and over, and over again we have searched. The bag containing the clothes is nowhere to be found. It’s almost as if it DIDN’T ACTUALLY EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE.

At the moment, the most likely scenario we’re pursuing is that it was lost on the way home that night. You see, we did not come straight home. No, we stopped at a local park to let Rubin have a quick run before bed, and the only thing we can think is that somehow when I opened the car door to get out, the bag must have fallen out of the car. This doesn’t seem all that likely, to be honest: it was a wet night, and I was wearing my new Prada peep toes (the walk wasn’t planned, by the way. I mean, even I normally wear something a little more practical to walk the dog), so I was having to look quite carefully at the ground, to make sure I didn’t step in a puddle. I can’t help thinking I was looking at the ground so intently – especially around the car, which was parked in a particularly muddy area – that I would’ve noticed something lying on it, but in the absence of any other explanation for the whereabouts of my dress, I guess this is the one we have to go with.

(Also, Terry used my phone to take some photos of Rubin and I walking, and the bag isn’t in them, so we know I wasn’t carrying it.)

This all happened last Saturday. It was a couple of days before I realised I didn’t have the dress, and when I DID realise, I assumed I’d left it at my parents’ house, so it wasn’t until Friday that I realised it was actually MIA. Terry did return to the alleged scene of the crime this weekend, but needless to say, there was nothing there, and the park warden said nothing had been handed in. So it’s a mystery. And it’s a mystery that has REALLY freaking annoyed me. I mean, this dress wasn’t an expensive one – in fact, it was one of the cheapest dresses I own(ed) – but I LOVED it. It was my favourite. And because I bought it ages ago, the shop has long since sold out of them, and so it’s effectively irreplaceable. Ditto the top. My only hope now is that one comes up on eBay, but the chances of that are slim, and so I think I’ll just have to accept that I’ve lost my favourite dress, and will never see its like again. This makes me sad.

Meanwhile, I am a woman tortured by the effort of trying to remember the events of That Night. Where did the dress go? Where is it now? SOMEONE must know something. Did it run away? Was I not a good enough owner for it? Did it quarrel with the top, and then something unspeakable happened between them? Did the top bury the evidence, and then go on the run, to escape justice? WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GREEN DRESS?! And how will I find out? Should I put up posters around town saying HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DRESS, REWARD OFFERED or should I just find a good hypnotist and see if they can unlock the key to my memory and uncover the grisly truth?

Or should I just buy another dress, instead?*

*Nothing will ever compare to it, though. Alas, poor dress, we hardly knew ye!

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  • That sounds like the exact sort of thing I would do. Stop looking and I'm sure the dress will turn up somewhere unexpected. Also, I would totally get my mum to wash things like that for me (or actually, H's mum as she's closer).

    Besides – you have bigger things to worry about: it's Tuesday tomorrow and the sun will be melting!

    .-= Fi´s last blog ..This Week I Will Be Mostly… =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • What dress was it? Do you have a picture? And my condoulences, I HATE losing things. I typically cannot find handbags, purses. But to stop loooking for it does help sometimes. Oh but if you must keep looking, try the trash. That's where I ocacsionally place things… Like sunglasses.
    .-= Veronika´s last blog ..Lusting after.. =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Chloe


    I lost a pair of slippers in my tiny flat. They're probably with your dress and top 🙁

    July 27, 2009
  • Aparna


    You could try pretending you’ve forgotten about it, and stop looking. Say it out loud. And then it will turn up, all apologetic and hung over, and “I won’t do it again, I’m sorry”. Works for me. Sometimes.

    July 27, 2009
  • You don't have much luck with green dresses do you? 🙁

    My gran had amazing flaming auburn hair and porcelain skin, so naturally look sensational in green… but refused point blank to wear it as it was bad luck. Perhaps you're proving her right!

    Hope it turns up eventually!
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Les Sylphides =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Poor you! That feeling of desperately trying to remember something is a pain in the arse. Hope it turns up.
    .-= Gemma´s last blog ..Review: MAC Odd Bits Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Cristina


    I did that with a set of keys, oh, about 6 years ago.

    I drove home from uni, put the keys on the dining room table, spent the entire evening playing board games with the gramps (who were visiting) during which time the keys disappeared.

    My grandparents checked all their luggage 3 times, and we searched everywhere throughout the house to no avail.

    In the six years since there has been a complete change/renovation of furniture in the house, a massive clean-up when my parents split and things had to be divided, and still no sign of the keys.

    It lives on in family lore as 'The mystery of the keys'.

    I wish you better luck with finding your dress.

    July 27, 2009
  • Hope your dress and top turn up, and I'm only a little glad to hear that this happens to other people. I do this all the time. Half the time it remains a mystery (the entire contents of my bathroom drawer disappeared once while moving from one apartment to the next – all my favorite hair things are gone and lost forever) and half the time it is just me being certain one thing happened when actually it didn't (my favorite ring didn't slip off my finger walking along a busy street – it actually slipped off my finger into a rubber glove when I was washing dishes before leaving). In the case of the missing ring it was plain silver and inexpensive, but I'd worn it for a decade and I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried over it. Then I found it and felt like a ninny.

    So – don't lose hope yet.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..eneriyma: At St. Mark's for my first Compline. The sky is the most beautiful dusky violet. =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • “if there is a way for me to do something inexplicably stupid, I will surely find it .”
    I have found you, my long-lost twin!
    .-= BWC´s last blog ..Nobody Steal This Post! =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Well, i managed once to lose a sweater in a similar way. In a bag, as well, but in my house for a change. It was a brand new sweater, just received from my mother. In the same bag. And i entered the house with it, and left the bag (with sweater in) in the kitchen, near the garbage bin (cause i had some paper to throw in my hand as well) and forget all about it.

    Next day our cleaning lady came, and well, thought the bag contains some more garbage (cause it was sitting right next to the bin). And took it out without looking in it. In the afternoon, i came home and decided to try the sweater. The only thing was, the sweater was gone 🙂

    It took me awile to figure what happened 🙂 And in the evening who do you think was searching through the garbage outside for my bag…. Memorable evening…
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Blue Monday =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Deidre


    Don't feel so bad. I actually lost one of my favourite dresses a couple of months ago. Granted, it was during a move, but still, you'd think it'd show up in one of the suitcases, right??? I'd like to tell you to keep hope alive, but I'm still waiting for my dress to show up and I'm starting to lose hope.

    July 27, 2009
  • Oh no, it's like a switsed version of the ASDA green dress all over again!

    Here is hoping that it will turn up somewhere, most likely somewhere completely illogical and nigh on impossible. Fingers crossed!
    .-= mysterycreature´s last blog ..Whitecurrant Cupcakes with Decadent Icing =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Kathleen


    That sucks. As other people have said, maybe if you stop looking for them for a while, they'll reappear when you least expect them. I've lost things in the past only for my b/f to find them a minute later (like my glasses–which were resting on top of my head–oops).

    July 27, 2009
  • Caressa


    Ok, so I think the gremlins took your dress & top. They’re probably the same nasty little ones that took my husband’s keys. In a small one bedroom apartment, there aren’t many places they can go. He unlocked the front door with them, but then *poof* they disappeared. I can’t tell you how many times in the last 3 years I’ve torn apart every closet, drawer, and even searched under the couch (yuck)! They’ve been taken Underhill, along with our original marriage certificate, a pretty full length slip I loved, and now, your favorite dress. Sneaky gremlins!!

    July 27, 2009
  • Oh my, that would drive me MENTAL. I hate losing things, especially when the case is as baffling as this one. Grrrr. I hope you at least recover your memory!
    .-= Amanda Nicole´s last blog ..recipe: cracker jacks =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Krista


    I feel for you.

    I lost my favourite jacket autumn 2006 and the pain is still fresh. At first I thought it was a mystery how it got lost, but unfortunatelly (or fortunately) it all came back to me one night in a dream. I had been sure I had left the jacket at school, then I became sure someone had stolen it while I was in a class (you know.. surely it’s not me, it’s someone else!). For the longest time I had searched for it, asked around, suspiciously looked at others and see if they were wearing MY jacket, turned the house upside down, finally admitting I would never see it again and cried a bit. But then several weeks later it all came back to me: I had left school with my jacket on, took it off because it was a warm evening, placed the jacket hanging over my bag, forgot about it, went on a bus, got off the bus not wearing the jacket… So my beloved jacket had dropped to the ground without me noticing it. End of that mystery. (I hope it was found by some lovely girl who appreciated it as much as I had.)
    By the way never ever hang a jacket or a cardi over your bag (I guess everyone else already knew that)

    Hopefully the story of your dress and top will have a happier ending.

    July 27, 2009
  • I have things happen like that to me when I’ve been drinking. Like “why am I not wearing pants?” Or “why did I turn every light on in the house before going to bed?” Or “who falls asleep with their iPhone in their hand mid-tweet?”

    I hope you find it!
    .-= Kristabella´s last blog ..DINAO Round 12 – The Judges Edition =-.

    July 27, 2009
  • Mousy


    That sounds SO much like something that would happen to me. I really hope you find your dress and top (and your mind!).
    In fact, something like this DID happen to me recently, but it was much less of a mystery because I know it was all down to my own stupidity. 🙁 I left a brand new pair of shoes on the train. They weren’t that expensive, but they were nice and I never got them back even though I pestered Lost Property incessantly for weeks afterwards. The shoes are now sold out in my size. 😛 Sigh.

    Amber, this sounds like your cue to buy a new dress, anyway. 😉

    July 28, 2009
  • They're probably in the same place as my wallet, my son's socks (not all of them, just one of each pair) and my favourite shoes. Actually come to think of it my favourite shoes are on my 13 year old daughter's feet. I don't think she's responsible for the rest. At least not my son's socks, that would just be weird.
    .-= Selina´s last blog ..Your daily dose of pretty: Supa Scroll Sleep Set by ellembee =-.

    July 28, 2009
  • Jennifer


    Maybe there is something happening with Green Clothing? Oddly enough, a similar situation happened to me last week. I bought a new pair of green shorts, brought them home, tore the tags off, set them in a laundry pile and Never Saw Them Again. I've searched the car, the house, the trash (what if I accidentally threw them out?) Every Place. Vanished.

    They did not make it to the laundry, so I cannot say the dryer ate them like it likes to eat my son's socks. Maybe someone from another dimension needs green clothes?

    I hope your dress turns up!

    July 28, 2009
  • Hehe, sometimes I think we are distantly related. I’ve also lost a dress and a skirt. Who knows where they went. I lost a very cute, black with cherry print retro looking dress. 🙁 My only thought was that somehow my clothes got mixed in with stuff to take to Goodwill. It’s been years since I lost the dress and still think about so I definitely feel your pain.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Funny thought… =-.

    July 28, 2009
  • BK


    This reminds me of the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie's favorite shoes go missing at a party.

    I've done the same replay of events when trying to find a lost item. I once lost my favorite gloves (red leather, mmm) after Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house. After searching my apartment and car, I drove the 30 minutes back to the folks' house and found the missing gloves in the dirt beside the driveway. They had fallen from my lap when I exited the car earlier that day. Luckily it hadn't rained!

    July 28, 2009
    • I know someone who has lost multiple shoes, but she only does that when she’s drunk. I still don’t know how because it happens when she’s OUT at bars.
      .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Funny thought… =-.

      July 29, 2009
  • Olivia


    Go buy another shirt & dress exactly like the ones missing & the others will turn up. Happens to me every time.

    July 31, 2009
  • Erika


    I lost my favourite dress while moving and I cannot replace it because the store I bought it from closed down long ago. I am absolutely crushed.

    August 7, 2017
  • Anna


    Alright, it’s definitely a cold case and I remember reading your post back solid 10 years ago, but it only occurred to me now that I’m re-reading it (yes, I keep Pinteresting your retro outfits every now and then, and occasionally reading your effortlessly hilarious apparel stories to cheer myself up – but also empathise, for instance.) ANYWAY: I suspect the bag had simply slipped away from everyone’s attention once placed on the top of the car, while the loading and the seating were happening. Disappearing in the scenery during the ride, like a wild, free bag. Classic. Nobody can blame that. This is what happens when we commute and carry more things than we have hands, and that doesn’t make many things.
    Now obviously, you’ve been nicely busy since 2014, enough to find some peace of mind to recover I hope – and it’s always great to read you!

    March 3, 2023