A True True-Love Story

I have a true love story for you today. It’s about my sweetheart, Gary. Of course.

Four or five years ago, I bought a silk blouse at a consignment shop. It’s so pretty, dark purple, long sleeves, tailored lines, soft as, well, silk. When I wear it, I feel … thin, smart, together. Everyone needs a shirt that does that, right?

Gary said to me a few months ago, “You should get another one of those.” Its style is classic, but it’s also not this year’s model. Or last year’s. In fact, I have no idea how many years its original owner wore it before consigning it at the shop. “I really can’t,” I said, after trolling e-Bay and ThredUp and generalized Google looking for its twin by label. Nada.

Here’s where the love story starts.

Unbeknownst to me, Gary ordered yards of un-dyed silk from China. He also ordered a kit for dyeing fabric. (Special dye, for animal products like wool and silk, not cotton or synthetics.)

He also procured one of those color swatch wheels, featuring only colors that go with my skin tone. (He says I’m a cool summer, I think?) He let me pick my favorites, then he researched how many granules of dye powder would be needed to create those colors, weighed them on a ridiculously accurate scale, and made vats of dye in my big ol’ ceramic canning pot, into which he dipped swaths of beautiful silk. He ended up with five different colors: navy, ice blue, gray, magenta, and aqua.

THEN, during a trip to India, he located a tailor. He gave the tailor my favorite blouse and asked him to make five more just like it. He brought them home to me on Tuesday.Oh, my goodness. They are like butter! That tailor was magical. These blouses fit just right, and are so pretty and perfect. I can’t believe how classy and amazing I feel in them. Yes, they still smell like the tailor shop in India, but I’m telling you, this week, that is also the scent of true love. 

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