Death to My Mourning Bonnet

November 20th, 2011

A few years ago, I made a dress to wear to the faux 19th-century funerals that I host (does one host a funeral?) every year for the museum where I work. I spent weeks on the dress, crape-trimmed undersleeves, and crape-trimmed chemisette. But I didn’t think of making a bonnet until the night before the funeral. With no millinery supplies on hand, and just an hour or two until showtime, I scrounged around and made do.

Not bad, considering it’s made on a frame of…wait for it…two hanging file folders and packing tape.

It made crinkling sounds whenever I put it on, but no one ever discovered my secret. Unless I told them of course…which I did with great pride in my own ingenuity.

So tonight, realizing that I would never again run a faux funeral (yeah, yeah, never say never — but at least not for a while), I decided to kill my bonnet in a symbolic gesture. First I took off the ribbon though, which actually belongs to my Elvira Madigan dress (that’s what my husband calls it). Then I took up my sacrificial blade.

It was surprisingly satisfying to tear apart my work.

So, it is with a sombre, yet satisfied, heart that I bid adieu to my make-shift mourning bonnet.


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