Easter Sunday, eight years old. My mom splurged to give me the most beautiful Easter dress I had ever seen: the skirt touched the floor and poofed out like a princess gown, and it was covered in lavenders. I loved it.
In the middle of church, my ear suddenly felt like it was being prodded with hot rods. It shot pain all the way down my neck. I was too embarrassed to tell my parents that my ear hurt, so I tried to keep it to myself… until I started to cry.
My parents saw me cry, but did nothing. I cried from both pain and the sting of betrayal, knowing that no one cared about my misery.
Later, I found out my parents thought I had felt the Spirit and got emotional about my testimony of God. They even whispered to each other about how cute it was. It wasn’t until they ushered us off to Sunday school and I was still crying that they realized something was wrong.
My dad took my home and tried to think of a way to make me feel better. He remembered a nurse told him that if you rub the muscles in your throat that are close to your ear, it soothes the pain. He laid me on the couch and put his fingers down my throat.
He forgot about the gag reflex.
I puked the entire chocolate contents of my Easter basket. Brown goo plastered my gorgeous dress.
So, logically, my dad put my dry-clean-only dress in the washing machine.