Making a bride’s day in Haiti

May 6, 2011 by

I heard the man’s exasperation the moment he called us about the four wedding dresses we had for sale. He said he needed at least one or two by 1 p.m. the next day.

The need for one I could understand. Maybe he was a groom who had somehow dropped the ball in historic fashion. The need for two? That was odd. We were selling them for cheap, though, figuring someone would buy them from us and turn around and re-sell them. I never question paying customers’ motives, though, so I told him to come on over.

He was stunned by the quality of the dresses and took the first two without hesitation, agreeing to the $50 price for each.

“I was just about to start driving around to every thrift shop and Goodwill store in the Washington D.C. area,” he told us.  “I’ve got to be at the airport tomorrow at one o’clock because I’m going home to see family in Haiti.” He added a third dress to the pile as he spoke. Three were in mint condition. The remaining had some tiny stains on them that we knew could easily be cleaned.

“My sisters run a bridal business,” he continued. “They rent out wedding dresses because people in my country are too poor to buy them. They had been telling me for six months that I had better bring some wedding dresses back with me the next time I came home.”

A big smile crossed his face as he went on. “They said they would kick my butt if I didn’t.”

I asked him if he was interested in the fourth. He wasn’t sure he wanted to spend the money on one more but he knew his sisters would like all the dresses he could carry.

“What if we made the last one just $25,” I replied.

“Really?”

“You bet. The dresses don’t mean anything to us and I’d rather the last one go with you than sit around here for who knows how long.”

The young man thanked us profusely for making his day. “I’ll be a king when I go home now,” he beamed.

I pictured bride after bride in Haiti putting the 2010 earthquake behind them and starting a happier phase of their lives — walking down the aisle looking resplendent in a dress Orion’s Attic was able to provide.

I’ll give up $25 for a vision like that any time.

 

 

 

 

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