It started in California, decades ago, when some long-forgotten boyfriend gave me my first sock monkey. My beloved Socky, pictured above, minus a nose and one eyebrow, mouth rakishly askew, has remained my faithful friend over the intervening years. Since Socky came to live with me, I've collected many more of his brethren -- and sisteren -- expanding our sock monkey family to epic proportions.
I have standard issue brown, white, and red sock monkeys, sock monkeys made out of argyle socks, striped socks, small sock monkeys, really small sock monkeys, sock monkey slippers, and sock monkey pajamas. When it comes to sock monkeys, I pretty much cover the waterfront.
Then one day my son, Tim, and his boyfriend, Jake, stumbled upon a website they knew would make me go ape. Hazelandmelvin.com is a magical place where people like me, people with monkey issues, can go and feel at home. Imagine my astonishment when I saw this page!
I had to have a sock monkey dress. No, really. I became obsessed. Finally, I broke down and placed a call to Hazel and Melvin's Room founder and owner, the lovely, the talented, the completely original Rebecca Yaker.
I explained my obsession, which Rebecca acknowledged without the slightest hint of judgment. I also explained my physical challenges. A full-length, strapless dress just wasn't going to work on someone as, well, diminutive as I am. I asked if I could send a beloved Anna Sui dress, which was the perfect size and proportions for my figure and if she could make a dress just like that...only covered in monkey heads.
Reader, she made one.
The dress was perfect. Divine. Nonpareil. It fit me like a dream. And did I mention it was covered in monkey heads? It was a dress that needed an occasion, a very special occasion, to make its debut. That took almost two years. You see, this is not a dress you wear to a wedding, or to the symphony, or to your nephew's bar mitzvah. This dress cried out for something completely different.
And then, opportunity struck like a bolt of lightening from a summer sky. The invitation from Maine College of Art for MECAmorphosis read "creative party attire." My dress and I? We had that. In spades. The party was a huge success. You can read more about it here. Don't miss the pictures - especially the one of me and Tim - at the bottom of the article.
The dress was a hit. The dress had more fun than anyone there. The dress even had an after-party. It was a night none of us monkeys will ever forget.