By Angie Howard

Ladies, you know we've all got at least one of them. Granted, like a bad memory, most are stored in the back of a deep, dark closet beyond where the sunlight can cast its revealing glow resurrecting them to the forefront of our memories, yet nevertheless, they are there.
I am referring to none other than the infamous "bad bridesmaid dress."
An unspoken, time-honored tradition that, odds are, you have dutifully endured on at least one blessed occasion in your life; sporting a garishly-colored, ill-fitting, uncomfortable garment for the sole purpose of accessorizing your friend on her special day. Never mind the cruel irony that in this hideous frock you were obligated to flank upon your person, you are then required to display a beaming smile masking your embarrassment for the sake of archival family photos whilst standing before hundreds of onlookers in the sanctity of a church.
I think the bad bridesmaid dress comes about by a lethal combination of contributing factors, some of the remarkable ones including: the bride, under no circumstances, wants to be "out shown" by another girl standing next to her in a dress on her wedding day, thereby she chooses the bridesmaid dresses strategically and accordingly; the bride has long ago chosen her wedding theme colors and set them in stone by her 6th birthday; she cares less if her collection of dear friends look good in "pale chartreuse" or not; and finally, the bride has likely been a bridesmaid (aka "victim") her own self at least once in her life prior to choosing her wedding party's bridesmaid dresses, so the dresses are then chosen with a subconscious vindictiveness to torture as she has previously been tortured, resulting in an undying cycle of bad bridesmaid dresses.
So, the question becomes what do we do with these instruments of anguish after our day of duty has befallen?
Quick answer: Seize the opportunity to reuse, repurpose, and recycle so that bad dress can put out some good karma!
Drag out your costumes, maids of matrimony, and try one of these eco-friendly options for clearing out precious real estate in your closet once wasted on "Rainbow Bright" colored taffeta concoctions:
Rip off any embellishments (broaches, floral appliqués, bows, sashes, buttons) and use them to "bling-up" a plain sweater, pillow, lampshade, or even make a decorative hair accessory from them.
If the color and material aren't too horrible, see if a seamstress can re-work the garment into a different style (turn it into a cocktail dress for that upcoming cruise vacation!).
Offer it as a new addition to your daughter's dress up collection, whack off the bottom so she won't trip on the dress, and voila, instant princess!
If the dress cannot possibly be resuscitated in any feasible manner, through the City of Conway recycling program, you can recycle your bad bridesmaid dress. Simply put it in your blue cart (or bring it to the facility at 4550 Hwy 64 West) and put it out of its misery.
If you want a good laugh, or want an idea or two beyond what I have suggested for rehabilitating your bad bridesmaid dress, you may be interested in the book 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress by Rebecca Whitlinger. It chronicles the exploits of Whitlinger, who resolved to wear her ugly dresses in a variety of situations and will be sure to have you laughing with her along the journey!