by Sean McConeghy

Staten Island, NY – Erin McDougal’s friends were stunned this weekend when she walked into her sweet sixteen birthday party wearing the same dress she had worn at a similar event just two months earlier. Jaws dropped, heads turned away, and McDougal’s face turned bright red because nobody was quite sure how such a disgraceful and humiliating scene could happen in their hometown. One mother in attendance pulled the girl aside to ask whether she wanted her to report the incident to the local authorities, but Erin declined, stating that she had already suffered enough without having more attention drawn to the event.

Erin’s humiliation went viral through tweets and Facebook status updates from those in attendance, and mockers and sympathizers alike all had something to say. One of her classmates, who asked not to be named, said, “I can’t believe this could happen. I mean, Erin was my best friend, and she totally shows up in the same dress that she had on like six weeks ago at another best friend’s sweet sixteen?! I mean, OMG.”

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After being humiliated on Facebook and Twitter for wearing the same dress twice, Erin McDougal faced an uncertain future. Luckily, a Good Samaritan came to her aid.

Other reactions were more sympathetic.  One Twitter post said “I had no idea things were so bad for her. How could this happen in our suburb? SMH.”

When reached for comment, Erin’s father Tim said that he was ashamed to let her go in that dress, but he didn’t have much choice. “We didn’t want to tell her that she couldn’t have a party, but we had already spent over $1,000 on new dresses for other events. With her prom coming up and both my wife and I already working two jobs each, we had to make a decision. We knew it would be tough on her, but what choice did we have?”

Erin herself was quite devastated by the whole thing.  She posted a flip-card video on YouTube, saying that her parents just didn’t work hard enough, and that at one point they had even suggested she get a job if she wanted a new dress for every party. She went on to explain that she could never do such a thing because all her friends would see her working, and that would be even more embarassing than wearing the same dress.

Fortunately, this story had a happy ending. Upon seeing a Pinterest meme mocking Erin, Stephanie Milton, who lives hundreds of miles away in Dayton, Ohio, decided that it was time to take action.  Stephanie started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to ensure that Erin would never again have to endure such a plight. She has raised $8,000 so far and is hoping to hit at least $10,000. “I can’t think of any cause more important than keeping this young girl from ever having to endure something like that again,” she said.

Sean McConeghy has spent most of the last decade traveling around the world, mostly teaching to support that occupation. He’s currently in Honduras starting his own business. He is working toward his Rhett Butler moment when he can say to his former life, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” See more at: http://downsizedlivingmag.com/Meals-Become-Awkward.html#sthash.mKCt5XLT.dpuf

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.

Photo credit: iStock

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