If you asked Phil what the strangest thing he owns is, without hesitation his answer would be: a Cinderella wedding dress. A blue Disney Glass Slipper dress, to be exact.
“It’s not one of the norm things to own,” he says. “You know, you own a large-screen TV, or whatever. Most men don’t own a wedding dress.”
Phil bought the dress for a girlfriend as a surprise a few years into their relationship.
At the time, her mother was getting married, so mother and daughter went wedding dress shopping.
“When they came home, they were having the usual girlie chat,” says Phil. They started to discuss this Disney wedding dress my girlfriend had fallen in love with. She was a massive Disney fanatic.”
This was about four years ago. Phil says that for a few weeks every year, Disney releases a small selection of wedding dresses.
“So then I kind of twigged that I did see my future with this person, so I decided to look for myself.”
He went to the bridal boutique that he knew his girlfriend and mother had previously visited.
“It was almost a look of awe. For a while I just stopped and stared. And there was never a debate over whether I wanted to buy the dress,” says Phil
“There was a very high level of emotion – nerves, and thinking that one day this would be the wedding dress, and I knew what it would mean to her.
“Maybe it was a bit of fear of what just buying the dress would potentially symbolise. Or, maybe it was just fear of me being completely stupid, and doing the wrong thing.
“I spoke to the lady behind the counter, and I said, ‘Just out of interest, can I buy that dress?’ I got the stereotypical funny looks off the three girls behind. But then they said, ‘You’re the partner of the girl that came in with her mum the other day’.”
Phil was asked what he would do if he bought the dress, which cost just under £1,600, and his partner turned him down.
“If I ask her to marry me, she will not say no,” he replied.
“I think a look of panic came over her face as to what was coming next. The receipt didn’t have the price on. She kind of just stared at it for a little.
“But then I saw a look on her face of unbelievable shock, then unbelievable happiness. I just told her that as soon as she had seen this dress, I could see what it meant to her. It wasn’t a proposal and I didn’t see the dress as a substitute for a ring.”
About a year later, Phil’s father died.
“That changed me as a person,” he says. “After nearly seven years together it just didn’t feel like the fit was the same anymore. I kind of held myself responsible – because of me changing to deal with the family grief. After we’d broken up I was left with this wedding dress. I asked if she’d want it. She said she didn’t.”
Phil says that being a big believer in fate, if the dress doesn’t sell then he may have use for it somewhere down the line – but a long way down the line.
“If I were to have a relationship, if I had a child and it was a daughter, would it be used for her?”
Otherwise, he would be happy to see it go.
Culled from BBC.co.uk