Last September, after a hectic holiday dinner involving some 15 people, my step-daughter Jessica and her boyfriend Brian helped us clean up, lingered a bit until everyone had said their hour-long goodbyes, and then closed the door behind them in preparation for their three hour journey back to Washington, DC.
No more than five minutes passed when my husband Bob, 15-year old daughter Melissa, and I heard the door creak open again. Curious, we made our way to the front foyer only to see Jessica and Brian standing there, unsuccessfully trying to hide their sheepish grins.
"We wanted to be the first to tell you, and we wanted to wait until everyone went home," said Jessica, a hint of anticipation in her voice.
Bob and I met each other's eyes. Were we about to hear the announcement that we'd hoped would be coming for months on end?
Indeed, we were! Jessica and Brian were going to be married!
Although bursting with excitement, the announcement would have to wait until Brian officially presented Jessica with a ring. Until then, I vowed to uphold my commitment to secrecy, and in true "spy" fashion, I told
As the December holiday season approached, with a beautiful diamond just dazzling on Jessica's hand, we could finally start talking about the wedding! Slated for August, I thought I had plenty of time to lose 3,000 pounds so that I could fit into the perfect, sleek, "out of the pages of a fashion magazine", mother of the bride knock 'em dead dress!
Fast forward five months.
The wedding is now less than 90 days away, and I am completely perplexed that my daily intake of pizza, pasta, pretzels, and frozen yogurt has not helped me achieve my weight loss goals. I mean....the yogurt was even fat free!
Last month, my oh so patient friend Angelica agreed to accompany "Orca the Whale" to several dress shops in hopes of finding the perfect fit. Part of my challenge lies in my age. At 48, I am not the typical age of a mother of the bride. In fact, Jessica and I are only ten years apart. (No, I am not married to an 89-year old man. Bob happened to be quite young when Jessica came into his world.)
Our first attempt at finding the perfect dress yielded limited results. The racks were filled with dresses of the wrong size, style, color, and fabric. What's more, when I explained my proud status as mother of the bride, seemingly helpful sales ladies pointed me in the direction of dresses designed for 69-year old, size 28 women.
On our next attempt, we made the short journey down the road to David's Bridal, where a much larger selection offered a glimmer of hope. After nearly breaking the zipper while attempting to try on dresses that were the same size as my professional work clothes, I finally consented to allow Angelica to bring me a (gulp) LARGER SIZE.
In the meantime, I called Bob and told him to set aside our retirement savings for therapy, as every woman knows that the need to advance to a larger size results in a nervous breakdown.
Finally, I tried on a dress that could possibly work. I managed to get the zipper up without needing gastric bypass surgery, and, after stealing a glance in the mirror, I thought, "Hey, I don't look half bad!"
Still, logic told me that the perfect dress might still be waiting, somewhere hidden in a crowded clothing rack at a fancy boutique in a far away land. So I did not purchase the "not bad" dress, but took plenty of photos in case I changed my mind so that I could always go back and order it online. I also held onto the ridiculous possibility that I might actually drop a pound or two and could order the smaller size. (Yes, I'll address this delusion during my therapy sessions.)
Yesterday, Angelica and I again resumed our search for the impossible to find dress. We walked into a fancy boutique and the sales lady, envisioning a huge commission, greeted me with a warm smile.
"I am looking for a dress for my step-daughter's wedding," I explained with a slight hint of hope in my voice.
"How nice," she exclaimed! "Is your budget over or under $1,000?"
Thunk! (The sound of me fainting)
After the smelling salts brought me back to a state of consciousness, Angelica and I tried to think of a polite way to gracefully leave the store without having the sales lady think that my budget would barley get me a dress made out of a paper bag.
Well, at least I can afford some frozen yogurt, and lots and lots of therapy.
My "oh so patient" friend Angelica and me!
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