Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother of the Bride Dress Shopping

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 my two best friends, all of my co-workers, the hair dresser, the dry cleaner, the mail man, nobody!

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!

Sigh.

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.

Sigh.

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)

Under.

Significantly UNDER!

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.

Sigh.

Well, at least I can afford some frozen yogurt, and lots and lots of therapy.










My "oh so patient" friend Angelica and me!



If you like my stories please feel free to tell me in the comments section below.

20 comments:

  1. I remember the hell my mother went through each time one of my sisters and I got married. I think trying on a "mother-of-the-bride" dress is right up there with bathing suit shopping. Fortunately I will be so old when my kids get married that I will hopefully no longer care what I wear!!! Lol! Thanks for a fun post! I hope you find a killer dress!!

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    1. Kathy - maybe be the time our kids get married it will be appropriate to wear jeans and t-shirts, then we won't have to worry!

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  2. I know you will find that perfect dress in time for the wedding! Keep the faith! :)

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  3. Too funny. You will find an amazing dress, and everything will work out beautifully. Laughing out loud at smelling salts. Awesome post. Keep us updated!

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    1. I will - I'll have to post pictures from Jessica's wedding in August!

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  4. I hope you find that perfect dress. I was going to suggest looking at Ross, TJMaxx, Burlington Coat Factory, or Marshall's. Sometimes they might have a dress you are looking for without breaking the bank.

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    1. Yes I will check out some other options that do not involve a 2nd mortgage on my home!

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  5. Fun post!!! My oldest (a son) wants to get married at the beach... and he wants a casual wedding. I wonder if his bride (no prospects at this time) will feel the same way!

    GOOD LUCK!!!! (Macy's works well for me)

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    1. All I can think of about getting married on the beach is getting sand all over my dress and in my hair. Romantic, right!

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  6. Great post Lisa. Good luck with the dress shopping. Not one of my favorite activities either. Can't wait to see it.

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  7. You made me so happy. Thank you. It was fun the way the woman started to ask about your budget. And the way you explained the wedding will have a different atmosphere and the dresses there didn't wasn't matching the wedding style.
    I really enjoyed your blog.

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    1. Thank you for being Oh So Patient Ang!! xo

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  8. Lisa, this was a really funny piece and it made me giggle and I needed that today! Thanks.

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    1. So glad Cindy after all you've been through! I always try to get a laugh out of my misadventures!

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  9. Congratulations! A wedding in the family is such a joy!

    I am pretty sure that dresses are alive, because the good ones are always hiding. There perfect ones run when you approach the rack. And, just thinking about going dress shopping will cause you to instantly gain 10 pounds. Happy hunting!

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    1. I agree Gina, they must be alive, and they probably come together to plot against all of the women who attempt to try them on!!!

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  10. This is hysterical, Lisa! I'm so glad you hooked me up with your blog. We all need to laugh at ourselves! The only thing that could possibly be worse than "special occasion" shopping is bathing suit shopping. I would like to know which brilliant retailer decided we need 3-way mirrors in the dressing rooms! Look forward to hearing about the perfect dress. --Aimee

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    1. Believe me Aimee - bathing suit shopping requires sedation, I totally understand!!! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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