okay, so we all know i often have some difficulty in the dressing myself department. or at least i've crowed about it enough. and judging from the whole little black maternity dress debacle from two years ago, my judgment in general when it comes to clothing isn't always the best. i believe it might be referred to as 'suspect.'
so a little more than a year ago i had an important event and needed a dress. not just any dress. i needed a dress that said 'stay at home moms are the HOTTEST kind of moms!' and 'i don't look like i weigh as much as i do!' and 'no OF COURSE i'm NOT wearing spanx under this dress!'
i realize this is a lot to ask of a garment, but i believed i could find it. and, i believe i did. in a size smaller than i normally wore, too! nice!!
so i wore the dress and i felt like it did its job and life was good.
okay, cut to about 9 months later and it was awards season. and there was a certain movie out with a certain actress. in addition to being talented and young and pretty this actress was also plus sized. really plus sized. and there was all this press about her weight and whatnot along with her talent. okay, so i was trolling through a bunch of oscar party photos like i like to do and there she was. looking cute. in a cute dress. and i panned down and realized, OMG (yes i say OMG in my head) THAT'S MY DRESS.
okay not the 'same' 'exact' dress as this was longer and in a darker color, but make no mistake...it was MY DRESS. the 'stay at home moms are the HOTTEST kind of moms and i don't look like i weigh as much as i do and OF COURSE i'm NOT wearing spanx under this dress' dress...and as i panned even farther down and read the comments they were mostly positive and in the following vein;
and i quote
'it's nice to see a larger girl dressing APPROPRIATELY FOR HER BODY SIZE...'
so of course i got on the phone to sisters and friends and they assured me my dress was cute and i was cute blah blah blah. i like to do that, you know...get that positive verbal feedback after a totally manufactured and self induced and made up in my head set back. it works.
okay, so this summer i was paging through a friend of a friend's wedding photos on a certain social networking site like i like to do. i didn't know but one of the people who had been tagged in the photos of this wedding, but the whole wedding was up for everyone to see. so i looked. because wasting time looking at the photo albums of people i don't know is a fine way to spend an evening in my book.
so, i get to the family pictures of these people i don't know. all in their wedding finery. oh say can you see where this is going...guess what the MOTHER OF THE BRIDE WAS WEARING??? oh, just take a guess. i'll give you a minute.
aaannnnnddddd there it was, on a woman (albeit a very pretty and in shape woman) of a 'certain age' wearing MY DRESS. the straps were a bit different and she opted in some photos to sport the smart little matching jacket...but otherwise she was wearing MY DRESS. exactly MY DRESS. my 'mother of the bride' dress.
i couldn't ignore it now. it was like that movie where all those girls have one pair of pants. and they can ALL fit into that pair of pants. magically. no shit. it had to be magic because there's no way that stick of a girl from the 'gilmore girls' and the curvy america ferrera could fit perfectly into the same pair of jeans.
only all those girls were young and cute and sharing those jeans while they traveled and had adventures and romances. my situation wasn't quite like in the movies.
so i sulked a few days and made my usual round of phone calls.
then i started really thinking about it and realized that this was some kind of metaphor, this dress...jeeze, everything's a metaphor lately, but stay with me. because it bugged me enough to really look at it. what was going on here? was this vanity? yeah, of course, but not all of it. and i thought about that young actress, and that mother of the bride. and me.
okay, so here's this girl and she's in the race for the oscar and it's been this huge whirlwind that her life has become in just the past year. so much has changed for her. and she's standing in front of the mirror and suddenly she's no longer the famous actress in the race for the oscar. she's suddenly just like every other woman and girl in the world...she's just a girl in front of a mirror. and she wants to find the dress that makes her beautiful. the one that fits the best and gives her that extra little boost. it's not about the body anymore, or the fame, or everything that isn't the same. it's about the dress. find the perfect dress and it's like magic.
and then you have this 'woman of a certain age,' the mother of the bride. and her daughter is getting married. and everyone is coming. maybe relatives she doesn't care for, maybe an ex-husband or two, frenemies she hasn't been able to stand since high school, who knows...but one thing SHE knows is that she wants to look GOOD. maybe it's that despite her love for her daughter she DOES NOT want to look like the mother of a much younger bride. and like every other woman or girl who stands in front of a mirror she wants to find the dress that makes her beautiful. she doesn't feel as old as she is, she still feels 17 maybe. suddenly she's just a girl in front of a mirror. and it's all about the dress. find the perfect dress and it's like magic.
and, you already know my story. just a girl, in front of the mirror. find the perfect dress and it's like magic.
so i was thinking about these three dresses and the women wearing them and i swear i saw like this maiden mother crone thing going on. okay, don't tell the mother of the bride she drew crone because i'm pretty sure she wouldn't appreciate the analogy. BUT it's true. it was right there.
it doesn't matter how young or old or in between you are. it doesn't matter how much you weigh or don't. it doesn't matter what you have deep down inside or what's sitting on the surface. because when you are a girl in front of the mirror you just want to be beautiful. and it's all about the dress. find the perfect dress and it's like magic.
yeah, sure, it IS all about what you have inside. yes. that is what it's about. ultimately. but when you're walking into a room filled with people you don't know OR do know all.too.well. OR haven't seen in 20 years it's all about the dress. the rest comes later.
so i felt a little better about my 'perfect for the extra plus sized mother of the bride that we all know is really a bigger size than it says in the tag' dress.
better still that i got that fucker for half price.
because in addition to being fashion challenged i am what one might like to call 'frugal.'
and hell, as if that wasn't FABULOUS enough, now i have something to wear when the boybarians get married. one less stress during what i am betting will be a pretty stressful time.
and, judging from the evidence, it's gonna be perfect on me.
(though i do wonder if i should spring for the matching jacket?)