Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Day I Tried on My Wedding Dress

Davis and I got married in February of 1992 and the body-sized acid free box in which the cleaners stored my wedding dress has moved with us from our first starter home to our second house to an apartment, where we lived while we built, and then, finally, to our current home.  For 24 years, it has been under our bed, wherever our bed might have been.

Well, I've been doing some Christmas shopping.  August is the month when I typically start and so, by now, I've already marked many people off of my list.  Well, I had one gift, in particular, that was long and bulky and needed to be hidden, so under the bed was the obvious choice.  I decided my wedding dress had taken up too much space for far too long.  I mean, what does one actually do with her wedding dress anyway?  Blair so gingerly informed me years and years ago that she didn't think it was her style.  I suppose the 90's wedding fashions have been slow to circle back around with their puffy sleeves and nauseating levels of beadwork.  Anyway, I decided the space was too valuable to reserve it for something that was just collecting dust and would never be used again so I got it out from under my bed and dusted it off.  Yes, I know it pains my mother to know that (A) I have dust under my bed and (B) that I would admit that on the world wide web but I digress.   

Anyway, I had pulled the box out and put it in the guest room for the time being and I didn't think of it again...until last night when it caught my eye as I walked down the hall.  I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to try on my wedding dress as a 48 year old woman?"  I didn't have anything better to do so I called Blair in so she could witness the event.  I thought it was the sort of thing that a daughter ought to share with her mother.  I mean, watching your mother try to squeeze into a dress that she hasn't put on in 24 years could prove to be not only entertaining but perhaps foreshadowing for a young woman.

So, I got the scissors and carefully broke the seal around the edge of the box.  That box contained another box.  A shiny gold box.  It gave the appearance that it was housing something super duper important.  I felt like I was opening a time capsule.  I removed the gold lid and there was another lid under that one.  My goodness gracious, the cleaners don't play when they preserve your wedding dress, ladies.  I opened that lid and there it was under a layer of tissue paper.  My dress.

It looked a little creepy laying there as it had some cardboard inserts in the bodice to help maintain its shape.  The sleeves were stuffed with tissue and so it was just a bit eerie.  The swath of feelings it spawned was a cross between looking into a coffin mixed with a visit to Liberace's museum.
Well, it was go time.  I took it out of the box and unstuffed it.  I was feeling a little nervous because the last time I put this dress on, I had a stomach so flat you could use it to roll out biscuits and I weighed 105 pounds soaking wet and, well, I'm just a little over that now....even though I only recently changed my driver's license weight this past renewal.  Until August of this year, I was still 105 lbs. as far as the Mississippi Highway Patrol knew. 

Anyway, I stepped in and, to my surprise, pulled it up over my hips with no problem.  I began to have pride in my heart and I'm sure the good Lord saw my prideful spirit and chuckled to Himself as He knew what was coming.  I reached into the sleeves and pulled the dress up to my shoulders.  "Well, this is going way better than I ever expected, Blair," I said with an air of cockiness. "Ok, go ahead and zip 'er up, baby girl.  Go ahead.  Come on.  What are you waiting for?"  I heard a lot of grunting and mumbling coming from back there. There appeared to be a struggle going on.  "Um, Mom, I zipped it as far as it will go," she said.  "Well, that's weird because I feel a lot of air back there," I said in a puzzled tone.  To which she replied,"Well, that's because it only went up about 2 inches."  "Here, let me pull it up more and hold my arms over my head so you can get the zipper started good," I suggested.  But, after several attempts, I had to come to grips with the fact that I was not the same woman that I was 24 years ago.  I was about 12 inches of zipper shy of who I once was. 

Well, Blair and I had a big laugh.  And when I say a big laugh, I do mean a big one.  It was one of those laughs that tests the limits of your bladder control and, at 48, that can be scary...thanks to her big head which traveled through my birth canal.  We gained our composure and I had a mini bridal photo session which I would post but there's way too much of me showing and, well, this is a family blog and we try to uphold family values here.  I mean, you know, there was some spillage that just refused to be covered by the fabric on hand.  Anyway, after we laughed and snorted, Blair went and dragged Davis off the elliptical to see his lovely bride in her dress once again.  He looked at me with the sweetest smile.  I'm not sure if it was him being flooded with love and memories or just compassion and pure horror but, either way, he had the most dear look on his face.  I'd like to think that his breathlessness was brought on by the comely sight of me but I'm pretty sure it was the half hour of aerobic exercise from which he'd been pulled.  Sweet Carson told me that even though it didn't fit, I still looked pretty.  Be still, my heart. 

So, through my mixed emotions and laughter, I told Blair to unzip me.....and, well, that didn't take long.  That got us to snorting all over again.  I have to say....that was one of my very favorite mother/daughter activities that we've ever done together.  And believe me, we've had some good ones.

Trying on your wedding dress at 48 can teach you some things.  A lot changes as your age doubles.  Babies have a way of moving body parts around and they don't always go back the way they once were.  Life is celebrated around the table.  The kids' Halloween buckets call your name.  So many birthday parties.  Sleepless nights.  Hormones ebb and hormones flow.  Life is lived on the run.  Most of our time is spoken for.  And before you know it, you can't fit into your wedding dress.......and the weight on your driver's license is so, so wrong.

And as I placed my wedding dress back in the pretty gold box, I thought, "A lot of life has happened since I could fit into this dress.  Life has been good.  God has been good.  And I wouldn't change a thing." 

Y'all have a good Thursday.  It's almost the weekend! 





       

      

      




    

12 comments:

  1. Awwww, one good thing, you were able to get your wedding dress over your hips! I think your wedding dress looks pretty. Did Blair try your dress on?
    Have a wonderful first day of Fall,
    Kathleen in Az

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    1. Yes, I was proud of the hip thing, Kathleen, but it did go downhill fast after that! Blair tried it on and it looked a little too big on her. Those were the days. :)

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  2. Just think, one day in the future your great-granddaughter may be pulling that dress out of the same box, gushing about how perfect it is for her "vintage" wedding. And everyone will remark how she looks just like grandma at that age....

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    1. Awww, that's a sweet thought. Could be! Blair loves my mother's wedding dress, so maybe it just takes a while for trends to reemerge. Maybe my granddaughter will be the one! :)

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  3. I wish we could just sit across from each other at the kitchen table with some tea and just chat! Your posts leave me either drying my eyes from laughing so hard or saying, "You, too!" aloud and scaring the dog from his sleep next to me. Thanks for sharing in writing what is happening in real life- no matter if we want to admit it or not. 2017 has the 50 birthday and 25 years of marriage to celebrate- I wonder if I will be brave enough to break the seals of the white box that has moved a couple of times and is stored under our bed and then try it on? You are my inspiration! Thanks for sharing the laughter and keeping things real!

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    1. Awww, Mary Lynn....you have made my heart happy! Thank you for your sweet words. I appreciate hearing that from you.....more that you can imagine! You do have a big year coming up! Break the seal, girl!! It will be fun :)

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  4. Ok, now you have to show us a picture wedding picture so we can see you in the dress on your wedding day!

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    1. Oh, ok! I'll pull one out and post it next week :)

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  5. You are so funny and speak the truth. My 40th anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. I was 18 when I got married. (I know, I know - many people thought we wouldn't last!) About two years ago, I decided to try my dress on, which was handmade by my mom and cost about $25. I got it up and tried to put the sleeves on. Um no, they wouldn't go much past my elbows. So I decided why am I keeping it other than sentimental reasons. I donated it to the NICU of a Texas hospital that was collecting wedding dresses to make outfits for stillborn babies (in memory of my son Daniel). But before I sent it away, I cut out some of the lace and this year put it on my daughter's wedding bouquet that I made for her. Full circle. (Sorry that was so long!)

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    1. Oh. My. Goodness. Carol! That is the sweetest way to repurpose your dress. I love that and have never heard of it before. Love the lace idea, too. You made beautiful use of your wedding gown. Just beautiful. So sorry for the loss of your sweet Daniel.

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    2. I was going to suggest the same thing. If you know that Blair (or another family member) won't use the gown, donate it to an organization that will use it to make burial gowns for stillborn or other NICU babies that don't survive. At such a trying time, this is one less thing for the family to do.

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  6. Love this post! I can only imagine how it would be if I tried to put on my wedding dress. But, you're right. Life has been good. God is good. And I wouldn't change a thing, either!

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