Wedding Dress Shopping With Mom

… for mom.

So admittedly, it may have been a tad awkward at first, you know, with the whole: “Are you looking for anything in particular?” “Yes, a wedding dress… for her *gestures to mom*” But I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard with her.

We started at Von Maur because they always have lovely formal gowns. We had the cutest little sales gal helping us and we tried on a TON of stuff. I tried on this gorgeous, and I mean stunningly gorgeous, slightly-mermaid, slightly-trumpeted navy lace overlaying cream gown, with a thick band of the navy lace right at my waist. Oh. It was. I mean. I could get married in this dress. If it wasn’t $310 and I had more than no fucking clue when I’d be getting married, I’d have bought it just for shits. But alas.

Mom did find a beautiful one-shoulder, kind of light-tan-ish gown with clusters of beads here and there; the top is a bit boucle or flouncy, whatever, and it looks wonderful on her. The only thing she’ll have to do is have it hemmed because she’s a shorty. (Which is exactly why the dress-that-would-be-my-wedding-dress didn’t really fit her and she then handed it over to me to try on, fitting perfectly and making me wish I ever had a place to wear it).

We had just gotten to Von Maur at 1130, and I think we’d found that dress (and a super cute black and white striped one that I loved) by noon or 1230, but we were like, surely there will be some good stuff at Younkers, JCPenney, David’s Bridal, Dillards, etc. So we put those on hold and went out into the mall.

After trying on a ton of shit, we decided that it was time food. Naturally, we got distracted by Teavana and bought some white peach tea. (Starbucks is using Teavana’s peach tea with their shaken green tea lemonades and oh my God, it’s the fucking shit, let me tell you. They also have a shaken blackberry mojito tea lemonade and yeah, fucking good). 

I don’t think we even tried anything on at JCPenney because they didn’t have shit. We ran across the street to David’s Bridal. Talk about a fucking downer of a shop. The ladies up front weren’t helpful, nor very courteous. They certainly didn’t have any customer service training, or just didn’t give a fuck. They had shit for choices. While mom tried on a few ‘party dresses’ (as she doesn’t want a wedding gown), I went browsing through the gowns. One of the gals walked up to me and asked if the dresses fit me okay. I was like, um, no, my mom is trying them on? (You know, the one whose wedding is coming up, like we said, you dumb bitch). “Oh… okay…” Then she proceeded to ask us if we’d registered the wedding there; mom was like, no, it’s going to be a non-traditional, fifteen minute (if that) ceremony, no flowers, no nothing, etc. “Oh, well, then you can’t try on any of the gowns.” AAAAAAAND that was that. 

In hindsight, maybe they weren’t too keen on us shopping there after we made fun of and laughed at almost all of their selection. At one point, we both went over to a not-so-bad dress hanging on the wall. Mom grabbed one side to get a better look, as I did the same on the other side. We pulled each side toward us, come to find this dress is like, size 40. It was draped in a way that made it look about a size six, so of course we were both quite shocked and had to walk away in different directions because we were crying laughing. I wish someone could have filmed that, it couldn’t have been scripted better.  

Fuck them.

Anyway, so from there, we went to Dillards at another mall and tried on a shitload of different shit while these two biddies kept after us. NOTHING fit right, or fit at all, and we were sharing a dressing room at this point, doubled over in laughter, mom cussing not-quite-so under her breath while getting stuck in almost every gown. Ah God. It was wonderfully painful. 

Discouraged and feeling fat, we migrated over to the Nike section and scooped up some forgiving sweats, yoga pants, and baggy t-shirts. The biddies laughed at us and we left.

Upon getting in the car, mom screamed. “IS IT REALLY FUCKING SEVEN PM?!” 

It really was. We’d been shopping for dresses since about noon and hadn’t bought not-a-one. Fuckin’ hell.

Back to Von Maur we went. Mom did one last sweep of the area while I scoped out the probably-gay pianist. Even so, I wondered if he was the type of musician to keep me up at night, wailing over the scribbled-out sheet music, pounding his fists on the ivories, or if he was just some random bloke off the street who saw the unattended baby grand as an opportunity to mislead young ladies. Another too-attractive young man walked in and collected the more-than-probably-gay pianist and they left together. Sigh.

We bought our held dresses and walked back out to a beginning thunderstorm. 

According to my phone, we walked about 2.5 miles today. My feet and legs are dead (especially after the elliptical, leg presses, and half mile of swimming last night). 

Day: Success. Of some sort, anyway.

Toward the end, I noticed mom getting more and more discouraged. She’s just had her gallbladder out, so she’s still a bit sore/stiff/bloated/etc and tends to carry her weight around her middle anyway. Normally, when I’m shopping, even with someone else, I’m alone in my dressing room, watching my own crestfallen expression in the shitty mirror. This time, I had to watch mom’s. It really broke my heart. This beautiful woman trying to find a non-wedding-dress wedding dress for her wedding coming up in a couple months, and not only were there not a ton of brilliant choices, but not a ton of flattering choices. 

‘If I could just get rid of this *holds belly*’ – I kept gently urging her, with suggestions for smaller portions or maybe take a half-hour walk every day. 

I mean, don’t I fuckin’ know it. I’ve always had birthing hips and thicker thighs and a bigger ass and lovehandles. I can hardly ever step into a dress, I almost always have to put it on over my head – I don’t care how full or heavy it is. She’s got narrow hips and thin legs, but struggles with her midsection. Also, like I said, she’s short, so she’s got a short torso, and that doesn’t always help with all these waist-emphasized pleated/belted/gathered/rouched gowns. 

I really hope she can slim down for her sake and happiness. She doesn’t have much to lose, but even trying to lose a little can seem almost impossible.

She did look so, so glamorous in the first dress – the one I ended up buying for her. If Tom wears a white dress shirt and a tan/cream vest, they’ll go perfectly together. Like they do anyway.


Do They Make Spanx Bikinis By Any Chance?

It’s summer again and I’m finally able to spend some time at the pool. (Being unemployed has so many perks).

However, this summer, it’s not work or clouds keeping me from donning that bikini, it’s the fact that it probably won’t fit.

I’m at my heaviest weight. Ever. I thought I was at my heaviest weight ever when I went away to college. 

My freshman year, my roommate and I felt like shit and decided to do something about it. We dieted (a bit too) heavily and spent two or more hours at the rec every day. I dropped thirty pounds instead of gaining the Freshman Fifteen.

Unfortunately, all I’d been doing was cardio and no strength training, so not only was I essentially skin and bones, but I gained it all back (and more) over the past six years. 

Jesus Christ, has it been that long since my freshman year of college?!

During my sophomore and junior years, I managed to run about three miles almost-every day, but I definitely found the pounds I’d worked so hard to lose.

A couple years ago, a coworker talked me into doing a ten-week kickboxing program that’s supposed to just get you shredded. It works if you follow everything to a T, but who am I kidding? I think I lost a bit, and she didn’t lose much either, so we then decided to get a gym membership.

I’ve always phoned it in when it came to working out because I’m chronically out of shape and just lazy. Something about Lifetime made me want to spend no fewer than three hours there. Every night. I’d pop in around 11pm or midnight and wouldn’t leave until two or three in the morning. No one was there, I had the place to myself. I could spend an hour and a half on the stationary bike and watch a couple episodes of Doctor Who, I could use the weight trees and the lifting area usually occupied by super buff dudes, I could sit in the sauna for a half hour and sing along to my iPod. It was glorious.

I noticed after a while of doing that, I toned up quite a bit. I could tell I was turning fat into muscle. 

As usual, there’s always that event that comes along to fuck up all of your progress – – I stopped going to the gym and ordered way too much Jimmy John’s.

So here I am today: at my heaviest weight, at the beginning of summer, dying to go to the pool (well, okay, it’s a bit overcast at the moment), and wishing I’d spent the past six months whipping my body into a shape other than blob (like I’ve done for the past who-knows-how-many summers).

Although, today, I’m optimistic. Now, I go through this every time I start working out. Oh boy, this is sure fun! I love the endorphins and the sore muscles and I’m gonna do so well this time and this will be the last time I’m going to do this so I can just spend my time maintaining my perfect fitness!…. And then I sabotage myself or just get bored or I don’t see progress quickly enough for my liking and then I’m on the Jimmy John’s website before I know what my fingers are doing.

But like I said, I’m optimistic. And I’m kind of at my wit’s end. I know I’ve also said that a million times. I’m going to be twenty-six in six months. I’m an adult. I want to find a man and get married and have kids sometime within the next five years. I want to write a book. I want to feel comfortable with myself. I want my inner confidence to flow outward. I just want to look good because I feel good, and vice versa. Enough is enough. This is my last last straw. 

Since Friday, May 30th, I’ve worked out every day (except my rest day yesterday). Today is National Running Day (or something) so it’s not like I can pass up a run today (even if my legs are fucking killing me). I’ve been on the Health and Fitness Pinterest boards which I knew existed, but never noticed. I made a calendar for the month of June with a smoldering photo of Benedict Cumberbatch on it as inspiration: “He’s giving you the eye. It can either be a look of disappointment or a look of sex – it’s up to you.” (You can have that). I gave myself a stipulation: I can only go to the pool once I’ve lost ten pounds. My overall goal for now: Lose twenty-five pounds. 

I’m ready. I’ve been ready. I’ve started, and I’m going to do this. 

I’d love to enjoy this summer (and, um, fit into any of my shorts), I have mom’s wedding end of August, I’m a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding in October, my birthday is in October, etc. It just has to happen now. 

And honestly, I feel loads better already. I swear it was the third day, I hadn’t even worked out yet, and I just felt super comfortable with my body. I felt good because I felt sore, I felt good because I’d started this mission, and I felt good because I know where I’m headed and that I’m finally going to get there. I think the recent blast of female empowerment helped, also. My lack of fucks given has increased (or decreased) and I’m going to Walgreens in yoga pants like, oh, I’m sorry, can you see my thighs are a bit ripply at the moment? Well, bring your eyes upward – no, not to my eyes, to my ass. That’s right, my ass. It’s round and shapely and it’s mine. Oh, that bit of jiggle on my tum? Yeah, well, that won’t be around for long, but since it’s here right now, feel free to wish you could run your fingertips over my soft skin.


Another unexpected bout of confidence, and my inspiration for writing today, came from the amount of pins on the Health and Fitness Pinterest board regarding butt-lifting workouts. Or butt-plumping workouts. Or butt-enhancing workouts. I scrolled past about twenty of them before it hit me that I was scrolling past them because I don’t need them. My ‘ghetto-booty,’ as we used to call it, used to bring me to tears in the dressing room because it wouldn’t allow any goddamn pants to fit over it. Today, it brings a tear to my eye because I now realize it’s something to be coveted by men and women alike. 

In fact, I’d be nervous about doing too much cardio in fear of losing it. 

This has been a healing moment between my ego and my ass.

In conclusion, whether you’re wanting to lose weight or gain weight or firm up dat ass or whatever, start now. Just start now. You’ll literally feel better the second you do, and then even better once you finish, and then even better the next day. Then you’ll come to that second life-changing opportunity when you have to decide between making it two days in a row or settling back into old habits. Then you’ll have a chance on the third day to turn it into a streak or wish you’d continued with it yesterday. Whatever motivation, do it for you. Do it to feel better, because even when you gain two pounds the first week (it’s the fluid retention from the muscles repairing themselves, don’t worry), it’s already worth it – it’s your health. It’s your sanity. It’s your confidence. It’s your happiness. 

And in the mean time: embrace the body you have right now because you have it right now. You’re not going to lose three dress sizes after a mile run, so you might as well be okay with you as you are. You’re going to be changing, and embrace all the changes along the way. There’s someone in your life who deserves to have you happy, and that’s you. 

This has been a public service announcement brought to you, in part, by Jimmy John’s.
God, seriously, they’re delicious.


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