T-Minus Twelve Hours

So, in twelve-ish hours, my mom gets remarried.

I’ve been trying to tease out my emotions for a while now. Maybe lining them up would help me deal with each one. But I’m finding that I can’t, really.

I always cry at weddings. I’m a huge fan of happiness and love and I just get overcome. So there’s that. 

But this is my mom, you know?

My dad got remarried like, a year after my parents divorced, to a stranger (to me) in China, who still isn’t here due to immigration. He flew over on April Fools Day and stayed for three weeks. Sometime around Tax Day, he married her. He brought home a DVD of the wedding. I got to watch her get ready and him get ready and them saying their vows in Chinese and him playing Stairway to Heaven on an acoustic guitar. 

It was odd because I felt happiness for those two people getting married. Finding happiness. Finding love. It was like I was watching a documentary or a home video of two people having a foreign wedding. I couldn’t really connect to it being my own father. 

Tomorrow, I’ll be standing next to my mother as she gets remarried to a high school sweetheart of sorts, and I am wondering how I’ll feel. How I’ll react. Will I cry because it’s a wedding? Will I cry because it’s my mother? Will I feel like I’m watching from somewhere high above the ceremony, from someone else’s vantage point? Will I be sad?

I was a bit sad watching dad’s wedding DVD. Watching all of these family members be a part of this special day, but my brother and I not being there. Part of me was glad I was left out, but of course, it’s my dad; I wish I could have been included in some way.

Tomorrow, I am included, but I worry about how I’ll be. No, I’m not, I’ll do and say all the right things and it’s her special day and seeing her so happy will warm my heart. And yet, part of me thinks it’d be a bit easier to not witness it. 

I don’t know. Like I said, I’m having trouble teasing out my emotions. 

I’ve said it before, numerous times, but this is just something I never thought I’d be dealing with. My parents were married for twenty-five years, which was twenty-three years of my life. I’m twenty-six years old and I’m just now having to deal with a divorce and already remarriages. I’ll never be able to say which would have been better: them getting divorced when we were younger and we’d just be used to it by now, or doing it this way. I’ll probably always argue that it was harder for me this way. 

Of course, in the end, everything happens for a reason and everything happens when it should, as it should. How can I argue with that?

What’s even stranger is that dad’s wife has a son about my age, mom’s soon-to-be husband has a son just older than me and then two sons, seven and nine, I believe. 

I’m being very resistant to any ‘step-‘ terms. I have a mother and a father and a brother. I cannot call anyone a step-mother or step-father or step-brother at this age if no one has step-parented me or no one has been a step-sibling to me. I’m very possessive of my parents and brother. They’re mine and that’s it. 

But now they’re not. They’re other people’s, too. Perhaps I haven’t learnt to share quite yet.

I’m guessing most people who’ve gone through their parents getting divorced and remarried and doing the step- thing are wondering what I’m on about. I know. I’m an adult. I should have the tools to deal with this, I guess. Or at least be more open to these things. 

Maybe someday. 

I wish I could be a bit more like my brother in this case. He’s been very strong and ‘as long as they’re happy’ and ‘I’ve always wanted a large family/more siblings.’ I just haven’t, you know? I mean, sure, it would have been nice to have my cousins closer and whatnot, but Conor was just always enough sibling for me. I used to think having an older brother would have been nice, but Conor has the qualities of an older brother, so I get the best of both worlds. 

Now there are too many worlds, I think. 

And mom having these little kids around now. It makes me a bit.. I don’t know.. I wanted the first little kids she was looking after to be my kids, her grandkids. She’s going to be doing the parenting thing all over again before I’m even doing it. 

I am really going to hate even posting this, but I’m being fatally honest. And maybe someone will stumble across this open-heart surgery and think, finally, someone gets it

I don’t know. I guess I should get some sleep before the big day.

Mom’s going to look so beautiful in her dress. 

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.

 

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