Wedding Dress Shopping with Mom, Part II

It seems that mom and I both suffer from “what-if-there’s-something-better-out-there,” which led to Round Two of the dress hunt. Now, she still has that first dress that looked the best, fit her the best, fits the wedding the best, flatters her figure the best, and, I think, makes her the most youthful. Nevertheless, she compiled a list of about eight more places to try. This time, we also didn’t have all goddamn day.

I dropped my MINI off at the body shop to get my BAKER STREET BONNET STRIPES applied. I’m sorry, did I shout? I’ll repeat myself more quietly then: Baker Street bonnet stripes. The same bonnet stripes I had on my Baker Street Edition MINI Cooper. The one that got totaled and so savagely taken away from me. Yeah, that one. Yeah, those stripes. On my British Racing Green Clubman. Sigh. When I was answered in the affirmative after asking whether I could order those, I about cried at the parts counter. I also needed a door ding taken care of – I’d gotten that while parked at my old apartment place, go figure, while I still had the In-Transits on, go figure. Fucking pissed me off.

Anyway, I dropped my car off and mom picked me up for our second dress adventure. We decided to stop at Regency first, as it’s right across the street from MINI. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why we went into Regency Court, as there is only one bridal boutique and it only has wedding gowns. There was a place called Tilly’s (I think) that had a whole bunch of matronly evening gowns and a few matronly women working there. No one greeted us, even when I smiled and waved at one of them, it took about fifteen minutes for anyone to come over to us, and at that point, I was already inching out the door. You know what, for having such boring, gawdy, and downright hideous clothing, you sure are pretentious old bats.

Whatever. I had to look at something beautiful after that, so I dragged mom into the bridal boutique. I gushed over the gowns while mom talked to the woman at the counter. She asked who was getting married and we told her. I continued to gush over the gowns as I said, well, having even a potential boyfriend at this point would at least warrant me being in here. I’m not sure how it started, but all of a sudden, I was catching every other word this woman was saying: “My son…. single… says all his friends are married… he wants to get married so badly… wants kids… wants a house… wants a dog… he’s 34… civil engineer…” With each descriptor, I felt my ovaries contract. “Is 26 too young for him?” I asked, hopefully. “Oh, I’m sure not!” She replied cheerfully. Mom, doing her duty, said jokingly, “Maybe you should leave your number, Nina” “hahaha” we all laughed.

But seriously. My ring finger was burning.

After maybe one additional comment about how PERHAPS THERE SHOULD BE SOME ACTUAL MATCHMAKING IN PROGRESS, we kind of just went about the conversation and then eventually left.

I almost asked if her son had an English accent, because that’s my biggest requirement, obviously. I’m sure he doesn’t, so I can’t be too disappointed. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering why this mother didn’t feel me out for her son. I mean, isn’t that what mothers do? She seems like the good-naturedly-meddling type. So meddle already.

But maybe there’s something about me she didn’t like. I was charming, made her laugh; sure, I might have been looking at wedding dresses when I don’t even have a boyfriend, but it sounds like this dude is ready to tie the knot.

Then again, she did say something odd. She said something about telling him, “well, maybe you’re not husband material” or some shit. Slightly strange, even in jest, to mention.

I don’t know.

It was an emotional moment.

Then we had more emotional moments at a couple bridal shops – their 10s are more like 6s, so of course that made mom feel like shit. “I’d just have to cut the tag out.” Finally, I got her into a taffeta number that cinched up in the back (I’d just watched Pride & Prejudice, so I was in the mood to sew up a corset). It fit her like a glove, as it would, and if it wasn’t so hot/dressy, I’d have gone with that one for her.

The fact remained that the very first dress, the dress I bought her, was the one.

Trust your instincts.

Perhaps the same should be acknowledged regarding the non-meddling mother.

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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