Sometimes Yes To The Dress Is A No

Love at first sight doesn’t always end happily.

That guy in high school?  In truth, he probably never asked us out. But that didn’t stop our heart from skipping a beat every time he was near us.  Brad Pitt.  Ryan GoslingBradley Cooper. Oh yeah.  None of those guys even know we exist.  But it doesn’t mean we don’t smile in a darkened theater the moment our eyes catch sight of them.  My friend Adrienne always says, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”  But it’s Mick Jagger who keeps us grounded by reminding us, “You can’t always get what you want.”

I’ve given up trying to find that damn dress.

You know the one:

Mother of the Bride Dress at Marys

Yeah, it’s beautiful.  But it’s taken over my life trying to find it.  And it’s time to put a stop to this unrequited love affair.

There was a moment of hope last week when my dear cousin Nancy, and my good friend Lynne both text messaged and emailed me (ten minutes apart) a website address with the dress featured on it.  I held my breath as I checked the price – half off!  But when I tried to order it there was no place to enter my size.  Hmmmm.  I sensed a problem.

The next day I called the store (yes, an actual store and not located in China) and I got a guy (yes, a guy) who gruffly told me the website wasn’t working.  When I asked him when he thought it might be working, he annoyingly said, “I don’t know!”

I didn’t let this throw me.  I was on a mission.

“I want to buy one of your dresses,” I explained.  He sighed, and transferred me.

It wasn’t long before a salesgirl picked up the line.  I asked her if I could place an order, and after she checked with the manager, I was told yes, that’s fine.  Finally!  Things were looking up – I could just imagine the feel of the fabric, and how wonderful the dress would look.

Until she told me the price.

It was double what was quoted online.  And then to make matters worse, suddenly the salesgirl grew dumber by the minute.  She had no idea why the dress was that price.  She didn’t know anything about the online site, or the price quoted.  As a matter of fact, she didn’t know anything about anything. Oh except for one thing: no returns.

You buy it.  It’s yours.

I.don’  I didn’t just come into the big city from pumpkinville.  As much as I wanted to get my hands on that dress, I wasn’t about to be taken to the cleaners.  I could hear all of your voices (sort of like an online Greek chorus) telling me to walk away.  “Walk away from the dress!” “Put you hands in the air, free of credit cards!  And walk away from the dress!”

And that’s what I did.

So now I’m still looking for a Mother of the Bride dress.

I’m not worried though.  Last night the Mother of the Groom called me out of the blue to ask what I was wearing for the wedding.

“I have no idea,” I told her, in all honesty.

“Oh thank goodness!” she admitted. “I don’t have a dress yet either!”

We spent the rest of the phone call commiserating with each other about colors, dress styles, online shopping, and department stores.  I actually felt pretty good speaking with this lovely woman, who by the way is an hourglass figure and not just an old Bartlett pear like me.  This woman would look great in any dress but she was having the same fashionista doubts that I was having.  That’s when I realized that for a lot of women fashion doesn’t come easily.  I thought it was just me, this over-aged tomboy, who was intimidated by chiffon and taffeta, sweetheart necklines and tea-length hemlines.

But I was wrong.

Most of us don’t dress like the women we see in style magazines, television shows, or in the movies.  But guess what?  Those women – those characters – have wardrobe departments buying them clothes, altering them to their unique figures (not all hourglass and not all perfect).  All we end up seeing are the results, and all we know is that we don’t look like them.  We don’t measure up.  But in my book, I think we all just measure up fine.

I’m still looking for my Mother of the Bride dress.  But now I’m doing it with much more confidence, and a sense of fun and adventure.  Everyone who commented on these blog posts helped me find my way in this crazy world of dress up elegance. I appreciate all of your kind words and suggestions.  I wish we could all go shopping together; I know we’d have fun.  But instead, I’m taking my good friend Marie with me, who is Ethel to my Lucy, and Lucy to my Ethel, and I will keep all of your fashion advice in mind as we go shopping on Saturday.  We may not find the right dress this weekend, but I know we’ll have a lot of fun and good laughs while we’re looking.  Eventually, I’ll find my dress.  The correct color. The right length.  The perfect style.  A dress that’s beautiful, and makes me feel beautiful wearing it.

And I won’t think twice about the one that got away.

(Want to see the dress I finally found?  Read the next installment: It’s Hard Work Being Mother Of The Bride)

Jasmine MOB DressAlex Dress

                                   Don’t get your hopes up – They’re the wrong color!

53 thoughts on “Sometimes Yes To The Dress Is A No

  1. Wow. 2 more beautiful possibilities. Well, enjoy the search. Actually, my daughter who choreographed the whole affair picked for me. She took my hint about the venue and that worked out well except for the time we went up to choose the rooms and I walked into the glass door and split my head open. I stopped being friends with someone who said I was walking around in a happy fog for a year planning the whole thing. It was all very very tense. But I enjoyed the outcome. You will too.


    • Wow! That’s terrible about you hurting your head like that. I’m such a klutz – that’s something I’m capable of doing. But it sounds as though you had a great time at the wedding so that’s some good news. Thanks for sharing, and I’ll be sure to be careful walking near glass doors.


  2. sorry it didn’t work out Darlene, I was so optimistic when I saw the website (though I did notice there was no space to select a size). btw, the 2 above are lovely too — and I especially love the jade color (but maybe that’s a Lynne color, not a Darlene color!!!). I’m glad your friend is going with you – it always helps to have someone along who will give you an honest opinion. BTW, beware of the too short sleeves unless, unlike me, you have wonderfully developed biceps and no hanging flab – LOL!! then again, there’s always a lovely coordinating shawl!! Good luck – looking forward to hearing how the adventure goes — are you heading south to the big stores?
    oh, BTW, did you and Kate ever go to that store in Ventura that has speciality dresses — it’s haunted by all the girls getting prom dresses but they do carry wedding and other dresses as well – my girls used to do their prom dress shopping there because the shop would not sell the same dress to any other girl from the same school or going to the same prom. I think it was called “California and Main”. Have a fun shopping day!!


    • A little secret, Lynne – I bought the Emerald Mist dress. That’s the color it’s called. I love it; it looks great on me (needs some alteration), BUT it’s not the right color for the wedding. GRRRRRRRR! I sent an email to Nordstroms to see if they can get another color (Wedgewood) but I’m not counting on it.


      • so that’s the Alex dress – Emerald Mist? I love it!! and why isn’t it the right color for the wedding? do you have to coordinate with the bridesmaids’ dresses? btw, what color did Kate pick for them? can’t wait to see the photos!


      • Yes, the Alex dress comes in Emerald Green. But Nordstroms also has it in a petite size in Wedgewood Blue.Blue is the color I need. Not sure about petite because I’m tall. But I’m willing to slouch if I can find it in the Wedgewood.


  3. oh, and where did you find that “Alex” dress? not that I foresee a wedding in the near future but I’d like to keep tabs on that dress – LOL!


    • Nordstroms. And by the way, no, we didn’t go to California and Main to look for wedding dresses. That was strictly prom and homecoming shopping for my daughter. Standing in line for hours was no picnic, but looking back, I am so glad I have that experience as a memory with my girl.


      • LOL – we never stood in line — I always pulled them out of school (played hooky) so there were no lines!!


      • Oh we always played hooky too but there was still a line. We had someone watch our place (we got there before they opened) while we went across the street and ate pancakes at the diner. Well, I ate pancakes. I didn’t have to worry about fitting into a dress. Until now. So no pancakes for me until AFTER the wedding.


      • don’t forget if you need alterations and the store doesn’t need them, I have 2 names for you!


  4. Ok my friend. Try mother of the Bride choices. Check out all the dresses on the big sale page and all the others (not on sale) Also try rue la,, You never know what you might find.


  5. Ther should be a camera crew following you and Marie! I know, successful or not, you guys will have a blast. Good luck and come back with more fishing lore.


  6. I think you absolutely made the right decision not to purchase from the sales person on the phone, who clearly didn’t have a clue. Sounds very dodgy to me. Pear shape is what a real woman is made of. Embrace and enjoy your figure.


  7. Ah, my hopes are already up! Both those dresses are gorgeous! We’d have a blast shopping together, as I feel our taste in dresses is similar! Though…I also have a taste for retro and would cast a vote for the outfit in your profile picture. It’s always “in” in my book!!


  8. Aw, my hopes are already up! I adore both of those dresses! Seriously, we’d have a blast shopping together because our taste in dresses is spot on. Though…I also cast a vote for the outfit in your profile picture. Retro is in!


  9. Catching up on my reading and just had to say you brought a smile to my face with this post. I wish I knew you in person. You are amazing. I can’t wait to see the wedding photos! Do me a favor—don’t go through any glass doors! Yikes….


  10. You know, Darlene – you do what feels right for you. I’m sure you will find the perfect dress – and having some fun along the road doesn’t hurt either, right? I trust you find the one dress that flatters your figure and that makes you feel good and pretty!!
    Have fun, and don’t forget to keep us updated, please!!


    • Thanks so much for your support, Raani. It really has helped me to be able to “vent” here on the blog, and to get some really good advice. Fashion isn’t my speciality, and my confidence is pretty low when it comes to dressing up. You have helped me so much, and I really appreciate your kind words of encouragement.


  11. Pingback: It’s Hard Work Being Mother Of The Bride | Darlene Craviotto

  12. Pingback: Saying Yes To The Dress (UPDATE) | Darlene Craviotto

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