Sometimes Yes To The Dress Is A No

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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’t.think.so.  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!