Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Gigantinormous Mother of the Bride Sized Weight Is Lifted

Did you miss me yesterday? Was there a giant, or at least chubby woman sized hole in your bloggy universe? I usually post 5 days a week and I know (hope, hope) that you wait with baited breath (whatever that is) for my posts to appear.

All 5 of you who actually read this……

I was busy yesterday doing something that I have been putting off for way too long. WAY too long. No, it wasn’t the lobotomy that my family keeps threatening me with. And it wasn’t getting my hair colored, which is so NEVER going to happen.

No, I was off looking for a Mother of the Bride dress, which will for the rest of this post be referred to as the MOBD. It is just too much for me to write that whole phrase out every time. I am just too lazy.

I must stop and apologize for the ensuing length of this post. Don’t despair when you get to the middle and see how long it is. You know me and words, we just keep rolling right along. Someday I may be able to tell you a story with less than the word count of the OED…..but I wouldn’t count on it.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

I have been putting this whole shopping for a MOBD thing off for, well, for a really long time. TEO and TASiL have been engaged for almost a year. We have known the date for the wedding for a long time. You would think that I could get my more than ample bahookie into the car to go and look for a dress. It isn’t like I live in the wilds of Montana or something. There are plenty of places that I could go.

It is just that I really am not one who loves to shop, well except for that whole knitting and yarn problem. And I really am not one who loves to shop for clothes all that much. Target is my best friend as far as what I generally wear. And the thought of having to go and buy a “fancy dress” just makes me go weak in the knees. And makes me want to run screaming in the other direction.

If you could see how many dresses that I actually own (2, well now 3) you would understand.

But unfortunately I can’t wear jeans and a tee shirt to the wedding mores the pity. And I don’t think that flip flops are probably going to cut it with TEO as the correct footwear for the big day.

So, here we were, 5 weeks away from the wedding, and I had nothing, nada, zilcho, bupkiss. A big, substantial, dress sized hole in my life that was screaming to be filled. I was supposed to have lunch with a friend yesterday but when she had to postpone I figured that I would take that time to look for a dress.

I had 4 hours (I had to start work at 2p). That’s enough time to find a MOBD right?


Hello? tapping on computer screen

I have several friends who have already gone through the MOBD thing. Everyone has advice. Where to go. When to buy. What to buy. Have you ever seen one of those movies where the person is trying to make an important decision and you see all the people around them talking at them in a cacophony? Well that was me. All the advice was very good, I don’t want any of you to think that it wasn’t. But there was just a lot of it. And after a time I threw up my hands and ignored the fact that I couldn’t just wear my old pajama pants to my daughter’s wedding. I can ignore and procrastinate with the best of them let me assure you. Someday I will tell you the story of my Jr. Hi. science project…..but not today.

I do have to say that last week I made an abortive attempt at looking for a dress. I had to stop off at the office to have Dane do some work on my computer. I figured that after that I would zoom up to the mall that is sort of on the way home. This is a REALLY nice mall, one that has a Dillards, Saks Fifth Ave. AND a Nordstroms in it. In fact, this is where we have gotten every Homecoming and Prom dress that we have ever bought. I did go up to the “nice dress” department at Dillards.

I walked around.

I looked at dresses.

I tried on…… nothing.

Nope, I didn’t even take a dress off the rack to think about trying one on. It wasn’t that there weren’t any dresses that would have fit the bill. It was the opposite in fact. There were dresses upon dresses upon dresses. Ad infinitum, thankyouverymuch, the end. All colors, all styles. Arrrrrrrrgh!

And I did have some “rules” as far as colors were concerned. My favorite color is red. I was told by TEO that red was out. Rats! Why wouldn’t you want the MOB to be in screaming, fire engine red? With high heels on? Not the right image? Yellow was out because I look like a corpse in the color yellow. Black? Um, perhaps not wedding worthy. Might give the wrong impression. Purple? I don’t think so. How about some pastel colors? What am I an Easter egg? Pastels and I aren’t on really good footing. We don’t do well together. We feel, well, washed out when we hang around. Green? Well, that might work depending on the green. Blue? Again, depends on the hue of blue.

And then there were the style of the dresses. I am not a runway model and I don’t even play one on TV (although I can do diva pretty well if I need to). I haven’t seen size 10 since I zoomed past it, waving at it with my chocolate glazed donut, sometime in college. And, well, there is a certain area of my anatomy that is more ample than others. Let’s just say that I will never fall flat on my face and leave it at that. That tends to make dresses fit correctly on me everywhere but at “the prow”. I don’t do plunging necklines because I might lose something in there. And shirts that button up the front are a problem. And….

TMI? Oh, sorry. Rabbit trail. I am back on track now.

I circled the dresses. I circled and circled and circled. Sort of like teenage boys at a dance, knowing that there was just the right partner somewhere in there but unable to make the first move let alone commit. So I threw up my hands, got back in my car and went home to knit away my frustration. There is nothing like good sock knitting to take the edge off. And if it is accompanied by a good glass of red wine or a bottle of Great Lakes Brewing Co. Eliot Ness then so much the better.

But time was ticking away. Tick tock….tick tock…..tick tock…….. And I still had to find that darn dress.

So yesterday I girded up my ample loins and said to myself, “Self you have 4 hours today in which to find a dress. That can’t be that hard.”

Isn’t it amazing our human ability for self deception.

So, off I toodled to the BIG mall. Park car. Go in. Walk all the way down to Nordstroms. Up to the “nice dress department.” Circle, circle, circle. Look, look, look.

Come on Deb! Make a decision for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary. They are only dresses after all. They don’t bite. So I made the plunge and picked one off the rack, took a look and decided that I could probably try it on. More circling and thinking ensued and I found another one that I could see wearing. Finally, with much searching I had 4 dresses. Making progress.

And then the tiny (and I do mean tiny) Asian sales clerk appeared at my shoulder.

“Have we set up a room for you yet to try on your dresses?”

“Ummmmm, no I don’t think so” (they set up a room?)

“How about I take those and do that for you. What are you looking for?”

“Well, my daughter is getting married and I need a dress. I don’t think she will let me wear jeans that day.” small, nervous laughter inserted here.

“Noooooo, I am sure not. What are you looking for in a dress? How about, while you try these on I look for some other things that might work. OK? Good. Follow me.”

She was small. She had the presence of a WWII general directing the troops on the battlefield. I wasn’t about to say no. She led me in the back, hung up the dresses, handed me a pair of black high heels to go with the dresses and left me to get down to business. I tried not to think about the fact that the shoes were ones that EVERY ONE has used to try on dresses. They were not new, right out of the box. But they were high.

Every few minutes she would reappear with another dress to add to the growing crowd. I was running out of room to hang stuff. I was trying on clothes faster than a bride shopping at Filene’s once a year wedding dress sale.

Light green one that flared below the waist. Are you nuts!

Coral colored dress with v neck. Um, excuse me but there is no structural foundation garment IN THE WORLD that could make this dress safe to wear.

Blue dress with high neck. NO. Green suit. NO. No,no,no,no,no. I despaired.

And then…….

Pull on umpteenth dress. Royal blue, satiny, slightly stretchy material. Darn it why do they make these dresses so hard to zip up on your own! I am going home. I am not having fun. I WILL have to wear jeans on May 21st. I can’t…..

And the angels sang. And this dress……it looked… looked. Good!

Take picture. Send to TEO. Get her approval. Don’t over analyze. Whip on credit card. Pay for dress and then flee to the car.

I might need different “foundational garments” for the dress. And I am DEFINITELY going to need some Spanx or else a thong but I will think about that another day.

I have 5 weeks after all.


  1. This was my nightmare as well. I don't own a dress or skirt so there's no way I was going to pay big bucks for a dress I'd wear once. I finally found something I'm happy with...a dressy navy pantsuit in a nice drapey fabric that is also substantial and not shiny. It's formal looking but comfortable and I can wear flat shoes with it.

    It is a huge decision and a weight lifted once it's made.

  2. I am so happy this story had a happy ending! Yay! 6 years ago I was on a search for my MOGD (please note G, and also please note this marriage for dear son only lasted 4 yrs). It was a horrendous shopping experience. I finally ordered one, which was completely the wrong size but wonderful cobalt blue color. Had it altered & it really never suited me. But, then again, nothing about that whole evening really seemed to go right. In retrospect - Omen? :) I'll be thinking about you. Sounds like you're off to a great start finding that perfect dress! -Tammy

  3. Oh Debbie, I can't wait to see a picture of the dress. I know it will be beautiful! Now I have to figure out how to send this! We were gone for 2 1/2 weeks and it took me (actually us) quite awhile to catch up with you. We did!

  4. Yeah for you!! Can't wait to see a picture.

  5. Oh, how I wish you had taken a picture of yourself in the dress right there in the dressing room!! That's how my eldest will probably decide on which prom dress to buy (our venture out this afternoon. Please pray for me.) She'll photo-text photos of herself to friends demanding their opinions. Oh, if only she would trust mr. It would make life so much simpler!


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