Two of our three daughters are getting married this year — one month apart. And the first one, in May, will take place in our backyard. While the thought of our two upcoming weddings fills me with excitement, there is one thing I am not excited about — getting dressed up. I hate getting dressed up. Most women I know love it, and in particular, they love wearing dresses. I hate dresses. I look terrible in dresses because I have an oddly shaped body that is only accentuated by the triangular shape of a dress. If you know the cartoon movie, “Despicable Me,” I am Gru, the triangularly shaped main character. I have broad shoulders and avoid off-the-shoulder blouses at all costs. When shoulder pads were in (yes, I’m that old), I could remove the pads and fill up the void with my own shoulders. Then there is my waist. My mother told me when I was an overweight teen that I was “short-waisted” and that I should stick to over-sized shirts and avoid belts. What I think she really meant was, “Maybe you should lay off the Doritos.”
As we travel down to the hips, I have none. Child-bearing did not come easy to me, and I did it five times. I’ll spare you the graphic details. Let’s move on to my legs. Probably my best feature, but as I get older, they seem to be withering away. While visiting a Panera restaurant with Haley recently, I grabbed a couple of baguettes. Standing in line to pay, Haley made this flattering observation, “Look Mom, your legs are as skinny as those baguettes.” She was right!
So maybe you can see why I am not thrilled to go out and drop a couple hundred bucks on two different dresses, and yes, my daughters have requested that I have a different dress for each wedding. I guess it would look tacky to have both wedding pictures displayed on our wall with me wearing the same dress in each one.
The last time I wore a dress was in 2016. Maury’s office Christmas Party located at the Waterfront Restaurant in San Francisco. It was my first time meeting his co-workers and I really wanted to make a great first impression. I bought a form-fitting black dress, which required one of those Spanx body-shaper undergarments. Trying to get that thing on was like jamming an over-sized sausage into a casing. When it was all over, I had the best cleavage I’ve ever had in my life, but it was in my back. Oh, sure the dress looked great, but on the way to San Francisco I started having horrible gas pains. The human body just isn’t meant to be constricted like that. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, I was in serious pain. I made a beeline to the ladies’ room and freed my body from what felt like a tightening boa constrictor. I slipped the Spanx to Maury who threw them in the trunk of his car. I think they’re still there to this day.
Of course, you can’t have a fancy dress without fancy shoes to go with it. I hate fancy shoes, in particular, high heels. Oh sure, back in the day I had a hundred pairs of sexy pumps, mules, stilettos and boots. I worked in San Francisco for a law firm and had to look professional. I managed to navigate those heels like a pro until I got my stiletto heel stuck in an escalator riding down to BART. I nearly broke my ankle trying to free my shoe from the elevator’s teeth, which I did with only seconds to spare. On a side note, I also remember detesting pantyhose. I could never find the right size. The crotch was always riding too low, causing unpleasant thigh friction and absolutely no ventilation. Miserable.
Back to shoes. There is an urban myth that says for every child you give birth to, your feet grow a half size. I started with a size 9. Five kids later. Yep, it’s true. I now wear an 11. It’s embarrassing. Nothing says “high fashion” like a huge size 11 shoe at the bottom of a skinny baguette leg.
Pants. I love pants! Especially stretchy leggings tucked into boots and an over-sized shirt. (I still love Doritos.) But I love my daughters, and they want me to wear a dress at their weddings, and so it’s off to Macy’s for me.
I was cleaning out my jewelry box the other day when I came upon a little piece of paper folded in half. It was from Haley when she was 5 years old. It was a simple drawing of Haley and me holding hands, wearing triangle dresses and smiling. Now that I think about it, I guess dresses aren’t that bad after all.