The dress. The wedding dress should be the best dress you have ever had. Mine was designed and made by a couture designer in New York. You see, I was living there at the time I got engaged, with less than a month to plan a wedding. Away from my family and friends in Texas, and with limited time, I had to rely on this “talented” lady I had never met to make me beautiful.
I chose the fabric. It was beautiful. It was to be a fitted knee length dress. Let’s just say that the fabric was the only part I liked. After my first fitting, I asked if she could cover some of my “top” and add a “I Love Lucy” type netting or sheer skirt that would hang to the floor and could be detached for the reception.
One of Bill’s friend’s agreed to come along for my final fitting. I was nervous as I had no idea what this dress was becoming. I mean, I had paid more for this dress than just about anything at that time in my life. It should have a personality for what I paid for it. As she unzipped and pulled out the fabric, I smiled. She left the room. I cried. I put it on. It fit me like a glove. I mean I looked like that OJ hand and the dress was that glove that didn’t fit. Oh, and did I mention that she added about five sheer rose embellishments on the flattest part of my body…my booty, so the “train could attach and detach from them. And it was like a tail. It didn’t wrap around like my “I Love Lucy” skirt that I had envisioned. It was like a sausage with a tail.
I posed. She took photos and Bill’s friend didn’t know what to say. He had no expression. I know. It’s hard to imagine that there was silence and blank looks on both of our faces, when there was a wedding dress involved. I cried. I cried all the way home. I had to wear it. I had no time. I couldn’t afford another dress, nor could I buy a dress off of the rack. I didn’t wear a size off of the rack. I mean, maybe if I had gotten two dresses and sewn them together…no time for that either.
So, I flew from New York to Dallas with this dress. My sister, Taunia and her two daughter’s picked me up and took me to her home. They anxiously waited while I tried on “THE dress”. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to laugh or cry before I walked out of the bathroom to show them. Wait. I forgot to mention the “Jackie O” NO veil that hung down to my shoulders. I put it on and all you could see was my cleavage…that’s exactly what I was working to avoid. And it was all out there…we even had a name for that cleavage. It was called “the shelf”. You could have set a drink on it.
Door opens and all three girls laughed until they cried and then they laid on the bed so that they could catch their breath. I’m talking there were real tears and that head hurting kind of giggling. Even when my sister Taunia helped me to remove and upcycle the “tail to a lovely head covering, there was laughter. (There’s that personality that the dress had. It was creating memories for us from that moment on…) I was wearing that dress. I didn’t care what anyone thought. I was wearing it.
And it’s time to walk outside to see Bill and I was so happy to marry this man. He picked flowers for me and left them at the door. I carried those. Now is the time where in my dreams my father says how beautiful I am and that my mom would love to have been there and….my father says, “Are you pregnant, because I still love you if you are.” I HAD GAINED A FEW POUNDS IN A YEAR AWAY, OK?! And no, I wasn’t pregnant, so I told him how disappointed he was going to be 9 months from that time and that I was sorry. We then just laughed and we walked. My life was not as I had imagined it to be but…it’s better than I imagined.
We walk out and I wore that stupid dress, with the tail on my head. My mothers friends were given iris’ to hand to me as I made my way to Bill. My mom always gave me iris’ and we planted them together when she was alive. I was in tears. I didn’t care about the dress. I didn’t care about the “shelf”. As we were steps away from Bill, my niece Makenzie whispered the word, “butt-head” to me. I had to laugh because Taunia made the veil out of “the tail” of the dress. Again, this was not as I imagined, but everyone there wanted me happy and I was giggling.
And that is why I don’t care so much about clothes. I live and I love. I’m clothed with God’s love. I love like I want to be loved. And as soon as the wedding ceremony was over, I changed out of that dress. I put on the dress from my rehearsal dinner and had just as much fun. My friends and my family were there at a moments notice and I was in love and there was love.
Fourteen years later, and I still love Bill. So, maybe next year for our fifteenth anniversary, I will wear that dress again. I just might. I don’t take myself so serious. I make mistakes but God gives me grace. That dress…doesn’t deserve grace, but I’m giving it grace, because look how happy it made so many people. Even me.