In panic mode, with weeks ticking by, I begin to drag “options” home. Still too clingy, too revealing or too short, there are now five dresses hanging on the back of my closet door, four with their tags dangling from the designer labels.
- A shimmering midnight blue, sleeveless number.
- A sleek multi-colored tiered dress in blues, purples, whites and blacks.
- A conservative black sheath for those properly formal occasions.
- A shimmering black number with a big fabric rosette on the upper right shoulder (very festive, color aside).
- The dress I wore seven years ago, and haven’t worn since. Hey, it’s ankle length, okay?
I stare at them for several days before I eliminate the black sheath, but hang it in my closet for future options. Along with it, I bury the dress I wore seven years ago. No one likes a re-run.
Some days later I eliminate the black rosette, feeling it’s too Cuba-like, and I return it to Nordstrom. While at the register, I catch a glimpse of something new on the dress rack. It wasn’t there just a week or so before. Right away I know it’s a Triple S: Stylish. Sleek. Slimming.
It’s black. I bring it home.
I add it to the remaining two dresses hanging on the back of my closet door. I realize I need to size up, and it has nothing to do with dresses. I call Jeannie, the miracle worker who fits women like me with prosthesis, so the world at large won’t guess that I’m not the real deal. I drag my three options with me.
Jeannie laughs when I tell her about the mission I’m on: “I can’t wear black to my son’s wedding. It’s a faux pas.” She’s heard that before.
Still on hangars, Jeannie immediately likes the midnight blue dress. It emphasizes my blue eyes, she says.
Once I’ve transformed to the shapelier me, I try on dresses to see if I’ve sized up enough. The world at large will now wonder when I got my implants. My profile is awesome.
First the shimmering midnight blue, but it’s cut a smidge too low, so I can’t bend over unless I want to freak out the wedding guests. I could attach a broach, she suggests, to pin the neckline so it wouldn’t be as revealing. What kind of a pin do you wear to your son’s wedding? I haven’t worn a pin since I wore blazers to my corporate job, and I haven’t been in my corporate job in over 25 years. I could wear a cami underneath, to add coverage where cleavage would normally be. But who makes a midnight blue cami? No one.
I try on the multi-colored dress. I feel like a sleek jigsaw puzzle. I think of the wedding photos to come: groomsmen in beige, bridesmaids in lime, and the Mother of the Bride in…. I’m not sure. But whatever it is, I can’t quite configure a photo image with me wearing this jigsaw puzzle, trying to blend in nicely.
Finally, I try on the Triple S. Jeannie goes silent.
“Ohhhh,” she oozes. “This actually looks fabulous on you!”.
Not too short, it’s form flattering in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way, and it sets off my multi-colored hair.
“Look,” she says. “This is your son’s wedding — a huge day. If you look fabulous, you’ll feel fabulous.” I raise my eyebrows as I glance at her reflection in the mirror. Done.
So, I tell myself that if my son, The Groom, is going to be wearing Panama sandals at his own wedding, then for God’s sake, I can wear black. It’s not a bad omen. It’s a blessing. And not only that, but as I continue to think about it, The Bride is wearing white (but it’s disguised as ‘ecru’…another word for ‘not blinding’), so isn’t THAT a faux pas? She’s been living with him for five years! And I adore her so I don’t care what she’s wearing.