Wednesday, February 22, 2012

277. Dressed

"So, have you given any thought to what you want to wear to the JP wedding?" Mom asked over lunch one day. It was January and Cayden had just flown back to London the week before. Knowing there was a wedding in our near future made it much easier to deal with his absence. At the time, we hadn't heard back on our petition just yet, so I hadn't given much thought to the logistics of the wedding.

"Actually, I have," I said, and tried to hide the smile that was spreading across my face. A brilliant idea had come to me in the car on the way to lunch and I couldn't wait to tell her. She and Dad raised an eyebrow at me rom across the table. 

"I was just thinking... you still have your dress somewhere, right? How cool would it be if I wore it for the JP wedding?"

It took her a moment to process it. And then I watched her face light up as my words sunk in. 

"Wait, you want to wear my dress?" she beamed. I beamed back at her. I couldn't make any promises that the dress would fit, but there was only one way to find out. 

"It's in the attic," Dad said with a smile. "I saw it when we were getting the Christmas decorations out."

"Can I try it on when we get home?"

I've never seen my mom finish a meal that fast. She joined me in my car and let Dad and Abuelo take her car for the drive home. 

"I don't know if it will fit," she said, sounding a little worried. "I don't even remember what size it is. I just assumed if it would fit anyone it would be Meg."

My mom is 5'2" and I'm 5'8". Noelle is 5'10, so she couldn't even consider Mom's dress when she got married four years ago. Meg is 5'3"but she wasn't even close to thinking about marriage. I knew the chances of it fitting me were slim, but something told me I had to try. 

We pulled the giant cream-colored box out of the attic and set it on Mom and Dad's bed. A thick layer of dust had collected on the box's surface. Mom and I peeled off the dark blue tape that had kept the lid in place for 28 years. For some reason it reminded me of that part in the movie Hocus Pocus where they cut the stitches on Billy Butcherson's mouth after he comes back from the dead. I half expected dust and 100-year-old morning breath to seep out of the opened lid.

I held my breath just in case as Mom pulled back a white sheet of tissue paper. A silky, beaded chest stared up at me. 

"It looks like a dead person," Mom said.

The dress was folded and stuffed in such a way that it looked like someone was wearing it. I brushed my fingers across the intricate beaded pattern decorating the ivory silk, and allowed myself to breathe again. I could have sworn I smelled a slight hint of the perfume my mom must have worn on her wedding day. 

"It's so pretty," I said. "I actually didn't even know what it was going to look like. I'd only seen it in a few pictures."

Mom lifted the dress out of the box delicately. The train seemed to go on forever. I pulled my shirt off over my head and kicked my jeans to the side before she'd finished pulling the whole train out. 

"Arms up," Mom said as she lifted the dress over my head. I ducked into it and felt the silk fall around me. Please fit. Please fit. Please fit. 

I looked down and saw that the bottom hem of the dress was just barely brushing the floor. We both squealed with excitement when we saw that my feet didn't show. It fit. As long as I didn't wear heels. I hated wearing heels, so at least this would give me an excuse to wear comfortable flats.

"Don't get too excited," I warned. "We thought the length was going to be our biggest problem, but now I'm thinking it might be the width. I fought to force the zipper up in the back. 

Mom took over and gave it a tug. I sucked in with all my might and forced myself to compact my upper torso into the dress. 

"Can I get a rib removed or something?" I asked. 

"There. It's zipped." I took tiny sips of air to breathe. I turned carefully to look at myself in the mirror. 

The bodice was beautiful. The length was just right. And if I shed a few pounds or shaved a few inches off my hip bones, I think I'd be able to breathe. This was it. This was my wedding dress.

"So, what do you think?" Mom asked with a hopeful expression. "You can alter it if you want. Or you don't have to wear it at all."

"Aside from these poofy sleeves, I'm in love," I said. "I'm wearing your dress for my wedding."

A huge smile spread across her face and I was almost sure I saw tears in her eyes. Or maybe those were tears in my eyes. 

My mom and my dad were in a long-distance relationship until the day she put on that dress walked down the aisle with her father and said 'I do" to the love of her life. It would only make sense for me to do the same.


  1. I could not wear my mother's dress nor is it in style, she doesn't have it either but i totally think it is a cool idea. How fitting for your mom, she will be so proud. Are you going to keep the sleeves?

    You make a jp wedding sound so bad, most people where i live get married by a jop. They just don't get married at a courthouse, they get married wherever.

    It is no less valid than in a church :)Not trying to be critical, but embrace it & make it the most special thing ever because you will FINALLY have your prince in the same town & bed as you & your family will be there, that is all you need :).

    I can't wait to see this blog evolve. I am wondering how much it will change with him being here. I am sure you will still lead an exciting life but with him with you :)

  2. ahhhhh. tearing up. I LOVE this post and, ah!!! I love how you're wearing her dress. it's such a beautiful thing.

  3. I am SO excited for you, and I LOVE that you're wearing your moms wedding dress, it's beautiful. Just like your life with Cayden will be. =)

  4. My parents had a spur of the moment city hall wedding, so if I were to wear what my mother did, it'd be jeans and a t-shirt haha. Or a white 80's pant suit that she wore for the pictures to prove she had a wedding. I'm so excited to see how you'll modernize your mother's dress. I'm sure it's going to be so beautiful.

  5. That is SO sweet. I'm sure your mom is so excited! And I think a JP wedding is perfect! :)