This is some crazy (yet cool) shit

2 months ago:

I took a basket of clothes to my favorite consignment shop. Favorite because 1) the owner is so much fun to visit, 2) her taste in clothing is extraordinary; she carries clothes that range from Ann Taylor LBDs to 1950’s housedresses and 3) she has the ability to make you feel as if you can totally pull off whatever it is you’ve decided to try to pull off, thus boosting your self-esteem 1,000-fold.

So on this particular day, I felt like shit when I went in and declared upon entering, “I feel like shit; I am not trying anything on today. I have an upcoming wedding, but I’ll come back another day to shop.”

But, while she was looking through the basket, she was also keep a keen eye on my wanderings throughout the racks. At one point she said, “That orange dress is super cool.”

And it was.

Just my thing – absolutely irresistible.

Thick polyester – the kind you could tie in a knot, wet, and it still wouldn’t wrinkle. And covered with beads: rhinestones and seed pearls. And hand-laced fringe at the hem. And, hand made – one of a kind.

And orange.

It was only $2 more than the credit that I had just earned with my basket.

2 months ago to yesterday:

I was so excited to wear the dress that I tried it on regularly (at least once a week). I spent hours online picking out the perfect accessories. I bought a slip. I agonized over shoes vs. boots.

Last night. Wedding night:

Getting dressed, I had a moment of hesitation; Could I really pull this off or should I wear something more “normal” and less of a statement?

Then I remembered the delicious feeling I had when I first saw it, the warmth that spread throughout my soul as I examined each and every mini-bauble lovingly sewn on from neck to knee.

The gloves I bought didn’t work and the necklace wasn’t perfect. But the dress was.

Now it gets exciting:

After dinner, a woman, who I didn’t know, approached me and asked if she could speak with me.  It all sounded very intrigue-y so of course I said yes.

“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but where did you get your dress?”

I told her.  She didn’t know the place because she’s from outside the radius of the shop’s clientele. but then she took a deep breath and said, “That’s my Great Aunt May’s dress.”

Long story short, Great Aunt May lives in Lubbock, Texas. At 90, as she prepared to finally give in to the idea of assisted living, and my gal went to Lubbock to help her out, Great Aunt May said, “Why don’t you take a couple of dresses.”

My new best friend chose the orange and brought it home to New Mexico. It hung in her closet for three years, awaiting alterations. Realizing that she was never going to join dress with sewing machine, she took the dress to the Goodwill and said goodbye.

Somehow, over time (another couple of years, I think) the beads and the fringe made their way to Colorado and my favorite consignment shop where it then made its way into my closet and onto my body and to the wedding, where Great Aunt May’s great-niece, the dress, and I finally converged.

How cool is that?

 

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The wedding

Someone asked me the other day if weddings are hard for me.  I am assuming she wondered because I am a bitter-old-divorced-hag – as is she, minus the bitter, old, and hag bits.

I thought about it and realized that I go to very few weddings these days.  I think last night was number three in twice that number of years.

My response, “I don’t think so. But maybe?  I guess we’ll find out.”

I think my biggest concern going in was that I would be cynical and disparaging. I already had a bug up my ass about people who spend god only knows how much on a wedding dress that they 1) are only going to wear for a few hours, and 2) will totally trash walking around in the grass and the mud. There are starving children in Africa after all.

I spent a few hundred on mine. I was going for the simplistic homespun look and I got it.

I hated my dress.

Maybe not right in the moment, but in the years afterwards, all I could think was “Blah.”

It has now been cut up and dyed by a teenage girl who saw the potential and didn’t care that it was a wedding dress from a wedding that ended in divorce.

Back to last night…

It was stupendous. There was so much sweetness in the air, in the crowd, and yes, in the Vera Wang dress. I cried again and again, but not even once out of sadness or pity for myself. This wedding was what love is really about.

Really, the most difficult part was trying to figure out what to wear . I ended up not in the boots, not in Grandma A’s gorgeous flowered and veiled hat, and not in eggplant lace. It actually doesn’t matter what dress I donned, because I sported the best accessory there; MCB in his crisp and classic East Coast wedding attire including navy blue blazer and bow tie. I would have looked good in my bathrobe.

The bridesmaids all wore dresses and cowboy boots. Right? I was so excited to have an opportunity to roll my eyes and feel great disdain for them being so predictable but you should have seen the dresses…each one a different style and color and oh so cool. The groomsmen wore shirts that I had actually picked out in a moment of total wedding planning frenzy and let me just say – I can dress a guy.

Then Vera came down the aisle, in a huge poof of fluff and I thought, Oh, now I get it. That’s why gals spend so much money and (energy and tears) on their wedding gown. She fucking rocks.

And she totally knows it.

And she is psyched.

And I never hated my wedding dress as much as I did at that very moment.

The rest of the evening was perfect in every way.

I know the groom better than I do the bride – he and I have been friends, for many a year. Seeing him standing up there with gushiness and joy oozing out of him made me realize just how much love I feel for him.

I was so overjoyed that it took the wind right out of me.

Gratitude and humility were the overrunning themes of the evening and who could possibly ask for anything better?

It was a magnificent wedding, a magnificent couple.

And no matter what my cynical bitter self says about the likelihood of divorce, the hope to which I bore witness, made even tragically damaged me believe in happily ever after.