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July 29, 2007

Back to The Wedding - Bridesmaid's Dress Shopping

I once promised to write more about my sister Katie's wedding, and then promptly forgot all about it. I've decided to sprinkle a few stories in here and there to fulfill my promise. First, the real-life story about shopping for my bridesmaid dress, which, as you can imagine, was super-fun! not being a size six or eight like the rest of the women in my family.

My mom actually fluctuates between being a size 6 and a size 10 (please don't hate me for talking about this Mom). She's petite, and gaining or losing a few pounds makes a huge difference in her size, which sucks for her because it creates a major swing in her wardrobe. MOM - TOTALLY NORMAL. She's struggled with her weight her entire life, but is now a Weight Watchers lifetime member and I'm so proud of her. She works so hard at it and I love her so much for what she's accomplished because it makes her happy. But I love her no matter what she weighs or what she looks like.

My sister Katie has a hard time keeping weight on. Yes, you heard that right. Keeping weight ON. She works outdoors as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor for disabled kids and can walk up to fifteen miles a day in the So. Cal sun, so she's constantly working out, all day long. She tends to be a size 4 or 6, and was cautioned against losing weight before the wedding for fear her gorgeous dress would not fit. If I haven't mentioned it before, she also has almost nonexistent leg hair, is perpetually tan, small pores, and her hair is perfectly, naturally highlighted by the sun. She wears almost no makeup and looks great. I swear to God I'm not just saying this because I'm her sister. If she didn't want to remain anonymous I would post her picture and you would see it's true.

Sister Nikki is 15 years old and is a perfect six. She's freckled and naturally cute.

Then there's me. I'm into the double digits of clothing sizes, well into the upper teens to be honest. I've gained weight since moving to Washington and I haven't been as active as I once was, even though this place seems to spawn hikers and campers by the carload. I have a hard time doing anything in the rain and my job has changed from moving heavy boxes for at least an hour a day to being almost completely desk bound. I know I need to get active but starting is the hardest part.

Anyway - enough intro, lets get to the main event!

I made several trips down to San Diego, only to drive North again to Costa Mesa to a well known bridal shop. These were fun trips with all of us sharing a fitting room, watching my sister try on various wedding gowns until she found the perfect one, seeing my Mom find the perfect mother-of-the-bride-dress, and so on.

Predictably, the sample dresses were not available in sizes over 12, so I had to make due with slinging the hangers over my head and holding them against my body to see if I thought they would look good. Fortunately, I have a good sense of what does look good one my body, so I picked out a dress with a V-neck, empire waisted, floor length, with wide shoulder straps, and a relatively high back. My Mom and sisters picked out a few other dresses for me to try, but in the end the dress I knew would work was the one that was chosen.

Nikki, Mom, and I all needed out measurements taken to get our dresses ordered that day, and a sales assistant was called to help. She took Nikki's measurements, then carefully measured my Mom, then turned to me and asked, "Would you like everyone to step out of the room while I take yours?"

"What?" I asked, incredulously,"They're my family. I'm pretty sure they know I'm fat. Hey guys," I said, turning around, "You do know I'm fat, right?"

Katie laughed, Nikki blushed, and my Mom looked me disapprovingly (not because I'm fat, but because I was making fun of the sales assistant). The sales assistant had the decency to look chagrined. She took my measurements and shut the hell up.

I wish that I had taken it further - that I had asked her why she had offered to have everyone leave when I had to strip down to my underthings but not when they did. Or if she did that for everyone who is overweight. Or if she singles out all overweight people and treats them differently.

Getting that dress was so unbelievable stressful. If it had been up to me, I would have worn pants to the wedding. I had never owned a formal dress until until Katie's wedding. I did not attend a single formal dance in high school (I was too busy with horse shows), and wore jeans to my own elopement and backyard reception. I still haven't seen the official wedding photos, so I really have no idea what I really looked like at the event. But it still makes my eyes sting to remember how painful the process of buying the dress was.


Posted by Ensie at July 29, 2007 09:30 PM

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That sales assistant asked you if you want your mum and sister to leave without thinking! I think she felt sorry about her rash question.

Posted by: Alef at August 1, 2007 03:01 AM

That's a great color and I'm sure you looked dynomite! Good for you for calling that sales clerk/jerk out. Good to give folks like that a dose of reality considering the fantasy world they work within.

Posted by: KevinFreitas at August 3, 2007 06:37 AM

Bridal shops are evil. Mine didn't cut the dress to my *actual* measurements, but took off an extra inch or so because they were certain I was going to lose weight before the wedding. ? Fortunately! I got violently ill that week and lost a bunch of weight. I'm still wondering if they slipped me something...

I'm sure you looked beautiful.

Posted by: Jen at August 4, 2007 08:29 AM

Kevin, Jen - You guys are so awesome. Thanks!

Posted by: ensie at August 5, 2007 01:41 PM

That sales assistant asked you if you want your mum and sister to leave without thinking! I think she felt sorry about her rash question.

But the dress looks great! Really

Posted by: alef at August 19, 2007 10:39 PM

hehe, schysst inlägg. Helt off-topic här nu, men vad tycker du om hela nordkorea historian? Tack och hej!

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