THE Dress, I guess

Dress shopping, I’d heard horror stories of it taking months. People travel to different cities, hit up boutiques, mass chains, and the Internet. The Internet! Full of pages and pages of models in white dresses and the thought – I won’t look good in any of these. Only models get married.

But I try any way. It’s no pressure, really. I mean, it’s not like the dress is something people even really take note of.... people being 200 of your closest friends, acquaintances, family friends and their plus ones who are all looking at you. Not to mention that you are going to be professionally photographed for the first time since basketball senior year of high school.

I’ll go ahead and skip lengthy descriptions of tulle heaven in plastic wrap – white, beads! a mannequin with her sweet-heart strapless down around her hips, a customer in scrubs with tattoos on her arms, and shoes and veils. Purity is gaudy, I guess.

And I’m in the dressing room with a slip, a poof slip, and a low-backed corset top. Sales-lady Heather is going to help me with the dress, but she’s let me fend for myself with the under garments (and I’d call them something more crass than under garments, but the way they hold up and lace down and pack in is truly medieval). The corset thing’s a problem: it has a dozen eyelet hooks running up the back. There is no way to both wrench the thing shut around my torso and match and hook all those suckers unless I put it on backwards. So I do this, and the little bra part cups my scapula, and I’d swing it around but it’s a corset... thing, and it has ribbing and grip tape and apparently brides are supposed to look as conical as possible.

I like the first dress I try; my mom keeps asking me if I can breathe ok. I can breathe... ok. It takes both her and SL Heather to zip it all the way up. It reminds me more of an Easter dress I’d wear as a little girl—come to think of it, I got baptized in a similar outfit—than a wedding dress. But can we talk for a second about how wedding dresses tend to be glaringly ugly? They either look like tablecloths or curtains or doilies or lingerie or cupcakes. Women who wouldn’t so much embroider the pockets of blue jeans insist on having their busts covered in rhinestones for the big day. Weird. Brides, I think, have an unusual love for their breasts (push-up sweetheart tops galore) and for flowers and bows and not men... I guess.

But I like the first one ok. My dad walks in the store while I have it on. He doesn’t say anything, but I can tell he likes it ok too. He approves of the feather headpiece I’m wearing that my mom doesn’t care for (and he hasn’t even seen the Sex and the City movie). We practice walking around the store—me on his arm. Mom thinks we might not fit down the isle; it’s a cupcake dress.

So we buy it, and the whole thing wasn’t so bad. (Well, my parents buy it. I’m so grown up?) The dress actually has pockets... for snacks or rubbers I guess. And the manicured man behind the register says it looked elegant even though I think he means baptismal or like a toga married (ha, marriage! everybody’s doing it) an air pump.

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