GoodMan and I had set a date to be married on the Fourth of July. Isn’t that the most ridiculously trite date ever? It was, and I loved it.
I decided that this time, I wouldn’t try getting a white dress. Being five months pregnant, it was pretty obvious to me that I was not, indeed, a virgin any longer. Now, I sort of wish I would have, because I have a suspicion that the fairytale proposal, wedding, and…well, life…isn’t exactly in my tarot cards.
I bought my dress at what was, then, The Bon Marche. I strolled over to the Women’s section and looked around in dismay.
I’m definitely not the shopper that your aunt No N is. I needed to find something, asap! And somehow it had to be something that would make this ungainly, unwieldly body appear to be something delicate, and beautiful, and princessly.
I tried on at least ten dresses. The sales lady was extremely helpful (yeah right) and full of oh-so-patronizing suggestions. From the skinny toothpick to the fat pregnant lady: “Ma’am, perhaps you might want to go elsewhere. I don’t think we have anything in your size.”
Can you say, crushed?
It’s one thing to look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Wow, I’m really not feeling happy about how I look,” because secretly, you’re hoping that you’re your own worst critic and that people aren’t looking at you in the same way you view yourself. It’s an entirely different matter to have someone confirm it for you.
To feel like no matter what kind of person you are inside, the world (or at least some people in it) will still only view you as “the fat chick” or “the funny but overweight friend”, if you’re lucky. To realize that you’re reduced to a number that corresponds to the size of dress you can squeeze your overlarge self into. To have some stick-thin saleswoman gaze earnestly into your eyes and suggest (not so delicately) that you’re too fat to shop there. It’s so easy for someone to strip away any pleasure you might feel in your strong, sturdy, healthy body, and make it into a prison, that you loathe some days when you can’t heave yourself out of a chair without help.
Well, I did find a dress. A long, flowy, golden dress that hid most of my extra weight and made me feel, if not like a princess, at least like a woman. And I did it by myself, without her help, or her unneccessary opinions.
My grandmother made my bouquet. I made my headpiece, unfortunately. I thought it was beautiful at the time, but on reflection, I am of the opinion that I look like I have a pair of bulls horns perched atop my head. Not doing much for the attempt at the slimming effect, is it?
GoodMan and I were married in the backyard of our house in Keyport. A friend of ours from work, Joey, got his ministry online so that he could marry us. We had beautiful vows.
I was discussing defining moments with my friend the other day. About how sometimes, it seems that you might experience a defining moment and not even realize it until later, and you miss it. Because you’re too worried about how you look, and whether everyone is having a good time, and if the dog is staying out of the flower beds, and wondering why on earth a donkey would be braying in the background in the midst of what should be the most important moment of your life. (Trust me, it happened.)
Did I miss my defining moment? I don’t think so.
This was the moment in which I would be setting aside all the unwanted baggage and drama of PK, forever. This was the moment in which I would commit myself forever to the man standing next to me, sweaty palm to sweaty palm, who was crying with me at all the right parts, who almost messed up which finger to put the ring on, whose tears mingled with mine when he kissed my lips as instructed, to the applause and cheers of our closest friends and loved ones. With this man, who in the extremity of his emotion, picked me up, pregnant belly and all, and swung me around in a circle with my face pressed to the lapel of his jacket so hard that I left makeup stains on it.
This man, who tried so hard to love me, and in the end, though it wasn’t enough, did turn out to be one of my most, and impressive, defining moments.
Next: chapter nineteen.