My daughter’s wedding is eight months away. It seems like it’s enough time to get everything done, and because of my daughter’s extremely, shall we say, detail-oriented nature, most of the big items are checked off the list. Except one. And it’s the solo task she has let me handle: the mother of the bride get-up. Or, as I refer to it, “The MOB dress.”
It seems like it would be easy, right? How hard can fancy dress shopping be? The answer: Harder than you freaking think, when you have the body of a 12-year-old pre-pubescent boy. It’s easier to purchase a firearm at a drive-through in Arkansas.
I’m not a glitzy gal. I would wear sweatpants and a tiara to this wedding if I could get away with it. And maybe an undershirt. Comfort comes before glamour in my handbook, and that goes double for shoes. How am I ever going to make this work?
I was directed to the Nordstrom’s website by a friend who just purchased a MOB gown. Good God, this is turning out to be my Senior Prom, Part Deux, without the acne, and I’m already starting to sweat and wonder if my date is going to show up. He will. It was my husband back then, it’s my husband now.
I raked over that website for hours. I became bleary-eyed and disenchanted. It was all so sparkly! I hate sparkles unless they’re on a behemoth diamond ring or Barbie’s Silver Serenade ensemble, with a feather boa. Not only that, but what’s full length on everyone else is car-cover length on me. This was a project for which I wish I had the cheat sheets beforehand.
I have a body that doesn’t react well to online clothes shopping. I’m short, but not petite. I have normal sized bones in a fire hydrant body. My seamstress is my lifeline and is listed in my living will as my next of kin. If I could just figure out where all the other Hobbit mothers shopped for their MOB dresses, I’d have better luck. Alas, I’m stuck with online adventures in car covers covered in tinsel.
My daughter, my co-workers and my friends scanned the available dresses with me. It takes a damn village. We narrowed it down to three choices: Cheap Vegas Showgirl, Miss America on Steroids and Vanna White, circa 1986. I hated them all. The one I wanted to choose, Nana Gets a New Housedress, was vetoed across the board.
Whatever. I’ll give them a shot and thank God for free returns.
Well, the MOB dresses arrived last night. I opened the box with cold dread. They all looked OK flattened out and shrink wrapped. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. I shook them out and hung them up. The sparkle made my optic nerves seize. I was going to need sunglasses or cataract surgery. Either way, I could easily wear these shiny uniforms to direct air traffic on the runway, or better yet, direct everyone who’s going in continuous circles after exiting the airport. Stupid circle. Sorry — stupid roundabout.
I sucked it in and slipped those dresses over my head. Dear God. The problem was really the same for each one: enough room around the chest area to house a gaggle of seagulls, and the voluminous amounts of fabric that needed to be removed from the length could fashion a dozen burkas plus a tarp. Lastly, they were U-G-L-Y.
I’m feeling hopeless. But I still have eight months. That’s plenty of time to lose enough weight to fit into Barbie’s Silver Serenade. I hope to hell she has shoes to match.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three, a librarian and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life.