I knew this day would come when I’d have to start making up my mind about wedding stuff. It’s all fun and games until you have to whip out your wallet, I thought to myself, as I prepared to take the plunge. I had been tossing and turning since 7 a.m., trying to prolong my Sunday slumber and put off the inevitable. But alas, I was hopelessly awake, so when Vinnie starting whining to go out, I leapt out of bed.
I grabbed my hopelessly ancient MacBook and ushered Vin out the back door. I didn’t know what or when or how, but I knew my decision about a wedding dress needed to be made. The girl who has dropped three pant sizes but doesn’t care to spend the money on new clothes had somehow become so obsessed with fantasizing about looking like a bride that she had been sucked into wedding dress purgatory. I had looked and looked and looked, as my readers, family and friends can attest, and I had had enough. Down with indecisiveness! I thought to myself. I felt like I was losing the war against myself. And then, two things happened that made my realize something needed to be done.
I had looked at two just nearly perfect dresses I’d found on Craigslist the day before. The girls who had invited me into their homes to try on their former dream dresses were just lovely. They were so wonderful and so sweet and I didn’t want to disappoint them by not buying the dresses they were so desperate to get off their hands. And yet. One was too simple and one was 2″ too small in the upper back. I had bounced off from both houses, unintentionally making empty promises that I would try to make their dresses work for me because I didn’t want to disappoint.
Then the second thing happened. My mom and I went to a bridal shop to order a dress for my girlfriend’s wedding and had witnessed the cold and rigid finality that comes with signing a contract to purchase a non-returnable dress I couldn’t try on because they didn’t have my size stock. *Note to friend: I love you, btw, and am super excited to be in your wedding, but the finality of the situation had gotten the best of me. My mom and I sat in the car for half and hour after I purchased the bridesmaid’s dress, waffling and debating and desperately searching for a way to commit to one of the wedding dresses I had tried on so that the cycle of trying on dresses, which had once been such a fun and carefree bonding experience with my mom, would finally be over.
And as just as the Phoenix rises from the dust, so too was I liberated when I made the decision to order a dress online. It was my way of regaining the control I had lost over the dress decision-making situation. I found a dress I liked and I ordered it. Just like that. I had never seen it before. My hours of dress shopping hadn’t led me to the one, the only. It was on a whim. It was in the moment. And then, it was done. I breathed a sigh of relief, crossed the room and melted into Jim’s arms. I told him what had happened and he gave me a huge smile. “It’s really happening, we’re getting married,” he quietly said. We cuddled up on the love seat and spent the rest of the afternoon watching obscure documentaries together.
Do I regret my decision? Maybe. If I think too hard about it, I start worrying and wondering and wishing I had waited. But I made a choice, and I’m sticking to it. Life isn’t about waiting for someone else to show you the way, as I’m so wont to do. I made a gigantic, momentous decision without getting anyone else’s two cents. It may seem trivial, but when I leapt out of bed yesterday morning, I also took a massive hypothetical leap in deciding to trust my instincts. And if come May, my custom-made wedding dress isn’t the most perfect thing in the world, I’ll live. After all, it’s just a dress.