But since shopping for a dress for the upcoming nuptials, I’ve suddenly become a “Mother of the Groom.” What the world?!? How can this be? Can I be a MOG when inside I’m still their age? I look at the dresses on the racks and online. I love all the shape-hugging, flirty, shoulder-baring designs with their wavy hemlines and soft-as-a-cloud material that pass the ‘twirl’ test. And the shoes! Every color, every style, leg-flattering and strappy — why, I remember wearing those shoes many years ago! How many years? Well, just enough to allow me to believe, somewhere in the deep recesses of my aging mind, that I could still look darn good in them.
Wouldn’t you think, in the world of high fashion (or at least expensive-for-me fashion), that vanity sizing would have found its niche? Me, too. I found so many beautiful dresses to try on, grabbing 8’s and 10’s (though surely 10’s would be too big) in beautiful shades of pastels named “sage green,” “persimmon,” “ice pink,” and “buttercup.” This would be a piece of cake.
And I came prepared. I wore easy-on, easy-off clothing. I had on nylons with belly-hugging spandex. I wore a strapless beige bra. What fun!! Catching sight of my pale pink, half-naked body in the wall-sized mirror only made me throw the dresses on faster. Trying to reach around my back to pull up zippers seemed harder than normal — until I realized with embarrassing horror that it wasn’t the zipper. It was the start of BACK CLEAVAGE!!! That zipper wasn’t going anywhere!
Peeling off the size 8, I grabbed a size 10 to try to gain back what little self-esteem I still had. What the — where are the straps? Are these STAYS in the bodice? Do they expect us to BREATHE with these things pressing against our ribs? What twisted male designer decided we women yearned once more for the 14th century? And when would this start to be fun? As I watched my daughter in the next dressing room model dress after dress, style after style, I turned back to that wicked, dreadful mirror reflecting lousy lighting and wondered where had all my curves gone? Where was my glowing skin? My perky breasts? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED???
So, yeah. That was the beginning of a slow and rude awakening. I might feel 25 inside. My mind still knows what it feels like to slide something over my head and have it fall around me and fit like it was made for me, the silky material glancing against my legs. I remember twirling with my arms outstretched, in strappy heels, peeking in the mirror over my shoulder as I’d spin, looking like a ballerina and feeling beautiful. Beautiful!
I guess I had my time. I guess now it’s their turn. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. Thankfully they make dresses for MOGs like me who aren’t quite ready to give it up completely. There are some lovely, elegant gowns out there, beaded and silky, more suited to my age and in shades that won’t make me disappear. Maybe next time I’ll take my mom, or maybe my older sister. I’ll find it. I’ll make it work. It’s not about me, anyway. It’s about my son and his fiancé; about them starting their lives together.
But now I know for sure: Youth is definitely wasted on the young.