I enlisted the help of the best -- my youngest sister -- to do battle with the mall as I went in search for my MOB (AKA mother-of-the-bride) dress. My needs were simple: the dress had to minimize my chest (make it disappear), camouflage the arm wings, give me the illusion of a waist, smooth out the bumps and ripples (which may or may not include cellulite), and be the light, colour-bespeckled frock befitting an outdoor forest wedding.
It was dismal. Twenty minutes and twenty stores into it, I was thinking I should cut my losses and go to Eddie Bauer for a sturdy tent! Sleeveless, strapless, strappy, ruched, streamlined, flowing, a-line, outline - you name it - I tried it on. We left no dress unzippered! Sis was on a mission to cloak me in the stylish form to which my station provided. She feverishly rummaged through the racks piling the potentials on her arm, the whole time reassuring me that "we'll find that dress Lyn. I just know it"- as I curled into the fetal position in the corner of the dressing room. It didn't take long to convince her that at this exact point post menopausal time, my body has a few (confounding to me) issues and it's not easy to find a flattering fit into the current, slinky styles.
We finally settled on one that was suitable and that Sis enthusiastically endorsed - even though it didn't thrill me. It was indeed beautiful and elegant - just not me. Rather than retreat empty handed, we made the purchase.
A few weeks ago in my haste to secure a dress without getting off the couch, I ordered a dress online that screamed my name. A collage of corals, greens, deep fuchsia and a loose, flowy skirt drew me in. I could see myself floating among the guests in as much comfort as if I were in my pjs. Alas when the beauty arrived in all its glory, it didn't look great on me. It looked okay - just not fantastic. *sad and forlorn face* I had this fact verified by eldest daughter and reluctantly by hubby. Thus - the reason for my resumed search.
Sis came in for tea after our shopping trip. I tried the Internet dress on one last time for her before it was returned to sender. Funny enough - it didn't look as not fantastic. Sis' eyes glistened at the potential. She jumped on board, barking orders -- "needs a gold belt; we can bling it up; just let me pull those bra straps up a bit; try it on with your shoes; YES- it's you Lyn!"
And so I guess my walking efforts are slowly and surely paying off, and in the next three weeks I am counting on gaining an extra inch or two of breathing space between my waist and bosom. I am keeping the mail order dress and staying the course with my initial gut choice. It is a comfortable dress that makes an important statement -- "I am happy!" and it's growing on me with each kilometre I walk.
Thanks Sis for being there with your energy and words of encouragement - and for not pinching me with the zippers. I really am not born to shop!