Wednesday, June 01, 2005

runaway bridesmaid

i doubt they'll notice my arms.
jennifer wilbanks, the runaway bride. a few tiers short of a wedding cake, that one.

i do feel a little sorry for her. after having watched a number of my friends get hitched, i have observed that it is not a non-stressful event, and most brides-to-be could probably sympathize with jettin' jenny.

i've been involved in a number of weddings in a number of capacities - i've planned 'em, sung in 'em (if one more person asks me to sing The Lord's Prayer, i'm becoming a jew), planned wedding showers, designed invitations, been a bridesmaid (four times?), embroidered a last-minute something-blue heart on the ass of a girdled bride to ward off years of marital strife...i've pretty much done it all. short, of course, of walking down the aisle myself. (and no, i'm not dying to, thank you very much.) weddings, in my experience, bring out the best or the worst in people. normally sane, lovely individuals become raging lunatics, and the family drunk that everyone's worried about making an ass out of himself, doesn't.

so, i understand her plight, i do. but you wanna know who i feel sorry for? her bridesmaids. jennifer was a southern bride of substantial social standing (her fatha was the mayah aftah awllll...), so her bridesmaids are, no doubt, stuck with a big poofy confection of a dress that they will never wear - ever. perhaps if they're crafty they'll think to convert it into a duvet or a new set of drapes, but chances are, that dress is destined for the First Baptist Church Goodwill Shop - one of many pastel taffeta casualties lining the racks. poor dears. they threw her showers (eight, i think the papers said). forget charges. i think jw should have to buy back all of the bridemaids' dresses and wear them for an entire year. that'll teach her.

i'm thinking about weddings lately because my dearest friend, k., is getting hitched to her "prince" w. on june 18, and guess who's a bridesmaid? yours truly. totally honored in this case (and i'm not just saying that because k. might very well be reading this post. hi, k!), but there is a certain amount of anxiety that one must be prepared to deal with when being a bridesmaid, and i don't mean the planning of the shower, the purchasing of the plane tickets, or any of that other fiscal rigamarole.

i mean the dress.

let me clarify. the dress itself is lovely. k, tasteful lass that she is, chose a very simple, reasonably-priced, knee-length, juicy apricot colored, a-line strapless silk shantung dress that, even if won't wear again (we always say we will, but will we ever?), will not inspire gasps of sympathy or horror in 10 years when we look back at the photos. seriously, i love it.

my stress, and i'm sure this comes as no surprise to you, comes from what i will look like in the dress.

will my arms look fat? oh god, i'll have bus driver fat arms. when i wave, that little flap o' fat will jiggle.

i'm so pale. should i tan? fake it or bake it?

will the little sash make my waist look smaller or accentuate my "pooch?"

will my face look fat if i wear my hair back? but if i wear it down it'll be greasy and get in my face!

should i wax my legs? or shave? what if i get ingrown hairs and then my legs will be bumpy.

oh, god, i have to bleach my facial hair!

and get my highlights done.

and get new lipstick.

and get my callouses hacked off.






me, in my dress
i'll confess: i've already scheduled myself for 3 weeks of daily workouts. look in my planner and you will see:

monday - yoga
tuesday - run
wednesday - yoga
thursday - stairclimber
friday - lift/cardio
saturday - bikram yoga
sunday - run
times 3.

i'm already tired.

then there's the diet to be adhered to...

no carbs.
no sugar.
no alcohol.
only green and white vegetables.
only lean protein.
times 3.

i'm already hungry.

the truth is, i'd probably feel much better at the end of those 3 weeks. i've been a bit inactive as of late with everything that's been going on, my ass is now a perfect mold of my office chair, and i've been ingesting more sugar in the past couple of weeks than i have in years. i don't really feel like i've been inhabiting my body lately. it's a little gooshy and weak for my taste, and my "pooch" is a little "poochier" than i'm used to. i'm trying very hard to see it objectively and not indicative of my worth as a human being. the absence or presence of said "pooch" does not make me less or more of glorious moi. moi does not reside in the "pooch."

oh, i know what's going's that whole stress/cortisol connection - when you're stressed you crave sugar because it's quick energy. in the olden days, it gave you that little boost you needed to lasso, skin, marinate, and barbecue that buffalo, but now you




and all you want to do is bury your face in the office candy dish:


if i want to make positive changes in my diet and exercise routine shouldn't i want to do it because it will make me feel better, will help me live a fuller life, and let's be honest, will alleviate the guilt i feel when i tuck into that second piece of wedding cake? not because of how i'll look in a dress? shouldn't that just be a bonus? kinda like catching the bouquet, but less humiliating?

so, i know i need to make some changes (more movement, less chocolate), but the challenge for me is to do it in a sane and healthy way. not as an obsession or an imprisonment. i have done my time, thank you very much, and i am ready (and deserve) to play no matter what size, color, or how smooth-shaven i am. the problem with the above regime is that there isn't a single solitary serving of joy. the FDA didn't put it in their pretty new pyramid, but i need it.

i will...

delight in the sun and wind against my arms, flabby or otherwise.

dance like a madwoman to we are family with k's father with no concern, or maybe even (gasp!) a little love, for the impudent pooch that precedes me.

blink away tears and smile 'til my positively pale new york cheeks hurt as i watch k + w, two perfectly imperfect people who are so imperfectly perfect for each other, jump in...and play....Life.

yes, but i still want to look pretty, dammit. she still talking?

oh, The Contradictions...those girls just never get along...

ya know, i realize as i'm writing this, how very self-centered i sound.

truth is, m, no one will really give a flyin' flip what you look like at that wedding. i somehow think the focus will be on someone else...hmmm...say, the beautiful, beaming girl in the white dress and veil down front who's making a huge leap in faith and love. that's who this is about (oh, yeah, and there's that groom person, too), not you or what you look like in some dress.

oh, yeah...her.

yeah, her, ya doofus.

she's the cake topper. you're just the apricot filling.


looking for a way to recycle your bridesmaid's dress?
Always a Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress

then there's this one. the cover kind of scares me, but...

You Can Wear It Again: A Celebration of Bridesmaids' Dresses

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Philly has a huge charity dinner/dance/party every year called the Bridesmaid's Ball. Instead of glamorous evening gowns, the ladies all wear their most hideous bridesmaid gowns. Very fun way to display those poofy shoulder thingees.