I should have known better than to go dress shopping with my mom and Nana. I was very sincere in thinking that it would be a good bonding experience. You know, three generations of girls picking out bridal dresses....It sounds beautiful. And not that we didn't have a nice day, but I should have realized from past shopping experiences, that Nana is a tough woman to say no to.
We went to David's Bridal on Columbus Day (without an appointment) and they were able to get me in at 12:30...about an hour and a half later.
No problem. We hit up Cheesecake Factory for a quick bite to eat (salad for me...who wants a puffy stomach when trying on wedding dresses?) and then went back.
David's Bridal is an off-the-rack place, which I like. I browsed around a little bit but then I was told to pick out a few in the catalog and then Mandy would bring me those dresses.
So Mandy brought over a few and helped me into the first one, along with the undergarments and the big slip. I walked out with the first dress (which I didn't need the slip for) and I could tell by their faces that they loved it. 'Oooohhh, oh, Kate, this is you.'
Mandy went to get more dresses, and I got myself into the next one. Definitely less enthusiasm than the first one when I made my appearance. The way the routine went was that their faces were kind of blank when I walked out...then slowly went sour..."It's OK"....or "Not you."
I tried on a preview dress, which was beautiful (Mom and Nana nixed it). The one after that I loved (Mom and Nana didn't), but it was about twice what I wanted to pay. And so it went. Nowhere near as much enthusiasm as the first dress.
Finally, at the end, I put the first dress on. Again, smiles from the viewing committee and they just kept saying, 'Kate, this is your dress. Just get it. It's totally you.' 'Well, I don't know...maybe I should sleep on it. The sale is until tomorrow.' 'Kate, just get it. You are so indecisive. For once in your life, just do it.' And this went on for about 15 minutes.
OK, I'll just do it. I'll bite the bullet. 'I'll take it.'
Mandy happily rang me up and I was chewing on my nails when we left. We drove in silence and I was wondering why I wasn't feeling better about this. It was a good choice, definitely a beautiful dress...why was I feeling uneasy? Nana's wise words to me were, 'You shouldn't regret what you do, only what you don't do.' (Hmmm, not sure about that advice, but anyway...)
Then I realized I had been bullied. It wasn't that I didn't want the dress or didn't like it, but I guess I felt forced into making a decision on the spot and that is not how I operate. Maybe I need to learn to stick to my guns a little more, even if the big matriarchal voices are saying something else. Or maybe I need to learn to be more comfortable in that on-the-spot-scenario, but, even so, I didn't like the feeling of being bullied - like I wasn't being give a choice in something that, for all intents and purposes, is a pretty big deal to a bride. I guess I wanted that feeling of 'I LOVE this dress. It's PERFECT for me.' I didn't feel that way. But I just don't have the time (or money) to shop all of Long Island for the perfect dress.
It's beautiful, but maybe I have this fantasy of EVERYTHING being perfect. I am seeing how that has been getting in the way a little bit, even in the planning stages. I want a perfect-world scenario and that is just not possible. Maybe it's OK to be OK with less-than-perfect.
So, even though bullying is never a good thing, maybe there is something to be learned after all.
If you want to see my less-than-perfect-but-very-beautiful-dress, click here.
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