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Saturday, March 10, 2012

"THE" Dress

I picked up my wedding dress. MY wedding dress. My dream. My future. The rest of my life is in that dress.

Everyone says "It's all about THE dress." You'll know when you find "THE" dress. And they are right. I tried on over 30 dresses. Ones my mom cried over. Ones my sister loved. Some I liked, but didn't make me cry. Ones my friends picked and loved. But then I tried on this one. This dress made me cry. This dress made me feel 32, 6, 18, 47, 100. I saw my future, my beauty, my husband, my life my children.  The dress isn't just satin and lace, it's a dream.

Two weeks ago I gave in and showed my husband "THE" dress. I convinced myself I was going to sell it for a vacation for he and I to have a honeymoon. We didn't get our original wedding. And the day we actually married, while hilarious and totally us, was also riddled with grief. We married at the Wake County Justice Center (aka Jail) on June 26th (There is a prostitute that was on the other side of the glass that I consider to be my MOH, I should have gotten her number). The "wedding" two weeks after Bill's good friend passed away. We were accompanied by my sister, her husband, my father, & my friend Kerri. (Kerri was only there because she couldn't make Las Vegas)  My dad was there because he could make Las Vegas, he just didn't want to spend the money. He complained tirelessly about the money, the plane ride, the hotel, the tux (which I was told he wouldn't be wearing if he went, they couldn't afford it).  My dad was there because I didn't want to hear how horrible it was to have a wedding in Las Vegas. (On a side-note, they bought a brand new cadillac shortly after, with cash.  Apparently Las Vegas' hotel rooms cost way more than I had thought) My dad was there because my step-brother who raped me as a child was at his house that weekend and I wanted my dad to not be there too. I wanted him to not want that man in his house, but I'll never have the luxury.  That's another part of the grief of what was our first, "real" wedding. That "real" wedding was done because we didn't want to deal with getting the license in Las Vegas and going the rigamarole that goes with it. We did it because it was the easy way and we didn't tell anyone because we wanted people to show up in Las Vegas. It wasn't a secret because of maliciousness, it was a secret because we wanted a party, a celebration of our friends and family for our future. We wanted the memories.

The Las Vegas wedding never happened. Tragically, 3 weeks prior to it Bill's father suddenly passed away. I immediately cancelled Las Vegas. Bill wasn't sure if we should, but I knew better. It wasn't a time for us, his mom needed us and everyone needed to grieve before there would be any kind of celebration. Everyone needed time to grieve and having lost a lot of family and friends before, I knew a wedding in the mix was not the brightest idea. It would have been selfish too and that's not me nor is it Bill.

So it's March now and no plans had been made for a new wedding. We couldn't pick a date, we couldn't pick a location, and Bill didn't think he wanted one without his dad there. So I decided to sell "THE" dress. My dream was crushed and I resented every second of it. I knew better, resentment wasn't right but I couldn't control it. I didn't know why I HAD to wear that dress and why I HAD to have a "real" wedding. I made up my mind and sent Bill a picture of me in "THE" dress and then posted it for sale online.

The following few days were hell. Every commercial, magazine, tv show, friend, facebook post, etc. had to do with someone's wedding, engagement, reception, etc. Every single time I heard the term "wedding" I cringed and got angry.  Was I jealous? YES! Was I hurt? YES! Did feel selfish? YES. I sat and thought long and hard about it and tried to figure out the "root" of my feelings. Why was this expensive party so important?  The most important thing should have been that I am married to my best friend and the best man I have ever met in my life. I then had an epiphany. A song came on by Sugarland that says "Good man but a bad year" that explains her divorce. I wasn't getting divorced, I loved him more than ever and I knew he and I could make it through anything. So why wasn't this enough for me?

"THE" dress, "THE" event, & "THE" decorations all are symbols. It doesn't matter how much you pay for it (I think our budget is like $500) it's the act. It's standing in front of your family and friends. It's toasts from your sister wishing you the best in life. It's not only "a" start to a new part of life, it's "THE" start. That's the importance. THE dress means starting over and starting with a great day, on a good note, however you want to say it, it's the rest of your life, your future children, your future house. Our "real" start wasn't pretty and our first year of marriage was one of the hardest year of our lives. We lost people we didn't think we'd lose for awhile, we were sick, we were broke, I lost my job. Giving up that dress meant giving up the dream of happiness. Having Bill is happiness, but there is something about him seeing me all dressed up and beautiful and being handed to him by my Brother-in-Law that makes it real to me. I don't need the fancy, I just need the start of a dream.

I hope this all makes sense. THE dress isn't super fancy and the party won't be either, but it's going to be the most beautiful day of our marriage and the most fantastic start. I get to "show-off" my love for Bill. People will finally see how much he means to me and that's what's important to me. That people see the future for that split second in our lives and see that he and I can do anything together. From that day forward we are never alone. We always have someone in our corner. From that day forward nothing can break us and our friends and family will see it.

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