Trust me, I'm not one of those people who loses weight easily. And being at my pre-pregnancy weight doesn't mean I'm necessarily skinny, either. It just means that most of clothes fit again. So I'm not really stressing over it. I mean, I have a beautiful baby, a loving husband, and a healthy appetite for all things made with butter. No big deal, right? Life is good.
Well, my lovely friend Tiffany recently asked me to be in her wedding (::squeal!!!::) In Southern California. In July. And since I don't know many of the other bridesmaids, I can only surmise that they also look like the bride: tall, lean, blond, gorgeous. Kind of your epitome of what a gal from SoCal should look like. It's like 'Sweet Valley High' come to life.
In other words, it my worst nightmare, self-esteem/body image-wise. Because let's just say those wouldn't be the adjectives that I would pick to describe myself. I'm more along the lines of 'fleshy, pale, jiggly, and moppish.' On my best days. I'm more than happy with the size and shape (or lack of) of my body from the comfort and security of my own home. After all, have you seen Scotty's little belly? I look like I have abs of steel compared to him!
But I will be forced to leave the comfort of my home and venture to California, land of the peckish eater. And I'm not going to lie, I break out into a cold sweat whenever I think of the wedding party lined up at the altar. I fear it's going to be kind of like that game, "Which one of these is not like the other?" for wedding guests, with all of them accurately pointing at the chubby redhead pouring out of her bridesmaid dress among a sea of toned, tanned, non-lactating blonds.
(not to mention, I also fear the mostly-Republican wedding party will also sniff out my liberal tendencies, but that's a whole 'nother post.)
Anyways, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone by ordering my bridesmaid dress several sizes too big. After all, this allowed me several options: 1.) continue with my love of cupcakes and just suck it up and be the fat bridesmaid, yet also still be comfortable in the dress 2.) lose some weight and have the dress taken in, or 3.) do a mixture of 1 and 2, but not have the stress of "I MUST FIT IN THIS DRESS!" looming in the back of my mind in the days leading up the wedding.
My dress arrived last Monday and at first glance, it looked like it fit really well. It's a very flattering navy chiffon number with a sweetheart neckline (strapless) and tons and tons of beautiful, flowing fabric. Two other bridesmaids are pregnant and will be about one month post-partum by the time the wedding rolls around, so Tiffany wanted to get something universally flattering for everyone. ("That's really thoughtful of you," I told her, in between bites of cake. Nom, nom, nom.) I wasn't able to zip up the dress (thank you, carpal tunnel from pumping for 6+ months) but it seemed to fit generously. Score!
So last night, I received an email from the Bride herself asking how the dress fit. I sent a reply but then realized, I should probably zip this sucker up just to be extra sure. So, I shimmied out of my pjs, donned the strapless bra again (seems looser! I must be getting skinnier!), and once again reached for my lovely navy dress. I walked downstairs and asked Brian to please zip me up.
And...this is when my life became a scene out of 'The Hurt Locker.'
For those of you who haven't seen the movie, it's about an Army ranger who defuses roadside bombs in Iraq. It was phenomenal - tense, gritty, emotional - but also probably the most intense two hour and 14 minutes of my life since labor. This movie is not for the faint of heart. In fact, I would strongly recommend against this movie if you have heart disease or any kind of stress-related condition. It's one of those, "Okay, who is going to die now?" and "Are they going to defuse the bomb or get blown up?" kind of movies. And of course, since it's well done, you really start to love the characters right before each of them meets their demise. War is hell, folks. War is hell.
So when I walked downstairs, resplendent in my chiffon number, I did not expect Brian to start grunting as he zipped me up. Hmph, this dress isn't nearly as big as I thought...then the yelling started. "I can't do it! It's not budging!" he hollered. "Try harder! Let me put my arms up!" I yelled back. Grunt, huff, puff, grunt. "It's not working!" "Do it!" "I need more light!" "Stop moving!" "Don't breathe!" "I said, stop breathing!"
Uh, whoops. Looks like this dress isn't nearly as um, generous, as previously believed. Yikes.
Brian finally got the little clasp hooked and I stood, unmoving and afraid, as we both stared at each other. "I need to see it in the upstairs mirror," I whispered to him, fearful that my talking would break the dress. "I need to see the length." I'm fairly certain my voice wavered, just like Guy Pearce right before he donned the big green bomb suit. "Go quickly," Brian advised solemnly. "I don't know how much time you have left."
I swear, I think we might have embraced if it were not for the fear we both felt in that moment. Any additional movement and we were just asking for this dress to blow.
Gathering my courage, I went racing upstairs and made it up three stairs right before the hem felled me.
I went down. Hard.
And with...the dress exploded. Right off of my back.
Brian heard the noise and came running. "I guess I'm going to have to get this fixed, huh?" I asked him, my mangled body laying in a heap at the foot of the stairs. I showing him the clasp that was now in my hand and not on the dress anymore where it should be. "And...I think it's about time I put the cupcakes down." Brian nodded quietly.
The little silver clasp is still sitting on my dresser. I don't think I'll put it under my bed, the way Jeremy Renner does with all of the denotators he collects, but I'm going to keep it. After all, It is a good reminder that salad is good, high fructose corn syrup is bad. Very, very bad.