Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rue McClanahan or Ru Paul? Adventures in Dress Shopping.


I spent the day looking for a dress to wear to my mother’s wedding.  Aside from bra shopping and trying on swimsuits , I can’t think of any other shopping trips more harmful to my self esteem.

I was hoping to avoid the stores completely.  A couple of months ago I purchased a dress online.  I didn't realize that it would be coming from China.  I have nothing against the Chinese.  I enjoy their food, their checkers and their jump rope.  Yes, I understand most of our clothing is made in china.  This is different than ordering a Chinese garment meant for Chinese people. Here is what I am getting at.  I am a taller than average, size 14.  In China that is called size “Holy Crap!”  Yes, I am an Amazon of epic proportions.  I ordered a size up to be safe. It is pretty and raspberry colored and looked promising when I took it out of the box.  I tried it on and it seemed as if it would fit. Dammit, I hadn’t realized I had ordered a dress with a  side zipper.  I have always had trouble with these little bastards.   Apparently my linebacker rib cage is not compatible with my wee tiny plus size dress. The zipper would not budge, and contrary to popular belief, using every swear word I could think of in a creative way, was of no help.  Back to square one.

The wedding colors are purple, pink and lavender.  I was instructed to choose from the color scheme. Later, my  mother told me that everyone else was going with pastels and urged me to do the same.  I have never been a big fan of pastels.  All it takes is a photo album from 1987 to remind me that light pink is a terrible color on a pasty white girl. Actually that wasn't all it took, but a trip to the fitting room at Macy’s was a good reminder, and a hefty blow to the ego.

I asked the saleslady for help.  She led me to the only lavender dress in stock.  It was perhaps the frumpiest dress I had ever seen.  As far as frump factor, it was one step away from being a house coat. It looked familiar.  I am pretty sure the Rue McClanahan had it in her repertoire.  The saleslady said “I have this one, I would only recommend it if you were about 30 years older” then she turned back and said.  “No scratch that, I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone” 

I realize that this is a gay wedding but I don’t need to walk my mother down the aisle looking like a drag queen. At least my mother is tall, so I won’t feel so gigantic. When I stand next to my adorably petite Japanese mother in law, I feel like Ru Paul or Gulliver or King Kong.  Can you tell I have body image issues? I have been working on that blog post for a while. Stay tuned.

I tried on a few bright purple dresses.  Most of the dresses would be appropriate for the club scene in Miami  or perhaps a bachelorette party in Belltown.  Since I am not "on the prowl" and I am well above legal drinking age, I thought better of it. I am 39 years old.  There has to be some middle ground between Forever 21 and Chicos.  I want to open a store with kick ass clothes for people my age and call it Pushing 40. There will not be sassy mini dress or a practical pant suit in sight.

I recently bought I very cute, hot pink A-line dress so if nothing better comes along, I will make do with that.  I am a bit hesitant.  I haven’t worn that much hot pink since a production of Mame.  My costume was about three sizes to big and three decades too wrong.  I looked like the Kool Aid Man.  If I haven’t burned all the evidence I will post a picture.

It amuses me that the girliest attire that I have ever had to purchase is for my mom’s wedding.  She spent years trying to get me to wear anything BUT dresses.  Wearing a pink dress as a kid was my way of rebelling.  Funny how things have come full circle.  



I just really like this picture...