Over the course of the last decade, I have collected and donated almost 20 single-wear gowns. These are perhaps more commonly referred to as "bridesmaid dresses." Everyone knows the truth about these duds. You don't shorten them. You don't save them. To quote Taylor Swift, once the dress comes off, you know you're never, ever, ever, ever getting back together with strapless seafoam.
Yet when I stood up in another wedding this past November, I vowed that THIS time, things would be different. This time, I would find a reason to wear the dress again.
The red, floor-length number had its own story. The bridesmaid dresses were ordered from the shop with plenty of time to spare. Yet when they finally appeared only weeks before the wedding, they were the WRONG ones. The scramble was on. The correct dresses arrived hours before the rehearsal dinner, and emergency alterations were done well into the night.
Despite the drama, I loved my dress. It was by far one of the most flattering I've ever worn in a wedding. The worst one, you ask? That would be the bright yellow, empire-waist number that resulted in a bunch of over-served bridesmaids doing "The Chicken Dance" with a little extra vigor if you know what I mean. Cluck cluck.
After the festivities ended, I was sad to put away my dress. I stared hopelessly at the calendar for SOME event, SOME reason to not shove this one special offering to the far recesses of my mind and closet. What about wearing it to the school bus stop? That didn't feel right. The boys' swim practice? Someone would call security. Mass? That would just single me out every time I screwed up the new responses… "And with your SPIRIT. SPIRIT."
But then I found it. It was the Bath & Body Works "Girls Night Out" Benefitting the American Heart Association coming up Thursday, Feb. 28. I noticed a bunch of people writing about the event, and in each picture, women were sporting formal red dresses. PERFECT. I entered every online giveaway for free tickets, and guess what? I won! It was meant to be.
For the record, I definitely support the American Heart Association and I love those fantastic vanilla-scented lotions from Bath & Body Works, but let's be honest. I really just wanted to wear my awesome red dress.
It got me thinking. Maybe I'd make the red dress my signature outfit? I'm participating in a few upcoming events for my book, Epic Mom. There was also my theatrical debut as a cast member of the Listen to Your Mother stage show. I could be like Superman but in a one-shouldered red designer frock.
My name would be "Superbridesmaid." And I'd wear a big giant "B" on my chest. In sparkles.
Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. After all, it's been months since I last wore the dress. Girl Scout Cookie season is in full swing. Thin Mints have been disappearing by the sleeve. Who knows if I could even squeeze into the form-fitting gown?
Then again, I do have a true superhero-like secret weapon. A contraption so powerful and so mighty that it goes by a single name:
You think Wonder Woman just rolled out of bed looking like that?
Special shout-out to Lisa over at Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy for being the only contest to pick me, despite my 17,000 global entries.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.