It was my dad’s comment that finally scuffled the deal. I had been waffling, asking others’ opinions, doubting myself. But when my dad finally spoke up, I knew the debate was over, and I had to start shopping all over again; shopping for a mother-of-the-bride dress.
Months earlier, I had gone shopping for a dress. I actually went to a bridal shop on my way out of town from visiting my parents in Appleton, Wisconsin. I stopped at the store mostly out of curiosity, to see what mothers-of-the-bride are wearing these days. I didn’t expect to find the dress of my dreams. But I did, and I bought it.
Oh my, but it was stunning. Lace and satin and a sash, with a matching satin jacket, all in “Mojito”, that lovely green color of the drink for which it is named. I ordered it right away.
A few months later, on another visit to my parents, I picked the dress up at the shop. I eagerly tried it on in the dressing room. It was…OK. I think.
I am known, at least to my husband, John, as the queen of “buyer’s remorse”. I just cannot purchase something of significance without feeling bad about it afterwards. The more expensive the item, the more the remorse kicks in. Probably the best, or worse, example of my affliction happened last summer. I bought a car. I loved the car, until I bought it. It just felt wrong. The steering was too stiff. It was hard to park. Luckily for me, or maybe, not so lucky for me, I had purchased the car at a dealership which touted a “Buy Happy Promise”: if you don’t like the car, you may return it within seven days. When I told John about my plan to return the car, he barely sighed. Because he has been married to me for a very long time, and he knows my affliction well. But I think even he was a little surprised. After all, have you ever heard of someone returning a car?
Well, now you have. I exchanged it for another, which I actually like very much, well, pretty much.
So, when I called John from my parents’ house to tell him that I did not know if I liked my dress, he replied, “No surprise there.”
I tried the dress on for my mom. She was encouraging, but certainly not enthusiastic. She said, “Try it on without the jacket. Maybe it would look better without the jacket”, which is exactly what I had been thinking. Then there was the Mojito color, which frankly, looks better in a rum drink than on a dress.
As I was trying it on, my dad quietly read his newspaper, glancing over the top. Not a word from him.
I decided to ask Joan, another resident of their senior living center. Joan is a friend of my mom’s, a fashionable dresser, and she has her opinions, which she is not afraid to share. I tottered over to her apartment in my shiny new mother-of-the bride shoes, wearing the Mojito dress. Joan said, “I like it…maybe it would look better without the jacket”, and we proceeded to go through the same song-and-dance. Take the jacket off, put the jacket back on. Joan agreed with my mom. It was very nice. Not wildly enthusiastically nice, just…nice.
I went back to my parents' apartment, and with a sigh of self-doubt, got out of the dress.
As I walked back into the living room with my jeans and sweatshirt on, my dad said, “You know, I didn’t want to say anything, but I just did not like the way that dress looked on your butt.” Say what? Mr. I’m-Just-Going-to-Sit-and-Read-the-Paper has an opinion? And such a stunning opinion? I hadn’t even thought to look in the mirror at my back side.
Well, that was the nail in that dress’ coffin.
Mom and I went shopping for a new dress that afternoon. We found a new dress that is stunning. At least I think it is stunning. I’ll let you know when I get the dress.