“Ta-da!” Georgia declared, sashaying the voluminous and bedazzled dress from side to side.
I’m sure my face mirrored the bewilderment and horror I felt on the inside. Despite my father’s genes, I was no actor.
My mother clapped her hands and bounced slightly on the curved couch that encircled the bride’s platform and three-way mirror. “It’s perfect, Katie! I can’t wait to see it on you.” She turned to me and actually squealed with excitement. “Go put it on.”
Georgia continued to swing the dress slightly side to side, much like a bullfighter entices a bull.
I was beginning to feel that by signing that contract I’d jumped on a roller coaster from which there would be no easy escape. I’d just have to stay calm and ride this thing to the end. I was starting to feel slightly queasy.
I waved my hands, palms forward, in front of me. It was the universal sign for NO WAY! “Georgia,” I tried to explain calmly, “that’s so not me. It’s just not my style. Can we consult a little more?”
“Katie,” my mom interjected with a pout, “just try it on. It will be fun!”
I turned to my mother, one finger pointed at her. “Listen here Mom,” I began, ready to remind her that while she got to help out with the wedding, she was NOT in charge. The cameraman shifted to get a better view of my face as I turned to give my mother a lecture. I leaned in closer, hoping to whisper. He took two steps forward. Over my mother’s shoulder I could see Gail, the director, practically salivating as she anticipated some serious drama between me and my mom. My eyes shifted between my mom, the camera guy, Gail, and that monstrous confection of a dress. “Listen here Mom,” I began again. I noticed my finger still pointed accusingly at my mom’s chest and took a deep breath. There was no way I was going to let them film me getting into it with my mom on national TV. I moved my finger slightly up and pointed at her front teeth instead. “You have a little spinach from your quiche right there.” My mother’s hand flew to her mouth. Gail’s shoulders dropped, deflated. I was determined not to give her anything juicy to work with.
“You ready darlin?” Georgia called.
“Well, I have to start somewhere,” I declared, standing up and marching determinedly forward, grabbing the dress from Georgia on my way to the dressing room.
Once we were in the dressing room, I tried to have a private conservation with Georgia while we were free from my mother. Of course private is a relative term when a production assistant, camera man, and audio guy are all in the dressing room with you. “I’d really like something much sleeker, more modern, sophisticated. No bling!” I explained to Georgia as I stepped into my mother’s choice of dress and she started fitting it to me. “I have a few pictures of what I’m thinking about in my purse.”
“Suck it in a little, honey,” Georgia demanded as she tightened the corset strings.
“This is so ridiculous!” I complained to Georgia, but I did as I was told and sucked it in a bit.
With Georgia done, I turned to get the pictures I’d printed off the internet and ripped from bridal magazines out of my purse and caught sight of myself in the mirror. My heart literally skipped a beat. I straightened up and gasped. I looked amazing. The beaded bodice and billowing, filmy skirts accentuated my body perfectly. I turned from side to side in front of the mirror. I had never looked so stunning in my life. Could it be this easy? Could the very first dress be The One? Would concurring with my mother on the dress mean I was doomed on every other decision because she would think she knew best? Could I give my mother the satisfaction of being right?
“I knew it would be perfect for ya!” crowed Georgia next to me. “It’s a Sophia Moncelli. She’s French. This style is so goooorgeous—it’s called the montgolfiere.”
Move over, Andrew, I thought. I think I’m in love with this dress.