Mirrors are to blame. Damned mirrors. I tried on that amazing, gorgeous, fantastic dress at least once every few weeks for 4 months. Each time I looked in the mirror, I felt a bit less sure. The dress was, undeniably, a bit tight around my waist and hips. Through the slubbed silk, I could see my belly-button (or - more specifically - the doughnut of flesh surrounding it). It was a negligible tightness - the type remedied by a month of skipped desserts, and some Spanx. At first I confidently told myself that it would be so so easy to fit into it by my October 1st wedding - 11 months away. But as weeks wore on, I became less excited. Trying on my wedding dress was supposed to instill confidence and positive anticipation, but the sight of a bit of belly behind the fabric was disheartening. Sometimes I felt like I couldn't breathe when it was fully zipped. I began to resent the dress.
Flash forward to March 25th. I was in my hometown of St. Louis, visiting my parents while attending a professional conference. My mom, who hadn't been able to go dress shopping with me the first time, had heard enough of my kvetching, and (secretly excited, I'm sure), made appointments at area bridal salons, "just to look." Sure enough, after an exhaustive hunt through the sample-rack at salon #1, we found my second wedding dress. This one was lacking a bit in uniqueness (compared to the blush of my first love), but was a similar style, and it FIT PERFECTLY. No doughnut in sight. My mom got the requisite goosebumps. I could breathe. $700. Done.
I was, and remain, so relieved to have found a dress I feel comfortable and beautiful wearing. But I was also getting really, really, sick of staring at myself in the mirror. In those moments I felt like the worst version of myself - insecure, indecisive, vain. My vanity had already cost me several hundreds of dollars (BTW - email if you're looking for a gorgeous wedding dress!). More importantly, I had lost both time and emotional energy in the process. The dress shopping had put me over the edge, and with the requisite wedding make-up and hair trials, there would be more vanity to come. Something had to give. It was time to take a serious look in the mirror - or was it?
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