But dress shopping has been an entirely different experience. At the very start I got a glimpse into how helpful my mom was going to be when she said "every bride looks beautiful, just pick a dress." Thankfully, IC's mom is super straight-forward "that's ugly, take it off" and exactly the kind of person I need by my side when shopping for a purchase of this magnitude. She helped me figure out what styles look best on me, and she is really good at telling when something is just not for me.
But still, I am dress-less.
How did I get here? Let us recap.
I only started looking at dress photos after IC proposed. And I saw one right away that I liked a lot. It was Amsale and it just looked glamorous and different.
I went to their shop to try it on and stood in front of the mirror saying "I really think this is it." IC's mom snapped some pictures. I really thought "wow, I'm buying the first dress I tried on."
Then I got home and looked at the photos. And, I looked fat. Here's why that's weird: for most of my life, I was fat. Or, when I'm being charitable, big (really big) for my frame. I can tell you how it wasn't my fault that I teetered on size 14-16 in 2004, about how I had back surgery and had to eat laying down and couldn't even walk or do any excercise but the truth is I was always overweight. And despite that, I never really looked at myself in photos and thought "geez, I'm fat" like I did when I saw myself in this dress.
This is me in April 2002, not quite at my heaviest but definitely on the road there, with IC back when we were really, truly, swear to G-d, just friends (but as my mom said over New Years "I think you always loved her" to which he had no choice but to say "yes, always"), I've got rolls of fat showing and my arm is the size of a linebacker's but look at my face, and I don't just mean my double chin and huge cheeks--does that girl think she's fat? No way.
Today I am a very happy size 8. Would I be an even happier size 6? Or size 4? Sure, but I love my body and would rather have what I've got with minimal upkeep than be a regular gym-goer who only eats lettuce for a smaller size.
All of this is to say--why they hell am I feeling fat in my dream dress? I don't know. I guess it just doesn't fit right on me. Fine, here's my fat shot:
And lest you think it's in my head, here's me in another dress at Amsale, on the same day, which fits very nicely but ultimately isn't my style:
Tell me I don't look half the size.
So, back to the drawing board. Except I don't have a drawing board. Man, I wish I had a drawing board.