What happened to the days when my Grandmother would say, "Lilia, don't worry. With your body, you can go to the party in a trash bag and look beautiful."
Did I gain too much weight? Am I too old? Am I too happy? Why can't those things be said now?
Today was day one of the wedding dress search. Without actually discussing dresses on a forum Paul has access too, I will try to get into the multiple reasons why this might be the most aggravating experience.
I know my body. I know I'm not skinny. I know I have curves. I know I can cinch in at the waist. And I know I have an ass. I love all my curves. Even the ones that fluctuate with my beer and friend food intake. It's part of me, each and every bump, lump and imperfection. I'm comfortable in my own skin and I'm not afraid to show it. I am however a tom boy. I have been and always will be. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it's comfortable. Some women might like to pay the price of sore feet and inability to breath in the name of beauty, but I simply am not one of them!
So Saturday morning... 1 day till the infamous dress shopping appointment I receive a call from my Mom. It's raining and it's daylight savings so she doesn't think she should drive down to Queens anymore. Between the wet roads and getting the kids up for school Monday morning, she thought it best to sit this one out. Hmmm, yeah! I'm sure you are thinking what I was thinking. Disappointment! What mother isn't willing to drive in some rain ... slowly, getting their feet wet, to be with their daughter in the search to find her wedding dress? And really... is getting an 11 year old up at 6AM really that big of a deal? I think not. The appointment is at 11. She'd be home well in time to make dinner let alone put them to bed.
So Sunday came, and my sister and I picked up Paul's mom and headed to the store. I showed the woman the dressed I'd like to try own and like a pack mule she brought 25lb dress after 25lb dress for me to try on. I was anxious to try on one I'd been eying for a while. The minute the dress was zipped up and on my body, the whole store smiled. I not just loved it but other's did too... except those two disagreeing faces attached to my party. Of course! No one ever likes the dress you are in love with. I still like it. I know it's not the most flattering on my figure, I know it's not perfect, but it's me on so many levels. It suits my personality. Its simply me! So what if I'm not a size 0! So what if it doesn't make me resemble an anorexic. So what if you can't see every curve of my body. Shouldn't that view be reserved for my husband anyway?
Many, many dresses were tried on. Many, many more dresses were tried on. My sister asked for one to be brought over. Without describing what it looked like, I'll just say ... it was in between. It looked beautiful. It was perfect. Paul's Mom, still unimpressed. It was like they felt like I could have better. Well isn't that always the case? You can always find something better... I'm sure I could find someone better than Paul. There are millions of men in this world. Some may have better qualities than Paul in one place or another. But when you find that man that you can picture your forever with... you stop looking. So shouldn't it be true with the dress? When you put on the dress you can picture walking down the aisle with, don't you stop looking?
I wouldn't seal the deal until I showed at least pictures to my mother and grandmother. I promised the consultant that I'd be back and I'd make an appointment. I promised Paul's mom, I'd keep looking... I might have lied. I don't want to keep looking. I hated the experience, I hated the process, I found a dress I can live with... can't I just move on with my life now?
After it was all said and done I met up with a few relatives including my Grandmother. Long gone is the woman who'd support you in all your decisions. Long gone is the woman who tells you that you are beautiful. Long gone is the woman who holds back criticism that's not constructive. The new woman who has leaked out of the skin that used to hold my Grandmother disagrees with everyone around her. She is the only person who is ever right. She cooks better than you. She crochets better than you. She sews better than you. She knows everything and you know nothing. Her taste is the only taste that is acceptable and her taste is the only taste that is beautiful. She lies. She contradicts herself. She changes her story constantly. She isn't happy. And she is the type of unhappy that want's to bring everyone around her down.
So what does this new Grandma of mine say? That she dislikes all these dresses. That she likes the dresses in her Korean soap opera. Well I live in a real world, not some fucked up boring subtitled soap! I live in the US. I was born in the 80's. I'm a product of a semi-liberal upbringing. I'm not a strict practicing Catholic. I don't believe in superstition. And I don't care for your poofy sleeved, Filipino material, Filipine made garbage! But in 2 hours... could she say 1 compliment? No. Could she at least pretend? No. Could she at least refrain from throwing insults? No.
Remind me again why these people are invited to my wedding? They might be my family. I may love them. But these aren't the same people who raised me. These people aren't the people who filled my memories with positive love. These people are down, depressed, jealous, and petty. They are miserable and what those around them to be too! They don't want to see anyone else happy. They are selfish beyond words. So why again am I not eloping? Why am I not running away with Paul to the PNW to disappear from these people forever? Maybe I have some hope that they can change? Maybe I have some hope that ... tomorrows can still be like yesterdays?
Without my Grandpa, my family is broken. They are the kind of broken you can't fix. They don't want fixing. They don't think anything's wrong.
So yeah, I'd have preferred a colonoscopy. I'd have preferred a root canal. I'd prefer never to go through this again. And while I'm at it... I'd have preferred and still would prefer eloping. Just me... Paul... and God. Just Us, surrounded by nature. Just us, vowing our love to one other... to the people who matter... each other.
Why is that not happening again?