Warm today, warmer tomorrow. Dammit, this is NOT how autumn goes. Still, cat is happy.
A confession, I've been watching this show about women buying wedding dresses in an upscale New York City salon. The drama and family interactions are fascinating. And part of me always wanted to try on posh gowns, a part of me that is still eight years old and would like a flowing tutu, crinoline, long swishing extravaganza.
When I was in a wedding as primary, I got an off white, lacy, calf length dress that was actually a skirt and top, from a department store, and did not cost more than $150. Eventually, I would get about $50 out of it in a consignment shop. I never considered anything more expensive. Very glad of that.
When D and I married, I owned a very nice teal dress, that I wore to his parent's living room, for the ceremony. When we planned our reception, seven years later, I looked for something poofy/formal, and failed utterly. A few steps into a Bridal Warehouse store, a brief bit of sticker shock and snowblindwhite* overload, I walked out. A mall store formal wear store, and several dresses later, I felt like a well wrapped sausage, not like anything pretty. Nothing fit in any way, but then, dresses have always been problematic for a wide hipped, broad shouldered, flat chested, plain tasted person such as myself. Not to mention cheap, and often poor. Skirt/shirt combinations are more flexible. Which is what I got.
When I approached my Confirmation, I had to have a dress. My mother was not about to compromise on that construction. It was the middle of the 70's, there was polyester knit everywhere, and none of it fit nor looked good. A long trial of a shopping began, and eventually ended with a dress with a green patterned smooth polyester top - sleeveless, sewn to a cream polyester skirt, and a boxy cream polyester jacket with a squared collar. Seriously, the best I could find, since red was an unacceptable color for a church ceremony, and I didn't want it too short. Actually, I didn't even want to do this, I was not sure about faith, worse, I was pretty sure I didn't want to belong to this church. And I had to wear this outfit that made me feel ugly. I was, 14, 15, it all blurs, but it all felt so coerced. The conversation with the priest to find out if I was ready to affirm my baptism was not at all what I hoped. He talked at me, and I had some real questions, which I realized he was not in any way prepared to answer. Form only, he talked about teenagers talking on the phone with god. Refusing would have made an already tense home situation explode, alienating my only semi-ally mother.
First Communion I had a real white frilly dress, and I did like it, and the veil. Wonderful costume. Too bad the shoes, bought long before to grow into, were still very large, and gave me blisters. A boring mass, like all masses, no moment of revelation when I had the host on my tongue, just a bunch of obnoxious children around me, and the pretty dress a slight compensation.
Maybe this is why I never much valued a lush wedding dress, despite a continued fascination with it as costume.
And this is why I don't contact my mother. Every time I think about talking to her, I wind up shouting at her in my mind for insisting on actions that should have been optional. Which I could have let go, if only she'd made any effort to actually bother to have any interest in who I really was from the moment of puberty or at any time during my adulthood. I reflexively edited everything I said to her, so as not to offend her. Because her unconditional love for me did not extend to my not being catholic, or being sexual, or having a drink, or anything else that she considered vital. Like not drinking milk at every meal, or wearing jeans, or not ironing shirts. Yeah, best to let it be. She'll only deny it, or beat herself up at me, or claim she doesn't remember, or say she didn't mean that by it.
Still tangled up in her. All very sad, with no solution. Or I want to rail at her about her sons' lack of human decency. At their half-assed non-attempt to reach me to let a woman know her father has died. Even if they knew I wouldn't care, this is essential, this is basic. That I
had to call them
still baffles me.
Humans, who can figure 'em?
*I"ve never looked good in white anyway. Had to wear white for nursing school, and it was not flattering. Glad to get into colored scrubs. Although, now that the hair has gone grey, it's not as bad.
Labels: childhood, colors, parents