Last night was magical. As I think about the evening, I think of the song, “I Could Have Danced All Night” from the musical My Fair Lady. Being in a dress and feeling beautiful – well, that was something I have not looked forward to in years. In fact, it has been nearly six years since I have worn a dress to a wedding.
For more details on this recent explosion of mine into the dress world, feel free to read my post on August 10, 2011 titled “Getting Over Myself.” At the time, I had no idea that this could become a series, so I did not add “Part One” to the title. Apparently, I should have!
I have not looked forward to wearing a dress in years. Literally years. Since starting the shopping spree as referenced in the previous blog post, I have been waiting for last night to come, well – for about eight days. I doubt that I anticipated Mark and Stacy’s wedding as much as they did, but I was really excited. In the past ten days, I have purchased two awesome dresses. I had gone on to search for a third dress on Thursday, but, after trying on more than fifteen dresses in two hours, I gave up. Instead – yesterday I headed to another source: my daughter’s closet. Surprise, Beth!
Last year, one of my thirteen Italian cousins – Jonathan – married the sweet and lovely Beth in an outdoor wedding on 10/10/10. I had searched high and low for the perfect outfit for the occasion, and I eventually settled on a fun orange, veneer top with a pair of brown slacks. I felt comfort in the slacks. On the day of the wedding, though, I realized that I felt left out of the dress club that most of my lady cousins were a part of for the day. I had tried on one dress in the mix of things, and it had looked awful. My chubby knees showed, and they were atrocious. That was not going to happen.
In the fall of 2009, another Italian cousin – Travis – married a witty beauty named Elise. It turned out to be a great idea to wear pants to that wedding as I had the job of doing an unofficial video of the wedding and reception. That being said, though, I doubt I would have been caught dead in a dress. As I was thinking about the information for this blog post, I could not figure out why I struggled to recall details of the wedding. Then I remembered – I had driven all night from Minneapolis to Nashville without sleep. What a nut!
In July of 2007, I attended the wedding of another Italian cousin – Karissa – who married the quiet but smart and funny Stanley in a wedding that ended in a reception by the ocean. In pictures of that wedding, I see the same black pants that have become a Stacy trademark. As I reflect on that wedding’s timing, I am pretty sure that I weighed less then than I do now. Perspective is a funny thing!
My favorite “weight” self and outfit at just about any wedding in my entire life was the November 2005 wedding of my half-sis Meg (also known as JR and Maggie). That wedding occurred shortly after my eighteen month weight loss conquering eighty pounds and several sizes. I felt confident, self assured, and beautiful. Because Kerry and the kids did not attend that wedding with me, cousin Jonathan played my date to the wedding.
We have fabulous pictures from that event, and my sis brought back the famous cousins and olives picture that had been out of sight/out of mind since my own wedding. That is a long story; perhaps it will be a blog post of another day, but the tradition has continued into some of the other cousin weddings as many loved the olive moment at mine – it really spiced up the event.
In many shopping trips over the past few weeks, I have discovered that, though my body type is nearly impossible to cloak well, there are dresses that fit me and even look good…great…on me. The hours and hours of searching and trying on are all worth it when the perfect dress, at a nearly perfect price, surfaces from the pile of the unwanted ones and goes from the fitting room into my closet in a matter of minutes. Twice in the past ten days, I have found a perfect dress….well, two perfect dresses. They each accent certain parts of my figure while hiding well the ones that should remain hidden (the knees! oh, the knees!).
Last night, although I did not wear a dress different from either of the purchases, the dress itself had similar elements to the two that I purchased. As I wore it last, I cared less about how I looked and more about enjoying myself in it. I do not know if I care less about how I look or enjoy more the possibility that I have been wrongly seeing myself in the mirror. The eyes that I use can find every problem with my figure, and in my eyes – there are plenty to find.
What I have come to realize recently is that my eyes are blurry. I do not see others in the same way that I see myself. Others may weight more or less than I or be in better or worse shape than I, but I do not find myself seeing them with the same blurry vision. When I take some time to objectively think about about myself, I realize that I weigh less now than I did a year ago, but – more importantly – I am in overall better shape than I was a year ago. Taking frequent walks, eating fruit and veggies more often, drinking less Coke, and drinking more water are good steps.
I actually feel better. And when I feel better, I do better…and I want to look better. I wear clothes that fit well rather than hide well. And last night – I spent less time in a chair exercising my mouth and more time on the dance floor.
I doubt that I could say that I am completely “over myself”…but… last night was not a step in the right direction but a leap. The best part is that another wedding is just around the corner, and a perfect dress for that occasion hangs in my closet waiting for me to put it on and enjoy another night in the right direction.