The Wedding Dress

Sometimes you are talking with a friend, and something sparks a memory. There is a picture so clear, so vivid that you feel as though you are walking the footsteps over again. You can feel the carpet. You can hear the people around you and you remember exactly how you felt.

Today, the story of how my wedding dress was chosen came rushing back to me when I was talking with a friend. I knew I had to write it down before it was buried in the cheerio-ed to-do lists of tomorrow.

Mom and I had tried on ten million dresses. It was the annual David’s Bridal last year’s clearance, with racks and racks full of $99 dresses. I couldn’t find any that I just adored, so we put two on hold. We decided to drive home, pick up dad, eat some lunch, and ask his advice on the two dresses we had put on hold. If I remember correctly, one had long lace sleeves and was very Victorian.

We ate at Jason’s Deli and drove back down I-45 in Houston to David’s Bridal. Dad was being such a good sport, but he could tell that I didn’t really like either of the dresses. He kept making jokes about me wearing mom’s dress. (She was 5’1″ and 107 pounds when they were married. At 5’6″ and a wee bit more than 107 I figured I probably wouldn’t be able to get it past my knees.) We had decided that the dress was one wedding expense we would really save money on, so that we could pay for extended family to come into town.

We walked into the store, and Dad said, “Here, try this dress on.” I hesitated and said, “This isn’t one of the two that we have on hold.” And he said, “That’s ok. When you put this on, it’ll make you feel better about the other two.” It made sense to me. Maybe it would look so terrible that the others would be relief.

I walked out and mom started crying. I knew we had finally found the dress. Dad stood there smiling, knowing exactly what he had done.

Dad found my wedding dress.

I never tried on a different dress. The next time I put it on was when dad escorted me down the aisle in College Station, Texas to marry my best friend.

Thank you, dad. I’ll always remember that.

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