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The Dress

July 25, 2008

My mom’s friend Patti came over today, they were going to have a day of shopping and lunch. She has been looking forward to their day since the beginning of this week. 

When Patti got here, she started to ask to see all of the wedding ‘stuff’… as she has no been over since the engagement in November. Pictures of the flower arrangements came out, as well as the bridesmaids dresses, favors, invitations, and then she asked if she could see the dress. I happily got it out of the cedar closet and hung it from the crown molding in the living room. I unzipped the bag and the fabric started to pour out. (The fabric (100% silk taffeta) is the part of the dress that I fell on love with… there is not a single bead/sequin/sparkle/bit of lace on the dress. I love it). Patti ooh-ed and awed and gushed about how classic and perfect it is for my frame, and how beautiful the fabric is. I told her how excited I am to wear it, and she said “You better be, you only get to wear it on that day”.

And that got me thinking. 

The most beautiful (and expensive) garment I have ever purchased… money saved over my short lifetime… is one I got to only wear once. From what I’ve learned, we mark special occasions by wearing a more special than usual outfit to increase the feeling of importance to that day. Christenings are marked by a white (reminiscent of a wedding gown?) dress way fancier than any baby would wear on a normal day. First Communions (also Catholic) are also marked by the white dress and tiny veil that increases the feeling that something really special is about to happen to you. (I  remember my First Communion… I felt like this really must feel like what it’s like to get married- the dress, the veil, the walk up the aisle of the church… but I specifically remember trying to strain to really FEEL different after the ceremony was over). 

Now, in 85 days I get to wear the most important white dress I’ll wear in my life. I really am thinking though, how am I going to be sure I get meaning outside of the clothes? I know that the day will already feel really special because of the dress… but I don’t want the dress to be the reason that day is really special. I know that the marriage is the most important part, and it doesn’t just last that one day… it’s a whole lifetime of days with not as special of clothes.

When we met with Fr. Wagner for the first time last weekend, he told us that the challenge is going to be to decide whether we wanted to make the commitment to be married every day of the rest of our lives. I think the same is true about the engagement process… it’s a big transition- emotionally taxing and extremely confusing. I see myself waking up each morning and wanting to try to make a relationship AND an engagement work at the same time. It is a decision… much like everything else in life is. 

I understand that while it is really about the marriage, and not the wedding- I want to actually feel different- feel married, feel bonded, feel something because of the wedding in October. I guess what I am trying to say is that aside from the legality of it all, the physical location of where we live, the rings we wear, and the name I take… I don’t want to have to strain to feel any different after the dress is put away. 

(not MY dress)

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