There’s something a bit strange for me about becoming friends with someone who has seen me naked. It’s one thing if you’re already friends, then you happen to go to the gym together, or have to share a fitting room. That I get. But becoming friends with someone after they’ve witnessed my rolls and cellulite, sober. Well, that takes self-esteem. I mean she actually wanted to break bread with me even after seeing my pregnant nakedness. Yes, yes, I’m sure she didn’t notice, that she wasn’t checking me out, that she just wanted to find me a dress. I know this logically. Emotionally, all I can think is, she saw me naked and she still wants to be my friend!
Okay, let me back up. When I was in New York for book tour, I did a little wedding dress shopping. Finding a dress for a knocked-up bride ain’t easy. I wanted a real wedding dress, not a chic designer frock with a bubble skirt. I wanted a gown with a train. I know it’s my second marriage, but it’s my first wedding. I scoured Bergdorf’s and whined into the phone at my friend Smelly, "I can’t find anything! I hate this! I hate shopping!" Then I headed toward Saks, without any type of bridal appointment, and wheeled through racks of ready-made. I tried on twenty-five dresses. Nothing worked. My feet now hurt, and I was exhausted from taking my day clothes on and off each time I found something else to try on. No joke, removing a bra when you’re pregnant HURTS LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. I was done. Nearly.
I tucked into the bridal salon with a, "I know I don’t have an appointment, but I need a dress for a 4 and a half month pregnant lady, and I need it in six weeks." Blinks. Stares. Was I the pregnant lady? "Twins," I said while rubbing my belly.
"Maybe I can help," said the Vera Wang sales rep.
"Maybe I can have your babies, too!"
I was ushered to a room. Measurements were taken. A woman with no eyebrows and hair pulled so taut I feared she couldn’t blink offered up a "Well, I’ll see what I can do, but we’ll need to be quick about it." She made some phone calls. I called Smelly and The Suitor. "Bridal Salon. Saks. Phone about to die." I was shown one dress, a sample Reem Acra that would need to be ordered that afternoon with extra money paid out for a rush. It was a gorgeous gown (shown here). At over $5,000, it was also way more money than I wanted to spend, but what were my options? I was ready to give in.
I have a stunning Vera Wang Luxe Collection gown sitting in our Austin apartment, and once upon a time ago, I spent way too much money for it. I vowed not to do this again. I was also hoping I wouldn’t need another wedding dress. I hoped it would fit. Since I never wore it the first time around, it’s certainly not bad luck and has nothing to do with my first marriage, considering it’s never been worn. It is, by far, the most exquisite gown I’ve ever seen. But at a size six, It does not fit me now, so it will not fit me when I’m four and a half months pregnant, either. I will have to part with it on Ebay or Craigslist. This still left me without a dress.
The Suitor and Smelly showed up. First Smelly with her, "It’s gorgeous, and you can wear it again." Then The Suitor with, "Yeah, yeah, it’s nice, I guess, but how much does it cost?"
"But I’ll never find anything else!" I was whining and miserable.
"When we’re back in Austin, I’ll go with you. We’ll find you something. I promise."
I know it’s not exactly traditional, wedding gown shopping with your fiancé and all, but neither is getting pregnant first, so fuck it. I needed help. Back in Austin, I made my way into Serendipity Bridal, a warm inviting store under new management. A slender saleswoman ushered me through the store, draping gowns over her arms that might work. We slipped into a changing room. My tank had one of those build-in bras, so I stripped down to my thong (which I noticed later had a slight tear in it). It’s like wearing stained underwear on an airplane (for some reason my mother always warned against this, just in case something went down… like my pants). Anyway, none of the dresses fit. Nothing would work. I returned to the front of the store, now fully clothed, and gave The Suitor the thumbs down. “And it’s not my being a pain in the ass either. Ask her,” I said pointing at the saleswoman. And the saleswoman just shook her head and recommended another store to us. St. Thomas, where incidentally we also found nothing aside from the same Reem Acra gown. Before making our way there though, the saleswoman extended her card with her mobile phone number penned onto the back. “My husband and I have lived here ten years, and we’re always up for meeting new people.” This woman wanted to be my friend, despite the fact that she’d just seen me naked, in slightly damaged panties. MORTIFICATION. Two days later, we all went out to dinner, and I’m certain that I’ll see her again soon. Just not all of her, though over dinner, I did get to hear a story about how her dog found one of her vibrators and refused to give it up as she chased him through their house. The most amusing bit of the story being "one of her vibrators." Her husband rolled his eyes and said, "why are you telling that story?" She responded something about the wine, but I knew I was in good honest company. I like them.
I also liked a dress… and finally found it, an Ines Di Santo gown at Ahead of the Curve, where the only one who saw me naked was The Suitor, while he helped me step into each new dress with, "come on, give me a quick feel."