Monday, October 13, 2008

For the Love of a Dress

Oh. My. God.
This weekend I became someone I never thought I would be.
I cried over the beauty of a dress.
Who am I?

The "crying-over-the-dress" incident officially marks the moment that the great dress hunt morphed into something totally different than I ever anticipated.
I have done what I never thought I would do: I have fallen in love... with a dress.
Actually, with a whole line of dresses.

I went to New York this weekend to shop for dresses with my best friend who is also my MOH. First we went to David's Bridal, and nothing there worked at all. I felt like I was playing dress up in clothes that were too small for me and it was just so clear that if I got married in a dress from there, I just wouldn't feel like myself on my wedding day. So we hightailed it out of there and headed for SoHo, where I thought I would look for a dress that wasn't actually a "wedding" dress, but that I could wear on my wedding day.

So, we walked, and we shopped, and we talked... and then we saw it... a store that made me feel like I was walking on a cloud while eating whipped cream. It was one of those stores that has 3000 square feet but only like 10 dresses. Where the racks are suspended from the ceiling with fishing wire... or, more likely, thread spun by fairies and leprechauns. It was beautiful. It was incredible. I has already begun falling madly and irreparably in love.

Oh, but it only gets better. After David's Bridal, where they told me I was, instead of my usual size 6... a size 12, the medium sizes at the cloud/whipped-cream store were too big for me. Everything zipped up like it was made for my body and the store clerk kept telling me how tiny my waist was. And the dresses.... oh the dresses. They were so unique, so beautiful, so, so, so me. I never thought I could love an article of clothing as much as I loved every single thing that I tried on there. It was heaven. The dresses were wedding-y without being bridal. Everything was made of chiffon. I had never seen a silhouette that resembled anything they had there. It was perfection. It was just... oh man, it was so good. mmmmmmmmmmmm.

The prices.... oh dear... the prices.... Well... as you would anticipate... they were high. But, here's the good news... They were actually on the low end of a lot of bridal stuff -- however, they were still higher than I had budgeted. Everything there was between $1500 and $3500... and I was hoping to spend closer to $500. Oh sad. I still haven't decided what to do...


The Girls Give Me Hope.

I am the luckiest one.

My students just threw me a surprise engagement party. I was eating lunch when my boss came by and told me that he wanted to talk to me. He walked me to my classroom asking me weird questions about the Faculty and Staff Gay/Straight Alliance that I had started last year and when I opened the door to my classroom, my students (all 12 year old girls) jumped out of the corners, up from under desks and out of closets, throwing confetti and yelling "Congratulations!!" They had thrown me a surprise engagement party, complete with pizza, cookies, soda, a giant congratulations sign and a bunch of hugs. They are the cutest little munchkins. I can't believe how lucky I am.

I don't teach at a liberal school. I'd say more than half of the families that send their kids here are republicans. I've been fighting discrimination from the administration for the last year (they won't let me live on campus with my partner because we can't be married in our state). But kids are kids, they are more sensitive to justice and fairness than anyone. And... this being an all-girls school... any excuse to talk about dresses, flowers, and all-things-frilly is a good excuse.

These girls give me so much hope for the future. I owe a lot to them. In the face of things like this, we could all use a little hope right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Great Dress Hunt Begins

Whew.  I tried on wedding dresses for the first time yesterday. Was I supposed to cry out of joy or a feeling of accomplishment or something?  Because I didn't.  I mean, don't get me wrong... it was awesome -- I heart trying on dresses, especially when you get your own little room and someone to help you... but I didn't, like, freak out.

Okay, for one, I think I didn't get all teary because I was too busy being totally embarrassed that I had to be in my underwear in front of the co-workers that I brought with me.  I don't know why I thought they'd bring me into a different room to do the whole undressing thing... but, they didn't.  There I was practically nekkid in front of these girls that I don't really know well enough to be nekkid in front of.  Oops.

But, the other, probably more important reason that I didn't get all shmoopy is that, unlike many, I never really thought about getting married when I was a little girl.  In fact, I didn't think about it until I got engaged.  So, this whole wedding thing... although totally awesome and fun and exciting, doesn't feel like the fulfillment of some long-standing dream that I've had ever since I watched Cinderella at at three.

As a little kid I was absolutely a princess... I went through a period during which I would not leave the house unless I was wearing my frilliest dress and my ruffle-y underwear.  I played "shopping' on the playground in fifth and sixth grade.  That was a game in which my friends and I made fake credit cards and went fake shopping by the monkey bars. I mean... I was a girly, girly, girl.  But weddings just never did it for me. I think that was because of the adults I happened to have in my life: my parents are divorced. All my mom's friend are lesbians (as are six of my aunts), my straight aunts, although they've been with their partners for decades, just never saw the need to get married to them.  Marriage and weddings just weren't really a big deal in my family.  In fact, I think my family is a little shocked that I'm doing it.  They don't quite know how to act.   

I think I'm probably the only lesbian out there whose family is shocked that I'm getting married because they're so pro-gay that they're anti-marriage instead of the other way around.

Anyway, I'm headed up to NYC to do some more wedding dress shopping with my best friend and maid of honor.  Here's hoping the perfect dress falls out of the sky, costing but a mere $50, perfectly altered to fit my body (how it will look next August).  Fingers crossed.

Oh... All the dresses pictured here are Pricilla of Boston Reception Dresses... I'm really leaning towards wearing a reception dress for the whole damn thing... thoughts?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blog Worlds Colliding

Okay, so, I have a google reader and I read a lot of wedding blogs. Like, a lot. I do this because I am obsessed. I do this because I don't want to grade the papers that are stacked on my desk. I do this because I never really knew how girly I was until I got engaged.

My fiance is a blog addict as well. She, however, reads anti-racist, radical-queer, leftist blogs. She reads them like it's her job (and, actually, it sort of is... she's in policy). And... against all odds... our totally separate blog words have collided.

The crazyness over at Weddingbee has reminded us both how political our personal is. Now, this is both annoying (who wants their wedding to be up for some kind of public debate) and totally awesome. Why, totally awesome, you ask. Well, because, even after reading all her posts over at Weddingbee, I had no idea how fabulous Mrs. Gingerbread was. But since she's left Weddingbee, I've had to get her stories from her own blog, Two Chicks Nest. And, after this post: Two Chicks Nest: Allies, her's is now my favorite of all the blogs I subscribe to. I am a huge fan. Big time. Brides are actual people with political leanings and thoughts about important stuff. too. Sweet.

Ugly versus Ugly... Everyone Wins

So, I have a thing against taffeta. I think it is because I am easily influenced by others and I once heard someone say something mean about taffeta. That, and I don't like that it doesn't move -- it freaks me out a little bit. But, the weird thing about weddings is it seems like taffeta is everywhere... I keep trying to escape, but it's everywhere I turn.

However, I think I pretty much like everything else... and the dress I like the most right now is actually polyesther... so... there you go... who am I to judge?