When I first walked in to the dress shop, I saw the other two bridesmaids in a matching dress. I was surprised to see them in a matching dress considering that the bride said we could all pick out our own style of dress, since we were dealing with different body sizes. In reality, the other two bridesmaids are a size 2 and I am a size 22. When I walked back to greet them, they were excited to show me their dresses. The definitely should have been; they looked great on them! Their greeting went somewhere along the lines of “What do you think of these dresses? Don’t you love them? They are from the Vera Wang collection! We set one aside for you. Let’s go find it! You have to try it on!” Here is what the dress looks like on a size 2:
|Photo from Davidsbridal.com|
At that point, it seemed like time slowed down. A few things became very clear in my mind. The first, was how great the dresses did look, on them. Second, I quickly realized that the same style dress would look very bad on my figure. My third, and probably most alarming thought, was that they had set aside a dress for me, without ever asking my size. I felt my face become red immediately, as we walked over to the rack where “my” dress hung. The bride, one of my best friends, picked the dress up and handed it to me with a smile. I looked for the tag immediately, needing to know what size she set aside before I walked in to the dressing room next to us. I could tell just by looking at it that it was way too small. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I found the tag; her mother, grandmother, the bridesmaids and the bride. They had all been there for hours; I was the last to arrive. The bride had found her dress an hour earlier. They were all happy, hopeful and tired from a day of dress shopping. I was the final piece; they were all there waiting for my fitting. I was overly aware of those facts as I read the dress size on the tag. The size was 14. She set aside a size 14 for me. At nobody's fault but my own, I was horrified. With a rush of embarrassment, I told her and apparently everyone else who was looking my way, that I needed to a different size.
The sales associate took me over to the rack, where the dresses of this style hung. It was only 5 feet from the group that waited for me, tired and now a little less hopeful. Their eyes were on us as the sales associate asked me in a whisper what size I was. I told her that I was unsure. She asked my pant size. I told her that I was a size 22. The largest size that she had of that style dress was a 22. It feared that it wouldn’t be big enough, as dress sizes usually run a size smaller than your pant size. When I got in to the dressing room, I was horrified again when I found that my fear came true. The dress didn’t fit. I stepped out of the dressing room with a look of urgency on my face as I held the back of my dress together with one hand, scanning the room for the sale associate. She met my worried eyes and came over immediately. I apologized that I needed her help, and she assured me that it wasn’t a problem. She clipped the dress to my tank top, as it simply would not zip up. I stepped out of the dressing room and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes as I looked at the big bridesmaid staring back at me in the mirror. I looked horrible. I felt horrible, but I knew how important this day was for my friend. I love my friend and this trip wasn't about me! I put on the best smile that I could and walked over to show our group the dress that I wore. (Below is a picture of me in “the” dress.)
|I'm actually thankful this photo is so blurry!|
When I reached them, fake smile still intact, the bride immediately asked me what I thought of the dress. I returned the question to her, saying that it felt very short, but I emphasized that I liked it if she did and that it was her choice. Everyone’s eyes were on me, and I felt ridiculous. I looked ridiculous too. That reality stung even more when her mother spoke up to the bride and said “Why don’t you try to find Kay a different dress.” At that very moment, I felt like a bomb had dropped; like dreams were being crushed at my expense, because of my weight. If my friend was happy with this dress, I didn't want to be the reason we had to keep looking! I did everything that I could to keep from shedding tears right then and there. Despite how I was feeling, I smiled and kept a happy tone to my voice as we discussed our options. After looking through the racks, it was clear that my friend, the bride, wanted us to all wear that same style of dress. The dress that was pinned to my tank top, the dress that was too short for a girl of my size, the dress that made me want to cry in horror. These things, of course, she did not know. Not wanting anyone else to be hurt because of my weight, I lied and assured the bride that I liked the dress and that everything would be fine. She and the others were able to leave the dress shop with a feeling of accomplishment. I, however, left the dress shop feeling damaged and broken.