My mom and I are in a high-maintenance, long-distance relationship. She is my life confidante and was the ultimate cheerleader to my wedding year.
She had been watching and praying for this moment her whole life. Charles’ walking into her (my) life was an answer to a beautiful prayer of hers.
I wouldn’t have ended up with a man like him without prayers like hers.
I am a bit envious of women who get to wedding dress shop with their mom. Being 3,000 miles away made this a difficult option, and the clock was ticking to find a dress.
We decided mom would join for FaceTime wedding dress shopping.
This meant three of my best friends took turns pointing my iPhone at me. My mom commented on my chest, back, front, and anything else she could see on an iPhone screen.
Growing up, I was the “fat” kid. Fat meaning: I was fatter than my tiny, cute sister and cousins. I am top heavy. My teenage and adult years were spent with my mom and aunts telling me to “pull my shirt up” or “your shirt is too tight.”
These types of comments lended to a rather obvious insecurity of mine.
The day before my engagement party, I decided to take my mom, sister, and a few of my aunts to see my wedding dress.
We drove to the bridal shop and were greeted by a lovely woman who brought me to my wedding dress. We stumbled into the dressing room and she began to zip me into my dress.
During the wedding dress search, I was surprised at how beautiful I looked in every dress I wore.
I didn’t expect it.
I struggled to find myself in clothes and when I tried on my wedding dress, I was a princess.
I felt radiant, comfortable, and beautiful.
More importantly, I felt like the Kim K. living inside of me and I was ready to run straight to my man at the altar.
If you’ve ever bought a wedding dress, the dress you buy off the rack often looks nothing like the final product. Cleavage is added (or removed in my case), sleeves and length can all be adjusted to the eye of the buyer.
When I tried on my dress, it was completely unaltered; it was just the dress and all its glory. One of the bigger concerns for my mom was my cleavage. I had bought extra lace and was open to any type of alterations.
I knew my dress was for me, but also to the glory and honor of my parents.
I wanted to make them happy. I wanted to make them proud of me.
And I wanted to make sure, it was modest and elegant enough to prevent anyone from saying anything about me.
A few people who couldn’t make it to my dress appointment called my mom while I was in the dress.
One person in particular took one look at me over FaceTime and spit out nothing but negativity. I felt like I was wearing a trash bag.
She didn’t have one good word to say about my dress. All she could comment on was the lack of sleeves and chest and everything else.
I like to believe that I am a strong, don’t-give-no-shit kind of woman to what people think.
I’ve spent a lot of time giving myself female power pep talks to not give into the haters.
I am not a woman easily moved by haters.
I stood in the most beautiful dress I will probably ever wear, completely happy with my choice.
Wanting so badly, to be admired, loved, and appreciated by the people I love the most.
I stood in my beautiful wedding dress and spit out hateful things to combat how small she made me feel.
In that moment, I felt like the eleven-year-old girl who didn’t know what to do with her body.
In that moment, I felt small, insignificant, and especially imperfect.
As an adult woman, I’m learning most people don’t actually mean to hurt you the way they do. This person wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt my feelings. She simply was trying to improve the way the dress looked so I could be as beautiful as she believed I could be.
That was not the sentiment I felt in the moment.
We can take the things people say to us and construct them in or out of our favor. We can use what they say to negatively define a certain group of people because one person made a mistake.
We can choose to find the good in every terrible, difficult, and horrible remark.
I am not saying to be a doormat. It is possible to allow people to speak their truth, even if it’s uncomfortable for you to hear.
It’s possible to hear what people say and not immediately jump to your conclusions.
I didn’t have the courage to tell this person she hurt my feelings. This same woman has loved and cherished me my entire life and would do anything to make me happy.
She didn’t know she was hurting me.
A lot of people speak out of the way others have hurt them, especially when they are hurting you. There may be some real pain in the suffering others inflict on us.
Sometimes, it may just be better to brush it off, decline it as untruth, and keep it pushing.
Because, I sure as hell looked beautiful on my wedding day, and the pictures prove it.