I wanted to look pretty. I mean, it’s not everyday you have the honor of singing the entrance song for the bride – and not just any bride. My nephew’s bride. My nephew, who since birth, I’d considered my own. Because, you know…being an unmarried girl in my mid-to-upper 20s, it was pretty clear, he and his super adorable brother, would be the closest I’d ever come to motherhood.
I’d rocked him to sleep when he was tired, I’d danced around the living room, singing all the songs from every Disney movie, when he was weepy. And as he grew, it was sleepovers and baseball games. It was building snowmen and picking out Christmas trees. It was early morning pancakes and late night hot cocoa.
So, this was kinda important.
I had the perfect dress. It was a navy blue halter dress with chiffon overlay. Navy blue, because well, you know…the wedding palette was navy.
I even went out and picked up those new magnetic lashes that are all the rage. I wanted my eyes to pop! I had my makeup planned to match my dress. I had the prettiest shoes to match my perfect dress.
And then –
On the morning of the wedding, I decided to color my hair (again, just like I did last week and the week before). I didn’t like the brown I’d originally selected, and wanted it blonde again. I felt prettier blonde. I mean, don’t blondes have more fun anyway? Isn’t that the saying?
But for those of you who have never messed with your gorgeous locks, I’ll let you in on a little secret – when you color your hair, it’s kinda hard to style it afterwards because it’s been conditioned as part of the treatment. So my hair wouldn’t take a curl. That was just the beginning.
“Okay” I thought – “I’ll try the hair again later,” because I was super excited to try the magnetic lashes. I mean, how hard could they be?
Do not buy these God-awful contraptions ladies. Do not! Have you actually seen how they’re applied? Have you seen what you’re supposed to do? (1) the package comes with a set of 4 lashes; two upper and two lower lashes. I was like, “Lower lashes? That would look weird” not realizing that the upper and the lower get PRESSED TOGETHER ON YOUR OWN EYELASHES using a plastic torture device.
After trying it on my own, calling my husband in out of sheer frustration, and then having him try and figure it out, and failing…I tried again. And you know what? I pinched my poor little eyelid, screaming loud enough that my 10-year old thought I’d stubbed my toe again. Because she’s only heard that particular scream, during those particular times.
Moving on…the dress. It was time to put on the dress. I’d been waiting six months to wear it. Six months of it hanging in my closet, still tagged and bagged. Today was finally the day.
And then –
It didn’t fit. It didn’t fit! And not just a little. I’m talking boob overflow. Not appropriate for a wedding, yes?
And now isn’t the time for “you didn’t try it on first?” comments…because NO I DID NOT! And YES I KNOW NOW. TRY ON THE FRIGGIN DRESS IN ADVANCE!
My husband was knocking on the door, the kids were yelling up the stairs…it was time to go…I was sweating in places. All the places.
I was uncurled, unlashed, and starting to become undone.
Now, at this point in the story, I could tell you I had a moment of clarity. I could tell you I envisioned the bride and how nothing else mattered – what I wore didn’t matter, my hair and makeup didn’t matter…I could tell you I got it. But I didn’t. There was no clarity. No moment of reflection and calm.
I yanked a skirt and top out of my closet, grabbed a pair of shoes, and sulked the entire way to the wedding. Ninety minutes of hell for my husband, I’m sure.
And then, on the ride, I got a text. It was an article. “A very good friend wrote this.” It was my article. “Own Who You Are” – a blog I’d written about loving yourself, your body – as is. It was about the curves, the arm waddle, the back fat…”every inch of who you are is part of your history.” I wrote. I wrote about loving ourselves in our current state, and embracing it.
And in that moment, I let it all go. I was thankful for her friendship. I was thankful for the reminder that we are all beautiful and it’s not about the dress, or the lashes or the hair.
I had the honor of singing at my nephew’s wedding. Me. Not my dress. Not the superficial crap that I thought mattered on this day. It was my voice they wanted to hear.
In the end, it was the love in my heart that carried those notes as this beautiful woman walked down the aisle. It was the tears I’d shed that showed my joy.
It didn’t matter what I wore. It didn’t matter that my hair wasn’t curled.
I was there. I was present.
And I learned a valuable lesson that day…
Never again buy magnetic lashes.