Why my wedding dress scares me

No, it's not because I am scared to get married, although I think the rest of the world is very scared of this. I am actually, for once in a very long time, a bit more secure than I've been in years.

The real reason?

I am scared because of its size and what that number means in regards to my weight. And to me, my weight often determines my self-worth, therefore (in bad SAT question format) Dress size=Self Worth.

Yes.

Sounds stupid, right? I am more afraid of certain numbers on my clothing than I am of waking up in a tiger cage. I'd actually prefer to sleep in a tiger's cage because I'd be ensured that it would finish any food that was leftover from meals and I wouldn't have to do so. Yes, I am neurotic about my weight. Yes, I value myself on a number. Yes, I do realize in a logical fashion that it's not normal to obsess in this fashion.

But, I am almost scared not to. I am scared to live without constantly worrying about my body image and weight. That foreign concept would be like living without air after nearly 20 years of looking at myself and knowing nothing but dissatisfaction. I am afraid of letting go of this fear because- what then?

I (in true Amy fashion) waited until the very last minute to buy a dress. Everyone around me chalked this up to my usual way of doing things in a timely fashion for important events. I am the person boarding the airplane as they are removing the jetway. I still have overdue library books from 4th grade. Anyways, I put off what should be a very happy occasion in one's life because I did not want to face what size I would have to buy and the thought of "modeling" this dress in public. (Trust me, I use the term "modeling" quite loosely. In addition to being very punctual, I am also very "graceful". As graceful a dodo bird.)

Finally, a very close friend of mine was sweet enough to accompany me on my trip for getting the "dream dress" which in my head had turned into "dreaded dress". Luckily, this was a great friend as she respected my wishes not to even look at what sizes I was trying on- the store carried a range and since everyone told me that almost every human, whether a size 0 or a size 46, needs to get their dress altered. So I solely chose each one based on the look of the dress.

Let me tell you, I wanted to peek at each size SO BADLY as I tried each one on. It was like a kid being told not to leave their block while playing outside- all that kid wants to do is go see what's on the next block even if they know they'll get in trouble. I started to panic in my mind. Weird things ran through my head. What if I look fat trying this on in front of all of these people? What if the sales person thinks I am way too huge to try on this style? What if this doesn't fit? What if I look terrible in pictures? What if I gain weight before my wedding? What if someone tells me what size this is and it is outside of my realm of "safe sizes"?

Oh yeah, clearly the brain of a normal person.

So, I tried on dress after dress. I did a full mental analysis of every flaw on myself in each dress. I realized that I was pinching the skin of my arms so hard that the sales person even called me on it, thinking it was just a nervous twitch because of all of the wedding planning.

Truth is, the wedding planning was far from my mind. My selfish, crazy eating disordered brain had taken over and wanted to scream "NO, I AM JUST TOO FAT AND GOING OUTSIDE HAVING A GROUP OF 20 CRAZY FUTURE BRIDES STARING AT ME MAKES ME WANT TO VOMIT." I could just picture the reactions- smirks, rude remarks, whispering.

Turns out, everyone was- gasp- so friendly. Not even focused on the dress. Asking nice questions, like where I met my fiance. What horrible people, right? And when people were focused on the dress...all nice things. "You're lucky you're tall." (Said me in my own head, never. You are a giant that could dominate a small country, says me.) No snarling evil from others- just from the little voice in my head.

Right as I was beginning to relax and actually just decide on the dress, it happened. The sales person checked the price for me and then also revealed the size. This moment held more suspense than running up the EL platform stairs to reveal just what train was coming, and if in fact, it was your elusive Pink Line train that runs every 34 minutes after peak rush hour.

Back to the dress.

Hearing what the size was out loud was the equivalent of catching the blue line heading to Forest Park when you're already late for your flight to O'Hare. Not what I wanted at all. In fact, way off.

I have still been struggling to justify this in my head. It runs small! It's those damn European sizes! (Or not, but...yeah.) I ate a lot of salt so I am bloated! That burrito from 3 years ago suddenly caught up to me!

Or, I could get over my fear and think..."This dress looks nice. I will look nice. Let us all pray I don't trip on the train and need medical assistance."

This fear will always be a part of me. Has it been detrimental? Absolutely. It's taken a toll on my self-image and also has made so neurotic at times that Larry David looks like the picture of sanity compared to me. However, I was fearful about writing this and sharing it with my eight billion best internet friends, and I got over that, so maybe there is hope yet.

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