Say ‘Yes’ to Distress.

My best friend is getting married, and she asked me to be her maid of honor.  I am flattered and thrilled, and I adore her fiance, and I have no idea what I’m doing.

Lilly is a petite size nothing, brunette knockout with huge blue eyes.  She looks like a very tiny statue, or a huge fairy.  And even worse, she has the personality blend of Amy Adams and Emma Stone.  If you met her, you’d want to hate her real bad, and end up wanting to take her out to a pricey lunch.  So when I did the one thing I know a maid of honor is supposed to do and made her an appointment to try on wedding dresses–at the wonderful Lovely Bride–I knew that it was going to be an emotional day.

I’m protective of my sweet little Lilly, mainly because she’s the size of an edamame pod, and I’ve fiercely hated many of her boyfriends.  I also knew that it would be a physically taxing day, because I was going to have to avoid standing next to her in mirrors.  I even dressed down so that when I caught the accidental glimpse, I could mindscream, “IT’S OK, YOU DIDN’T EVEN TRY TODAY.”  Whenever Lillypod and I have considered a possible bridesmaid dress, this has been my only criterion:

Lillypod: What do you think of this one?
Keely: That’s so nice! Will you feel upstaged if I wear this though?
Lillypod: Aww, no of course not!
Keely: Then I’m not getting it.

She looked amazing in everything, of course, and I made lots of jokes about how now I would have to change my retirement plans.  That’s the only real inconvenience of the wedding.  I had always thought our combined poverty would somehow buy Lillypod and I a large house in New England, where we would adopt many cats, and fuel the local rumors that we were lesbian witches.  And that our magic was derived from our gayness.  It was all very Practical Magic meets Thelma and Louise meets The Kids are All Right.

Our time at Lovely Bride was, well, lovely.  We had a private room, and a sort of medieval handmaiden to lace and button Lillypod in and out of each dress.  They had the perfect music playing, the kind of music that makes you look at yourself/your loved one in a wedding dress and weep with happiness, then fork over $2,000 before the Dixie Chicks’ “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” is over.

It was magical, and we both left feeling happy, and a little overwhelmed, because we were both realizing a little bit more that Lillypod is getting married.  And that’s a big deal. But more than that, we felt the need for Jamba Juice.

Lillypod suggested we check out David’s Bridal, because it was nearby, and why not?  I had seen a David’s Bridal in Ohio, and because there was one in Ohio, I assumed we didn’t need an appointment.

Well, we did. And as we waited for Lilly’s named to be called, perusing the bridal magazines and listening to “Waiting for Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez playing overhead just a little too loudly–perhaps David’s Bridal endorses saving the carnal pleasures of life for marriage?–it became clear this would be a very different experience from Lovely Bride.  So sweet little Lillypod sat there and read for a while, completely serene and content and pod-like.  Because I’m going to the Renaissance Faire next weekend–AND I AM SO EXCITED–Lillypod jokingly pointed out a dress to me, expecting me to laugh:

But I didn’t laugh. Because when you find your soul mate, you don’t laugh, you get very quiet and still and grateful.  When you find the wedding dress destined to be yours, it’s a magical moment.  When you find something that reminds you of your beloved Renaissance Faire, your time abroad in Madrid wishing you knew how to flamenco dance, and bloodstained Lady MacBeth all wrapped up into a few glorious yards of cheap fabric, you don’t make a peep; you shed a tear.

And so I wiped my tear of reverence away, and we decided to look around.  I knew that the day was going to be emotional, but it turns out that David’s Bridal makes you feel things you never thought you’d feel when it comes to dresses:

What is it? Why is it?  It must be a sleeved trashcan, or a headless swan in a t-shirt.

Nothing says ‘warmth’ like watching a blushing bride walk down the aisle in a winter cape. And nothing else.

If you show up to Lillypod’s wedding in a bedazzled highlighter, you will be banned from the buffet.

Because it’s Vaginadress.


Now you can tell your mother OR your father where to find their wedding attire!

And finally…


Cautious optimism.



While I sat down with a calculator and tried to figure out whether or not it was possible to mortgage a dress, Lillypod’s name was called and she started trying on dresses.  People around her went crazy.  One woman punched me in the shoulder, pointed to Lillypod, and whispered “Audrey Hepburn.” I punched her back and said, “DON’T TOUCH ME I AM MAKING NUMBERS FOR RENDRESS.”

Lillypod tried on a few form-fitting, lace dresses, and looked stunning in all of them.  Punchwoman cried out, “Oh! Grace Kelly!” and at the same moment,  I stopped making numbers and realized that Rendress would never be mine.  I was undermoneyed, and did not understand anything about mortgages.   Something small in me snapped.  I thought, “Stupid Punchwoman! These uncultured buffoons! NO ONE can look like Grace Kelly AND Audrey Hepburn! They look nothing alike! You’re just saying names you’ve heard on the TV!”

And so I did an evil thing.  I did a thing that was selfish, and not maid of honorly at all.  I told Lillypod she should try on a big fluffy ball gown, for the lulz–but really, embittered and poor, I just wanted to see her look like a child in a christening gown. I wanted to see her lost in yards of fabric and go, “AH HAH! NOT FLATTERING!”

The saleswoman grabbed some huge, cotton-ball-looking-ballerina-on-steroids concoction from the back, and Lillypod disappeared into the changing room and got dressed while I sat outside and tapped my fingertips together sinisterly.

Then she came out. And you know what?

She looked like the goddamn lovechild of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.

10 thoughts on “Say ‘Yes’ to Distress.

  1. Lilly looks soooooo unbelievably pretty. I still like you though. I want a full-on post when you shop for bridesmaids dresses.

  2. It takes a lot to get old people to laugh.
    I’m old and I laughed so hard I wondered who it was when I heard myself.
    P.S. I still want you to stop cussing!
    Did I tell you I was laughing so hard I was crying too?
    Thank you Keely, I needed this!!!

  3. Just go back and buy the RenDress.
    Surely you can wear it at a party or perhaps your next desk job. I would not pass that up. You will not find it again! I speak from experience!!!

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