February 4, 2007

My super sweet 31

I received a promotional e-mail from Antropologie this week, filled with fun, summery white dresses. It called out to me, like their stuff always does. I dragged SB up to the mall yesterday to see if they might have the solution to my wedding dress woes. Just like the countless times I’ve walked into this store in the past, disappointment greeted me at first sniff. The place smells like a cheap import store and the quality of construction and fabric is so poor it makes me step back in shame, at the same time their prices are so high, ($250 for a dress that feels like cheesecloth!) it makes my head spin.

I always, always, leave empty handed and disappointed. I need to stop going back, but I can’t. I want that style but I also want quality. Why is this so difficult?

Since we were at the mall I decided we should check some other stores, starting with Macy’s. Macy’s had racks of dressy, besequined gowns on sale racks. Sweet! As soon as I started sifting, the racks were descended upon by hoards of teenage girls. I stayed just ahead of teenage curve and found a dressing room with no wait.

I opened the dressing room door, my first dress on to show SB, only to be greeted by a whole line of teenage girls, all with fancy gowns in hand. Their eyes assessed me in one instant and I could see the decision was bad. They glared at me as I fought my way out to the “waiting” area to show SB. They glared at me all the way back to my dressing room, shooting daggers into my back. I tried on the rest of my dresses without showing SB, as I couldn’t face the judgment on the other side of the door.

Macy’s was a bust and we went on to a few more stores, all of which were crawling with 13-18 year-old girls hunting for gowns that were way too old for their young age. They were buying dresses at $400+ that hung from their child like bodies. At every store they glared at me for getting in their way, and watched disapprovingly as I tried on dresses with my woman size body and my “old” lady skin.

We overheard discussions of boob size and boyfriends, drugs and cars. There were girls with parents, girls with girlfriends and girls by themselves. I’ve never been so happy to be 30 as I was amongst those girls. I’m doubly happy I didn’t grow-up in a super rich southern town. The pressure behind their eyes, the competition in the air sickened me. This is what it is like at the schools of the MTV reality show My Super Sweet 16, where every dress, every event must showcase the wealth and style of these children and the parents stand-by encouragingly.

Through all this shopping angst I came out victorious with a dress that isn’t what I had pictured but is so much better. It is the perfect elopement dress. SB also showed himself to be the ever patient and supportive man that I love, as he stood, towering amongst the teenagers, calmly focused on the goal of finding me the right dress.

This week I turn 31. My adult self is better than I could ever have imagined at age 16.


  1. Happy Birthday! I am glad you are finally realizing how wonderful you are! Enjoy!

    Comment by Carol — February 4, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

  2. Hey — I can’t believe you’ll be 31! Happy Birthday!

    Re: dresses — have you a tried a real bridal store where 13 yr olds are not allowed? I got my dress at a place that got all 2nds — dresses that were returned, never worn, model dresses. It was a small place, you got undivided attention and they had such different stuff (I tried on a trumpet dress just because the ladies in the store were dying to see someone in it). They got stuff from NY, from everywhere and their prices were great. I’m sure there’s such a place like that in Atlanta. And they might have something truly original just for you.

    As for anthropologie, I have been inundated with their catalogs for months now, no idea how they got my name since I’ve never shopped there. Their stuff looks beautiful, but I’ll take your advice about being cheaply made. But they are NOT cheap!

    Comment by rosie — February 5, 2007 @ 11:32 am

  3. (Belated) Happy Birthday! We’ve been on the Dress Shopping Express ourselves for the past month or so, and we think we finally found the winner. Jennie had literally searched through every dress seller on the internet and finally found the one she was looking for. We’re really excited!

    Jennie saw a lot of dresses that she LOVED (though not as wedding dresses) at this site: http://www.trashydiva.com – might be worth checking out.

    Comment by Jeff — February 5, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

  4. happy birthday late! I’ve been underground so sorry I’ve missed it. I am sure you will be beautiful in the dress:)

    Comment by lonely1 — February 8, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

  • Eating salted avocados with a spoon in Madison.
  • Blogging since 2003.