Does this dress make me look fat?

Do you have a dress in your closet that you pine over? I do. It’s a gorgeous burgundy sheath, slit up to the knee on the left, form-fitting with narrow straps, with a bolero jacket that lends elegance as well as modesty. Seventeen years ago, I wore this dress in my daughter’s wedding.

I had scoured the city for an appropriate dress, but I refused to wear the tents in boring colors that were shown as mother-of-the-bride dresses. I understood that the mother is to wear beige and blend into the wallpaper, but that just wasn’t going to happen in this wedding. Fortunately, my daughter agreed. I am a small woman, so when I tried on these flowing ensembles, they looked like nightgowns on me. I was not going to wear a nightgown to my daughter’s wedding.

Her colors were burgundy and pink, and while burgundy is my color, I didn’t want to compete with the bridesmaids. Did I really want to wear pink? A pink nightgown? When we finally spotted the perfect dress, it was burgundy. But my daughter assured me that it wouldn’t look like I was trying to be another bridesmaid. I have to admit that I looked like a million bucks in that dress, especially when one guest remarked to his wife that I reminded him of Audrey Hepburn!

I felt like her too, head held high, shoulders back, tummy tucked in, and enjoying every minute of that regal walk down the aisle.

Now, when I notice that dress, hanging in the back of the closet, I lift the hanger, caress the shiny fabric, and am transported back to that joyous day. Could I still fit into this slim little number? I use it as a measure of weight control. If I could still wear the dress, then I’m doing all right.

With cautious hope, I slip it off the hanger, slide the long zipper down the back, and step into it. Carefully, holding my breath, I manage to pull it up over my hips without ripping the zipper. Good. I slip the straps over my shoulders. Now for the test. I slowly zip it up the back, and I am relieved that it closes without too much strain over my midriff. With some trepidation, I pull it all the way up the back. I’ve made it! But could I actually wear it? If I kept my stomach pulled in, held my breath all evening, did not sit down, and did not eat a bite of food, I might. The goal is set. Five more pounds, and I’m Audrey again.

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