Keep Calm and Call Mom

A big event happened in my life last week: a friend and I finally hooked up for coffee. Just coffee between friends, but setting the date and actually making it to the designated Starbucks was nothing short of a miracle.

On the way to the coffee date, we changed the Starbucks location because of traffic on my end and a need to be close to the expressway on her end. We both struggled to find parking in a congested, under-construction Chicago neighborhood, ordered our coffee, and finally collapsed in chairs to visit for an hour. I wondered about her need to be close to the expressway, and she explained that she needed to meet her daughter—who we will call Cinderella—at a bridal store.

My friend (let’s call her AM for Amazing Mom) told me I could share her story.

Cinderella, a delightful almost-20-year-old college student, was maid of honor in her friend’s upcoming wedding. When the bridesmaids’ dresses were ordered six months prior to the wedding, Cinderella decided to order her dress in a size 4…when in reality she was a size 8. Cinderella was certain ordering the smaller dress size would inspire her to lose the few extra pounds she had put on during her first two years of college. AM was concerned, but she also was caught between a rock and a hard place. AM wanted Cinderella to believe that she had faith in her daughter’s weight loss program, but on the other hand she understood the peril of using your maid of honor dress as a weight loss incentive. Cinderella was also very touchy about her weight gain and appearance, and AM did not want to hurt Cinderella’s feelings.

What would you have done?

AM discussed her dilemma with the Mother of the Bride and she suggested ordering a second dress in the correct size and returning it if her daughter’s weight loss efforts were successful. Brilliant…oh so brilliant, as AM would later discover—but remember, we were still six months from the wedding date. At the six-month mark, AM felt that ordering a second dress would completely undermine her daughter and felt it would be going behind her daughter’s back. Life with Cinderella’s siblings, work, marriage and household endeavors took over, and AM let her concerns about the maid of honor dress slip away…until two weeks before the wedding.

The UPS box arrived. Cinderella avoided the box like the plague as it sat unopened on the dining room table. She resisted AM’s gentle and then firm prodding to try it on. AM was relieved and a little surprised when her daughter called her at work to say the dress almost fit and she was taking it to be altered. Unfortunately, there was not enough material to properly alter the dress.

AM immediately called the bridal shop to order a new dress, only to find out they were out of that particular style and color. After many, many phone calls, AM determined the dress was not available on this planet. Cinderella, being a child of Google, devised a more modern solution: go online to order a different dress. The problem was, she was clueless about being a maid of honor and the dress was totally unacceptable. When AM saw the dress that Cinderella ordered without consulting her, she Googled Chicago bridal shops and became more concerned about her sanity than her daughter’s self-esteem. She ordered her daughter to call the bride and tell her there was a small problem but that she was working on it.

If you have been in a wedding—or had a wedding, or watched a wedding on television—you know that brides and their mothers are not known for being reasonable. In reality, an off-color maid of honor dress is really not the end of the world and won’t matter when the bride and groom toast their fifth or twenty-fifth anniversary with Champagne. In fact, these kinds of stories make great wedding memories, but let’s face it—neither Cinderella nor her mother was in the position to point this out to the bride or her mother.

Back to my Starbucks date. It was three days before the wedding when I met AM for coffee. She was taking a break from wedding drama before meeting Cinderella at a bridal store to search for a dress that matched the maid of honor dress in color and style. When AM told me the story, I just sat and stared at her but I was thinking…Thank you, God, for my boy. Hindsight is 20/20, and AM recounted all her mistakes along the way. Naturally, it was all her fault. She’s the mom right? Cinderella, on the other hand, still lived in the fairytale world in which her amazing mom could snap her fingers and fix everything.

AM and I parted company and I told her to be sure and text me the end of the story because I would be thinking about her and the blog post I would write. I’m a good friend that way! 😀

At last, a text showed up from AM: “We found a dress that almost matched the other dress in color. The small difference was okay because Cinderella was the maid of honor. A seamstress added black straps and a bow to the dress with mere moments to spare. It all worked out perfect. Wallah! Phew!” Cinderella made a beautiful maid of honor, the wedding was not ruined, Amazing Mom was hugged, lessons were learned.

They all lived happily ever after….until next time. Because when you’re a mom, there is always and forever a next time.

Today is ‘Perfect Family Day’. We all know there are no perfect families…only amazing mothers! Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!

THE END. Unless you leave a comment of-course!

Odd Loves Company

11 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Call Mom

  1. Somebody said to me not to long ago “Liz enjoy the little problems…they will grow with your kids.” As I read this story I wondered how in the world this would ever turn out. Your friend is AMAZING. In hindsight I can see lots of ways to avoid this situation but in the moment I’m not sure I would have done a thing differently.

    • I felt the same way listening to the story…how in the world will this end happily. But it did. Just hang on to your magic wand as your kids grow up and you will be fine.

  2. Love this story KB!! Can I share this? I do have many maids, even brides who want to order a smaller size…never that drastic of a difference…I have them sign off on it because I don’t want to be held responsible for ordering the wrong size. So far, whenever a gal has ordered the smaller size…it has always been too small! It never has worked out….

    • Share away. I don’t blame you for not wanting to take responsibility. Weddings are emotional enough. I can’t imagine a bride taking a chance. It’s so much easier to take something in than it is to let it out. The bridal biz must bring with it some many stories. I worked a bridal fair years ago and I am still not over it. 😀

  3. I was wondering what had happened to El Morno — now I see that you were watching a possible catastrophe in the making. What an Amazing Mom your friend is! I’m with you, though — thank Heaven I have a son and don’t have to deal on a daily basis with all that drama!! I’m glad everything turned out fine, this time, and don’t envy her the possibility (no, probability) that another “crisis” will rear its ugly head in the near future — hope not, for her sake!

    • I think the key is ….as our Mom’s always told us “bring it to me before it’s a problem.” El Morno was pretty dull–Caviar and ‘Perfect Family Day.’ The most important birthday was John Glen, the astronut. He is in his 90’s now.

  4. I was saying “Oh sh*t all the way through this story. I am so glad it all turned out. I’m not a Mom life took me a different direction but I am always amazed at the resourcefulness of Mom’s including my own…who I still call for a little Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!

  5. Whew! I am exhausted just reading this story. Is it just me, or was this way more complicated than it needed to be?

  6. Your friend is amazing!
    I also have a bridal dress story!!! Remember your maid of Honor dress???? O. k. I won’t go there. i also remember when you were in charge of the bridal faire.

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