To L, raising a virtual glass and letting you know that you're not alone. I've got your back and I'm right here.
Sometimes, a dear friend or a really special Big Susan is going through a tough time. Not a bad hair day, bought something and then it’s on sale the next day or missed a deadline kind of tough time. A really truly tough time.
My oldest Big Susan, L, is in that place right now. Where life just sucks and you think – no, you know, that you’re doing the right thing but wonder why it is getting suckier. There is no sugar coating it -things really do suck – but with a purpose. At least there is forward movement and hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.
So, in the hopes of making L laugh a wee bit, I wanted to share a story that involves her but she doesn’t know. A lifetime ago, L was getting married and I was in the wedding. The nice Jewish girl in the full Catholic Mass wedding is a story unto itself. But for this, it’s all about the dress.
Oh, we had bridesmaid dresses. It was the early 90’s but with a heavy 80’s influence and our iridescent dark green taffeta dresses featured a giant bow on my ass and required a crinoline and dyed to match shoes. Being a good friend, I smiled, ordered my dress and had it shipped to my office. The dress arrived about a month before said wedding - I opened it, admired its beauty and promptly threw in the trunk of my “trusty” 1982 Toyota Tercel. A couple of weeks and monumental rainstorm later, I remember the dress and find its moldy remains in the trunk of my car. What’s a bridesmaid to do? I called, pleaded and begged the store to get me another – I'm sure they felt bad but not sure if it was about the situation or the dress...but at least they had one that was a size too big. A good seamstress would remedy that. Dress arrives (at the seamstress this time – I’m no fool) and I get measured (uh, so not fun) and come back 2 days before the nuptials to pick up the dress – the bride being none the wiser. It turns out “good seamstress” is very subjective. She cut on the wrong side of the pin line and now the dress was too small. I was in my 20’s and broke – buying this dress once was a hardship, twice was unbelievable but three times? That could not happen. The seamstress felt awful and being poor, I had no choice but to let her “fix” it. She waved her magic seam ripper over the moldy version, finding bits and pieces to make it fit. Night before the wedding, I picked it up and it fit. Sort of. It was clearly too big in the waist. As I got out of the limo to stand up for L, Aunt Virginia was under my dress, pinning the waist. L never knew.
Moral of the story? 1992 was a good year for some things – and not so much for others. And, always let Aunt Virginia up your skirt.
So dear L, may this have given you a smile, even a chuckle. The Bitter Barn, Hostile House or Angry Abode – those places where emotions run amok and everything seems overwhelming are scary places to be. It’s times like this that make it so hard to be so far away from you. What I really want to do is spirit you away from work, kids and the real world for a day or two of escape – a combo of spa-like relaxation and crazy drunkenness. Here’s hoping that happens soon.
PS – I’m reasonably certain, L’s mom, Mrs. M would just shake her head and laugh. And yes, I still call her Mrs. M because around her, I’m still in 5th grade.