Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Dress, The Brat, and the Gala

I think the title sums up what I'm about to blog to you about.  You see I could make this simple, and I probably should, but the full story is much more interesting than saying I really needed a dress for a fundraising gala for my husband's work and I was a brat about it.  There's really not much to it if that's the whole story, right?  Well, we all know there is much more to this story than that long sentence, so here goes.
About a month ago my sweet man came to me excited about a fundraising event for his work.  He wanted to know if I wanted to attend with him as employers were getting a discounted rate on tickets.  It was a black tie kind of affair.  Not really my thing, even back in the day when I worked outside the home for a living.  I kind of said something to the effect of, "sure, whatever, you want to go, we'll go."  Note my lack of excitement.  I'm a stay at home, live in jeans, t-shirt and tennis shoes.  An occasional skirt for church is about as fancy as this girl gets.  No shame in admitting it.  I had come home to care for babies some 15 years ago and the once slim figure who always dressed to the 9s has come to enjoy the more relaxed pace being a mommy meant for me.  I can honestly say the last time these legs saw a pair of tights was the last gala thing for work he took me to two kids ago.

But the thing was for some reason through the many discussions regarding this coming event it never registered to me that I would have to wear a dress!  I know, I know, silly Baker, should have saw that one coming.  See in my mind I had a suitable skirt, black flats and blouse that would suffice.  No shopping needed.  Did I mention I hate to shop for myself?  And when I do go I take my mom.  Who knows what I like and who helps me quickly find something suitable, so we can go shop for the kids, who are much more satisfying to shop for.  Okay, did I also mention that Hoss did not inform me of the fact that a dress would have to be located until after the tickets had been purchased AND it was the day before the event?  Yeah, I have a feeling he knew I'd chicken out if he told me too soon.
Okay, maybe not that bad, but it can try me quite a bit.

So with the decision made to purchase said dress I double checked my schedule for the day and figured I could eek out a few hours later in the afternoon.  So I got myself geared up to handle this situation.  I know what you are thinking?  What's the big deal.  Well, the big deal is this body no longer fits into a size 8 and my shoe size is no longer narrow, but rather a wide.  I was not looking forward to this dress shopping trip at all and bemoaned it aloud to dd and vanilla friends alike.  Thank you, ladies, who encouraged me to obey my husband, that I would find something I loved, and it would all be fabulous.  The coddling did help, some.

So, I was on the way home from an appointment and Hoss called to say he would be joining me.  Wait?  What?  The man does not go shopping unless it is occasionally for his own clothes or a new tool or a piece of technology.  Now I realize many of you are accustomed to shopping with your man.  I applaud you on that.  I am not.  I was rather shocked that he said he wanted to come along.  My vanilla friend, E, suggested that he wanted to ensure I actually bought something.  All I have to say to that is humph!  I'm not that big of a brat am I?  Oh, wait, that's what this particular saga is about.  Me..being a brat.  Goodness, you guys do not know how to cut me any slack.

So after a bit of this and that we finally set ourselves on a time and arrived separately to knock out this dress thing.  Now, the actual selection process was not too bad.  It was actually kind of cute.  I'd hold up something hideous and he'd laugh and shake his head.  Cheetah print?  Nah, not me.  Oh, one that's all blinged out and brightly colored.  Again, not me!  He would laugh or smile at my silliness and I would respond with a giggle or sassy remark.  I found two suitable black dresses, but I really wanted something with a bit more color.  I was having absolutely no luck and started to have a few second thoughts about this whole selection process until.....

Hoss found it!  A sage green dress for me with a pretty crocheted cream colored cardigan to go with it.  I must say he knows my color scheme well.  I was tickled with his choice.  It was just classy enough and I had ballet flats at home that I knew would look very cute without causing me to kill myself breaking in a new set of dress shoes.  No, heels were out of the question, I was doing my best to enjoy the experience without landing flat on my face trying to go out of my shoe comfort zone, people.  

The problem came when my self esteem plummeted in the dressing room.  I tried on the black dresses and did not like how I looked at all.  Those babies had done a number on my once flat tummy and the bulge, bulged just enough to make me look pregnant!  Ugh!  I hated the way I felt in those dresses.  My jeans and t-shirt never made me feel this way.  I could find nothing wrong with the dress, just the way I felt in them.  The only dress that worked well was the one he choose and it was the last one I tried on.   It made me feel a teeny bit better.  If anything I hoped he liked it seeing he too had nixed the other three dresses I had tried on.

I came out and he looked me over with a smile from ear to ear then said, "That's perfect!  You look beautiful in it!"  I smiled back, but I was still feeling down about the way it looked.  I proceeded to tell him I'd need at least a girdle to flatten my belly a bit and tights and....  "Yes, well, you'll have to look for those things yourself.  Work called and I have to go deal with something."  

Wait.  What?  Are you kidding me.  I was just telling him how down I was and he was leaving me.  Alone?  Seriously, bad timing for that one folks.  He gave me a quick kiss and was off.  I returned to the dressing room dejected.  I know, I know, I was probably being silly, but seriously I was disappointed.  I needed him to build me up and wait, what about our dinner plans?  Here I was struggling with body image and though he said the right things my whole being felt neglected and crushed.  So I changed my clothes and headed back out into the store.  Then it happened.  My sadness turned quickly to frustration and anger.  How dare he leave me all alone to get a dress for his stupid thing he wanted to go to.  
I felt a complete meltdown heading my way and yes, my inner brat came roaring out full force.  I literally stood in the middle of the store, dress and cardigan in hand and thought I'm going to put this dress back and leave.  It was obviously not that important to him if he decided to leave me standing there all alone knowing how awfully I felt.  What was wrong with him?  What was wrong with me?  I should just forget this whole dumb thing.  I would look ridiculous anyway.  My inner brat was at her finest and I was cheering her on.  NOT a good idea under the circumstances.  

I was seconds away from leaving and going home, forgetting everything the dress, the girdle the cardigan, the gala.  EVERYTHING!

But as I hemmed and hawed my phone pinged at me.  It was a message from Jane (The Taming of the Shrew) asking how my day was going.  My thought, "It sucked right at the moment."  I looped that dress over my arm and went into complete complaining mode at what had happened.  If my man could not hear me at least my friend would.  When it came to the part about putting the dress back I could feel her cringe through the phone.  "Don't do that!  Think of about what Hoss will do if you deliberately disobey him."  Wait?  Hoss?  Hoss, who?  Oh, right the big man in charge.  The one who thinks Bertha is a friend.  UGH!  Now, what....

My whole going-to-buck-the-system attitude felt like someone had let all the air out of my balloon, but not all the way.  I pouted then.  I did not want to hear that.  I wanted to be encouraged to defy the system.  So I texted E (my bestie and vanilla friend) and sent her a picture of the dress.  I also sent Jane a pic as well.  They both loved the dress choice.  Of course they did!  Geez, who side were they on anyway?

Meanwhile I was in the pajama section looking for the thickest flannel pajamas I could find.  Why?  If I had to buy the dress I was not going to be in the mood for anything fun tonight and he was just going to have to suck it up.  

Stop gasping in shock!  Seriously, I will wait until you can breathe again.  Let me know when you are ready to continue.  Okay, you all good?  Okay, let's continue the story....

I was being a brat and my inner brat was in a rare form of defiance.   After a few more texts reminding me this was not the end of the world the gentle rebuke text came across to the effect of, "Do what you want, but think about what's going to happen and who's in charge."  OUCH!  The thing is, "I didn't wanna!"  Yes, I know, I know.  I asked for this relationship. I wanted it, but there are some days the old me just wants what she wants when she wants it and right now she wanted to leave and go home and sulk, lick her wounds and hope for the best.  But you will all be happy to know I did not do that.

I left the pajamas.  I left my pout.  Picked up the dress and bought it!  I'd literally spent an hour and a half of my time pouting and debating and messaging and stomping my foot a few times and whining to get to that point, but I did it.  

I went out to the van and hung up my purchase and took a deep breath.  I texted my man.  He texted back to give him a few minutes.  Hoss called a few minutes later and I gushed out he story to him so fast he had no idea what I was talking about.  He said we could talk about it over dinner.  What? Even after my confession that I was not going to get the dress he picked out, he wanted to take me out to dinner.  REALLY?  After all that fuss I made?  Let's me just add here there are days my man has the patience of a saint and today was one of them.  Commence happy dance.

We did discuss things over the dinner and as usual he was very sweet about the whole thing.  When it came to the part about what he would have done had I not picked out the dress, well let's say it did not sound like a road I would have enjoyed going down.  He was proud I had made the right decision, happy I had friends who understood and helped me, and thankful I got the dress he had chosen.  He even understood why I felt the way I did about my body image.  What a sweet man to hold my hand and be able to look me in the eye and say, "You are beautiful no matter what."  Awww, he melts my heart.  Tissue, anyone?

We did go to the gala the next night.  I curled my hair, shoved my body into some tights and a girdle then put on that lovely dress.    It was also sweet to hear our children remark at how pretty their momma was and how they loved my hair down and curly.  It amazed me that my outlook changed just by the encouragement of my sweet hubby and kiddos.  They were proud of me.  It does not matter if I'm a size 16 or a size 8, my peoples love me just how I am.  It was a good lesson to learn and one I am thankful to have such wonderful people who love me.  We even took pictures!  Well, a few people who had dealt with my complaining, read here E and Lindy (At Dreaming Downunder) had actually kindly ask that I send them one to see what all the ruckus was actually about.  I was actually happy to take those pictures because the thing is here, we have daughters.  I want them to realize that whatever size they are, even if they struggle with their weight after having babies, that they need to see themselves as we see them.  Beautiful.  As they were so kind to see me that night.  If I do not model that in front of them they will not do that for themselves.  They will tear themselves apart and I do not wish that for them.  I want them to be comfortable in who they are and one way to do that is to accept me for me at the moment.  This whole episode made me a bit ashamed of myself for how I had acted.  I was so thankful none of our little ones had observed my behavior because that is not what I want them to imitate.  

The evening went so well.  It was in a beautiful venue and I was thankful we had gone.  The food was not very good, but the message behind the fundraising was excellent and brought tears to my eyes.  It was well worth the time to go and enjoy that special evening with my hubby.  The best part is after noticing all of the beautiful women in that place I could tell my sweet Hoss only saw me.  His eyes were only for me.  That in and of itself people made me feel like the richest woman there.

So that's the story of, "The Dress, The Brat and the Gala."


Hold up!

What, Baker, no spanking in this story at all?  

Geez, louise, people, I do not get spanked over every little thing or even big things.  

Okay, okay, I did get spanked.  There was a bit of a reset spanking the morning of the Gala, but it was more a sweet reminder to make sure I was in the right frame of mind for the evening event.  

So all and all everything turned out well.  I learned a great deal and I am a better person for it.  



  1. Baker,
    I liked your story. We have all been there in that dressing room. Body image is a cruel thing sometimes. Glad the gala went well and it over.

    1. Thanks, Meredith,
      I agree, it is a cruel thing sometimes.


  2. Baker,
    I was planning to say the same thing as Mere. Why can we love and appreciate our friends for who they are and not their waistlines and not give ourselves the same love?

    Perhaps that is part of a loving husband's duty. To make us feel beautiful when we can't seem to see it.

    Hugs From Ella

    1. Amen, Miss Ella, totally agree. I'd never give what my friends look like a second thought and yet I tore myself to bits that day. It's shameful. Hoss held my hand and said how blessed he was to have me as his beautiful wife. He does make it his job to make me feel perfect for him. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Baker I'm so glad you did listen to us in the end and bought the dress. You did look beautiful in it and a lovely couple colour coordinated. The evening sounds like it all turned out for the best.
    Proud of you.
    Hugs Lindy xx

    1. Thanks, Lindy, you did say so many encouraging words. I so appreciate your kind heart. Thanks for helping me avoid Bertha!

  4. Hey very happy you had some wise ladies to talk you down. I so agree with Mere...we have all been in that dressing room. I swear...those dressing rooms are designed and lighted to make even the most awesome model look hideous! Happy you didn't have to ruin the evening by meeting with Bertha!

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. Your perspective made me snort about the model, Cat, I do think you're very right with what you said. We all have been there, even though I do my best to avoid it! Yes, I was thankful to the other ladies for talking me off that cliff. I was so close, but so happy I listened to them. No meeting with Bertha is the best part of all. Thanks for recommending your post. It was filled with great words of encouragement.

  5. Hi Baker, I love how you write and always enjoy reading your posts :)

    I'm so glad you shared this as body image is something I think we all struggle with at times, I know I do.

    I'm so sorry you felt that way and can understand it with Hoss leaving you in the middle of shopping. I'm so happy that you did buy the dress and that Hoss and the kids made you feel special and glad you had a good time.

    The dress is beautiful, and so are you :)


    1. Roz, thanks, you made me smile. Thanks for your kind, thoughtful words. I've been superbly blessed with a loving hubby and sweet kids. Our youngest regularly tells me how beautiful I am. Me thinks the apple does not fall far from the tree.


  6. Hi Baker, :) Whoa! That was quite an adventure. I'm so glad that you had your sweet man, family and friends to help you through your dress buying, and beyond. Body image is a tough issue that I'm guessing, strikes many of us. You sure have the right attitude as to being a role model for your kids. Good for you!

    Glad that you had a great time at the gala. I bet that you looked lovely! Many hugs,

    <3 Katie

  7. Thanks, Katie, it was quite the adventure! It was a trying situation that I'm happy is over! The gala was lovely though and I'm so thankful I went.

  8. great story. I'm glad your friends helped sort you out, glad you went to the gala looking and feeling fabulous, and most of all, totally applaud you for your thoughts on modeling a healthy attitude for not just your kids but for all the kids especially daughters out there in the world.