Dress shopping for my son’s upcoming wedding has reminded me I’m not young.
All of the dresses that make me say, “Ooooooo!” are ones more appropriate for a 17-year-old at her prom. The stuff under mother–of-the- groom dresses is matronly — the kind of thing you wear with sensible shoes. I haven’t worn sensible shoes, aside from the broken foot incident, since my mother had me in corrective saddle oxfords in second grade. I still blame her for my shoe addiction.
I’m turning 60 year this. Years ago, I was quite certain that turning 60 would bother me. None of my other birthdays, save the 25th one, did but my 25th surprised me with its sucker punch. But, I said all along, “I think 60 will bother me.” So far it hasn’t. I have until August to have a meltdown, but mostly I’m just astonished that I’ll be six decades on this planet. I throw that in there because my 25th birthday brought a meltdown that, long story short, resulted in the birth of my son against all odds – the same son who is now getting married and presumably will produce grandchildren during my lifetime. Old or not, I’m wild about the idea of grandchildren.
As a young person, I was never able to imagine myself as old. I couldn’t quite get past the idea of 40. When I turned 50, I had a surprise birthday party and was flummoxed that so many friends came so many miles to help me celebrate. Fifty didn’t bother me in the least. But like 60, I just didn’t know how it could be true.
Dresses on Amazon, my go-to place for clothes that will actually fit me, for the 60-crowd are gray. Or navy blue. What is it about older women that they think we want blend-into-the-wall colors? If it weren’t a wedding, I would wear black. My go-to formal color.
After much trial and error, I’ve settled on two ensembles. Neither of which are in my possession. I had to custom order each of them from China.
My mother and I spent an afternoon taking my measurements. One’s measurements in centimeters are depressing. One’s weight in kilograms is not.
One outfit is the quintessential mother-of-the-groom ensemble if one is a little edgy. I’m a lot edgy, but the ensemble won an informal Facebook poll as the most me. It’s gray. Lace. Chiffon pantsuit with a skirt overlay. It’s stunning. But it is only suitable as a mother-of-the-groom outfit. I’m not likely to wear it again.
The second is a dress that I found just today. It’s an ocean blue sheath with a cowled back and a rhinestone criss-cross-y bra strap kind of thing. It makes my heart go pitter patter. I ordered it too. It’s suitable for my age, but is plenty edgy.
I am so tired of looking for something to wear. I have the shoes, the purse, the jewelry. I just need the dress. I now want to enjoy the anticipation of my son marrying his love in Spain.
Between the two ensembles, some seamstress in China with my exact measurements in centimeters will surely manage to fit my unusually tall body. Surely. Please.
I think both are age appropriate, but maybe not. I’m not usually appropriate. I still feel 25 and I still gravitate towards dresses more appropriate for the prom crowd. When, pray tell, does one begin feeling their age? I’m about to turn 60 and am astonished that’s true and yet I still feel 25.