Okay, so you're all wondering what I decided.
I decided on none of those I showed you.
It got really bad over here. Mantilla partials in all kinds of colors--white, tea-dyed, RIT dyed (turned out silver)--were thrown recklessly about my bedroom. I fretted over hoochie dresses, though admittedly I dig the hooker heels. I felt frustrated, fat, and most unpretty.
I loved the dress, but I didn't really want to wear it to church. I'd worry that I wasn't dressed appropriately. Lovies, I talk a lot of smack, but in my heart I really want to be a good girl. I don't mind a funky (in a good way) outfit, but I couldn't abide a dress that I felt honored more me than God. After all, Easter is really His day. I am a joyful and grateful witness to the truth of resurrection.
We've already been through my desire to cover my head, and it just makes sense that I'd cover my shoulders. A suit I gave a way a year ago came back to me, and I decided to wear it. My bff said something beautiful to me. She said, "If you wear the suit, you won't be thinking about how you look." And I'd rather be right in the moment. With Jesus and Ken.
So I put on the suit. Only... I hate suits. Not on other people. On me. I'm just not a suit person. Every time I thought about wearing that lovely suit, I felt so sad. I felt I'd be doing this wonderful thing in something I'd never wear otherwise. I'd wear the hoochie dress before a suit! I'd wear it in church before that suit! But I didn't want to wear the hoochie dress in church, not even for something so magical as having my marriage blessed. That's why I got the suit back! Not to mention that bulky jacket made me look like I was going out for quarterback for the Detroit Lions. A quarterback with delicate pearl embellishments. Not a look I was trying to cultivate.
I got in a real funk. Finally I got back to the basics of mantilla wear. I decided I'd go with white, but not the first one I made. I just didn't like how it fell. Too bulky. I wanted something soft and winsome as the black one, but not the black one. Then I got an idea. "Why don't I get another lil' piece of that Chantilly lace, but in white. I can keep both. Black for ordinary time, and white for extraordinary, if you will." So, a ride to Jo-Anne and a nominal fee later, I had a white mantilla--or reasonable facsimile.
And a suit.
I asked myself, "what would Jesus, do?" And lovies, somethings He will leave in your hands, quietly waiting for you to decide. He would have loved me in the hoochie dress, but He also loves me without it. Then I asked myself what my beloved St. Francis would do. Honeys, you know he'd wear his rough cloak, but he'd put some flowers in his hair. And God's troubadour would have a song in his heart. He'd understand I couldn't afford anything now. And he'd sing a song about his lady poverty to me. About how he loves her. How beautiful she is seen through the eyes of Christ, and love, and how she could teach so much if we listened to holy poverty. St. Francis would understand why I didn't want to wear the shoulder-less gown, too. Even if I could, and nobody like Padre Pio would throw me out of church. St. Francis was all about chastity. He'd made a vow to her. And he would find it honorable that even though I don't have to, I want to cover my head. He would see these are small things, but given to God with great love. And that would make me more beautiful and radiant in his eyes. He loved obedience, too. Vowed himself to that virtue, as well.
So, for Francesco, I went to my closet and asked myself, "what do I already own that I feel amazing in?"
I love the black slinky dress with matching jacket, but I didn't love it for this. Even with the thought of flowers. I didn't have many other options. I wear black almost exclusively. It's a weird private commitment thing. But no black on this special day, not even a black mantilla. Not even hooker heels. I needed to look soft, but like me. That was pretty important to me. What I had left was a cream colored shell and cardigan, and the quarterback suit skirt. But together, they looked like simplicity itself. Soft, but not drawing any extra attention--I'd just as soon let Jesus and the catechumens have their day.
So this is me in my covered sacramental marriage bridal gear, with a little help from the poor man of Assisi.
And here's a closer view of the pretty, pretty lace. And a cross, and isn't that just perfect. :) One more thing, I think I'll keep the edges unfinished. After all, my own edges are unfinished. Wouldn't that be wildly, wonderfully symbolic.
This is more of the same, but honestly, I'm pretty cool with this hook-up. I'm less conscious about my weight, I got one of my favorite saints to help me pick my outfit--now I just have to get some flowers, maybe just a little babies breath, and a red rose or two. I didn't have to buy anything new, and most of all, I feel like me. So don't feel badly because I sent that gorgeous dress back. The most important elements are present. I'm going to show up. Ken is going to show up. Despite years of prophecies ( a few of them from me!) that our marriage wouldn't last a year, then a few years, then five years (It's been 12), we're still here. And together on Easter we will partake of the mystical body of Christ. And don'tcha just love that? So, Jesus is going to be there, too. Before us, behind us, surrounding us--with us. And that makes me so happy.
Let the blogsphere church say, "Amen!"
Pray for us.