I found the zipper (and pockets!) as I took the dress off after Rose and Jonathan’s wedding. (Reception was super fun, btw; dance floor was poppin’ all night.)
My new son-in-law, Oba, and I had to eat, get dressed and get across the river to Norfolk to the venue by 3:50 pm because Rae, a bridesmaid, said they’d lock the doors after that. You can lock the doors to a wedding? (We did not question her in any way.)
I gave myself 20 minutes to make up my face. Powder concealer eyebrow powder eyeliner mascara eyeshadow other random powder stuff, mirror and the brush set I’d agonized over at Harmon Face Values in Westfield. I put the Lancome fold-out eye makeup instruction sheet on the bed, but did not have time for what I really needed—several YouTube how to apply makeup videos. I needed an hour or my mother in the room. I had neither.
Oba was waiting downstairs, wanting simply to be with his wife so they could look elegant together and feel old married compared to Rose and Jon. I attempted the pantyhose (sheer, black, with tasteful little dots) five times but did not master the personal engineering that allows your upper thighs to not feel wrong and punished. I started to perspire. And there was the dress: terrific, seriously discounted, mine. It had been tough to get on at Last Call, a detail I’d shared with no one. I’d counted on discovering the dress’s hidden zipper, imagining my smile-sigh as the dress glided on. But Posh Spice’s design crew was a clever bunch, and I was out of time. Most of my makeup came off on the lining of the dress as, arms flung into Warrior I, I pulled, tugged, yanked, laughed and meditated it over my head, shoulders and arms. Teeth were involved.
Rae had said I needed a dark lip. On trend, Mommy. Chanel’s Midnight was perfect; I plucked it out of my lipstick bag. Perhaps it had that damp sandpaper feel because I’d bought Midnight the last time a dark lip was de rigueur; the mid-1990s, as I recall. Midnight looked like 10:30 am by this point, but we were out the door.
Complete strangers (female) at the wedding:
I love your dress.
What a great dress!
Love your dress.
I love that dress.
Somebody’s husband, sotto voce: I just want you to know, you’re wearing that dress.
My ex-husband: (complete silence/no comment)
Listen. Call your mother the day of the event, preferably in the morning. OK?