I am clearing out my sock drawer. Throwing out sock with holes in the heels, made by my rough skin rubbing against the fabric. Throwing out the ugly socks that I had no intentions of wearing. How did they end up in my sock drawer, anyway? I reach into the drawer, looking for something else to discard, and I pull out a cream-colored garment.
Holding it up, I automatically stretch it between my hands. I hear the elastic crinkle and pop as it stretches out and stays out. All the elasticity it once had disappeared over the years it was in my sock drawer.
I am holding up the girdle I wore eight years ago on my wedding day.
Girdles seem so outdated. I suppose they are no longer called “girdles,” but rather “shape smoothers” or something like that. No matter what they call it, it’s still a girdle.
The year I was to be married, I felt outdated as well. I felt like an old bride, getting married at the age of 33. Shopping for wedding dresses was extremely difficult; I had had a mastectomy when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27. That meant I didn’t have cleavage to show. My scar extends under my arm, where the surgeon removed lymph nodes. I have a nice bulge of fat by that scar. A sleeveless wedding dress was also out of the question.
Have you ever shopped for wedding dresses? Finding one with my specifications seemed like it would be impossible. I drove from wedding shop to wedding shop, looking at plunging neckline after plunging neckline. My budget was also slim, and so spending a lot of money on a custom-made dress was out of the question.
Not only that, but taking an estrogen-reducing medication for five years had caused me to gain weight. I was very self-conscious about that bulge around my middle.
Watching younger, skinnier women trying on skimpy, sexy wedding dresses made me feel old. Made me feel as old and stretched out as a piece of old, worn-out elastic.
But then, I found the dress. The dress I would wear. And it would do.
The day of my wedding came. As I gazed at my husband-to-be, waiting for me at end of the aisle, I could feel the love radiating from him. All those outdated feelings melted away. He only had eyes for me.
He still does.
This was my response for this week’s prompt at The Red Dress Club.