When you’re a little girl, if you’re a little girl like I was, you think about your wedding. You put a pillow case on your head like a veil, you carry a bouquet of weeds, and you doodle pictures of what your wedding dress might look like. You imagine what the man you might marry might look like. You imagine how happy you’ll be, happily ever after.
I LOVE my wedding dress. I actually have two, and love both. We had a legal ceremony at a register office where I wore this dress:
And on the Saturday, when we had the bridesmaids and meal and dancing (you know… the big stuff) I wore this dress:
Neither of my dresses are traditional. I’m not a big white dress kinda girl, and therefore I am left with two dresses that I absolutely love, that look nice on me, and that I can wear for lots of different occasions. Two dresses that are tainted.
After my husband left I remember sitting on my bed, holding my wedding dress, and crying. I cried and I cried, because that dress wasn’t just memories. It was the hopes and dreams of a little girl, it was hours of planning and preparation, it was the tears I cried making my vows and the laughs I laughed during our dance. It was everything I thought my future was going to be. In tatters.
Following marital breakdown a lot of women destroy their dresses. Some donate them. Many put them in a box of memories, lock them away, and only get them out after a few martinis. I get it. The dress, in the absence of the husband, represents all the pain.
The problem is… I LOVE my dresses. Love them. They look really nice on me and I feel really good in them. AND technically the dresses didn’t do anything wrong… They’re just dresses. Nice ones.
So I’m going to wear them. I’m going to wear them and I’m going to enjoy them. My dreams, and my hopes, and my childhood wishes aren’t dead. My husband didn’t destroy them. They’re not the same but they’re not gone. I don’t have a vision of my future now, but I have a future. I still believe in love, and I still believe I will fall into it again. Those feelings of pain and loss are not going to be smeared across dresses. Those feelings have been felt, and experienced, and will live on. But they don’t dominate me, and they don’t control me. So I will wear my dresses. And I will feel good. And positive. Because life continues, love continues.