(No, I did not marry off Thing 2 to eliminate the problem. But yes, it did cross my mind). You know that moment…you put on that dress and you know immediately YES! This is it! After God knows how many fittings, how many dresses. Some that were really great, but just not quite…it. Some that were close, but lacked that je ne sais quoi. The past few days have been felt like a Saturday at Kleinfeld’s.
To be filed in the “close, but no cigar” category: Amidst all the Thing 2 stuff, I’ve got to get Thing 1 to actually start considering his future and leave the house. Friday we took a trip to Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to visit two colleges–Muhlenberg and Lehigh. Until this point, Thing 1 has been looking at engineering programs, but all those visits have just been lacking something–something that’s innately part of Thing 1, but missing from their engineering programs. What’s missing? Poetry. Art. Life outside the lab. Both these schools have combined BA/BS programs, even though they’re not as far away as Thing 1 would like.
The visits were great. The schools were excellent. The kids were super nice. I don’t think either of the schools was a wedding dress school, but they did provide Thing 1 with the insight that he shouldn’t settle.
One great thing though, was the town of Bethlehem–we spent some time Friday night at the old steel mill (now known as the Steel Stacks). There’s an art center nearby, where we caught a movie (Gravity, go see it, but be prepared to never let your children enter the space program), but we spent a good amount of time just walking around the stacks themselves.
Up next: “close only counts in horseshoes and grenades.” In celebration of Bartolome Day (it’s just so apropos to celebrate Columbus, I guess), I dug out my sewing machine and joined the Washi Dress craze. I don’t know why I did. My hatred for empire waist styling is right up there with knit shawls; I mean both are legitimate trends, but just not for me.
But I plugged away at this, and voila, my Bartolome Washi:
(thanks to Thing 3 for the photo-bombs).
Here’s why this is not my wedding dress Washi: 1. the empire waist, odd dart construction and my old girls don’t quite sync up. (full disclosure: I’ve only made 3 sets of darts in my life. This different construction may be better suited for perkier, younger boobs) 2. the empire waist and length of the skirt makes it a bit too billowy for my tastes. So I shortened the skirt (considerably–6″). It’s still wicked billowy. I don’t know why I thought subtracting length would eliminate billowy-ness. Cutting 6″ also cut 6″ of weight. Duh. On the other hand, I really really liked the shirring technique used in the back–it makes the bodice fit my narrow back really really well. Next time I do this, I’ll lengthen the bodice, keep the shirring, ditch the fiddly “u” shaped front opening, and eliminate some of the fabric in the skirt for less of a pregnant balloon look. Or, I’ll find a pattern that better suits my body type. Oh, and the next time I reach for either blue or yellow fabric, can someone call the fashion police? Enough already.
All of this was practice for the wedding dress moment: Tuesday Thing 2 had a visit at a local Catholic school. We were both nervous. A coworker sparked the idea, and a call to a former boss (a Dominican sister and a dynamo in her own right) made some calls and got Thing 2 in for a school visit. I was upfront with the admissions office and their guidance dept. They were upfront with me. This is a small school (only 17 girls in the sophomore class)–they don’t need one student to disrupt the apple cart. Off went Thing 2. Four hours later, I went back to pick her up. OMG! She was smiling! I have not seen this child leave school EVER with a smile on her face (except to think that she was finally escaping).
She had a repeat visit on Wednesday. A warm welcome from teachers, students, staff as we entered the building. I returned to pick her up and to sit with the guidance counselor–the teachers reported that NOT ONLY did she participated in class, she was INSIGHTFUL! The students she shadowed commented that she had a funny sense of humor and was so creative. She did well on her placement tests. She left that afternoon asking if she could come back for after school activities. Thing 2 has never, ever asked to do any after school clubs. Ever.
Today Thing 2 got her acceptance letter. We are now in the throes of transferring schools, buying uniforms, paying tuition (the only ‘ugh’ in the whole situation). But the smile on Thing 2’s face and her change in attitude is priceless.
Welcome to your wedding dress, Thing 2.