I recently went to a wedding out of state. The invitation said, “cocktail or evening gowns, please”.
I, being who I am, do not own a single item that could fall into either of those dress guidelines.
I am an easy, peasy, casual, comfortable dress gal.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to dress up, but it’s ultimately still about comfort.
I spent months looking for the perfect dress. Locally, what I found to be available and affordable fell into one of two categories.
Category one- teenaged HOCO dress with slits so high up the sides it might actually flap open in the breeze if I take a deep breath. Spanx required.
Category two- grandmother of the bride. Matronly, complete with a bejeweled jacket. Shapewear is unnecessary because they show none of my shapes.
As much as I hated to, I turned to the interwebs. I purchased over $300 in dresses hoping to find *just one* that fit, looked nice, and maybe wasn’t too uncomfortable.
Thank goodness ONE dress fit the bill (yes, only one. Of the 20 that I ordered.). It was fancy enough for a cocktail dress, the shape was flattering, and it was comfortable! (Bonus, it didn’t need shapewear!)
The one downside, though, it did need some *tailoring* to be appropriate for my…erm…proportions. No big deal, though, since I know how to sew! I figured I would just through in a few stitches to bring the neckline up just a touch and I would be golden.
I did not, however, factor in what sewing up the neckline would do to the sleeves until the evening before we were to leave for the wedding. The sleeves were then pulled in by the sewing of the neckline, and now showing the straps of my bra.
I had no other available garments and no available shopping time.
I did what every self-respecting person would do and I sewed my bra directly into my dress. Problem solved.
The day of the wedding arrived and I made sure to slip some extra thread, a needle, and small scissors into my purse in case of a small “sewing” or “unsewing” mishap.
My dress stayed put and I never needed the thread. (Thank goodness!)
In all of the anxiety over the dress, I missed a vital portion of my comfort level for that evening, though. My shoes.
My feet hate me, so I am no stranger to pain and discomfort. But, I also don’t push the limits when it comes to my shoes. I often put practicality and function over aesthetics, unless I can have both. I live in Birks and Chacos or something equally practical year-round.
As much as I’m sure it would’ve gone unnoticed, I knew I could not wear my Birks with my cocktail dress. I purchased the nicest, non-break-your-neck, non-constrictive dressy wedges I could that seemed comfortable in the store, and even at the beginning of the night.
I cried at the wedding, I drank cocktails, and I even danced in them. Until I couldn’t.
I’m not positive what created the switch flip from comfortable to not, but once it was switched, I was DONE. Done with ALL shoes, for all time, forever, and ever amen.
As I was standing with my husband outside, waiting to send off the happy couple off, all I could think was “omg, omg, omg, get these stupid feet killers off of me right now.”
I don’t know why it made me think of birth, (really, it’s probably because it is my life’s work and usually on my mind in some way.) but it reminded me of that sliver of time when you’re managing labor well with your coping skills and support people and there’s a switch.
You were laboring along, if not comfortable, content to continue on your journey. But now? NOW? Now you’ve reached this part where the ONLY thing you start thinking is how badly you want it to be done.
Mentally, you can’t think of ANYTHING other than making it all stop. Or making it better in some way.
That night, my husband tried to convince me that it was only a few more minutes of pain. That I was almost done. But, he didn’t really know that. Not fully. Was the dancing over? Maybe? Was I going to have to walk back into the building for any reason at all? Were we going back to our hotel immediately? He didn’t know.
I decided I could absolutely take NO MORE, and took off my shoes right there. The relief I felt when I placed my bare feet on that cement was glorious. I walked barefoot through the gravelly parking lot, into the road, in the dark, to where our car was parked (and where I also had a pair of flip flops.)
Nails? Glass? Prickers? Never heard of them.
All I knew is that those shoes were not going to touch my feet again.
Sometimes, when we hit that mental switch in labor we have a few options. (Sometimes we don’t.) Sometimes we decide we want to push through. And we need the non-judgemental support of our team to help us continue. Sometimes, we decide to utilize tools available to us and we STILL need the non-judgemental support of our team to continue.
Where ever you fall on this spectrum of decisions when things get difficult, though, Rocket City Doulas are there to provide you with unbiased, non-judgmental support to help you continue.