OK, I survived the rehearsal dinner. Oh, the dinner was very nice, I just was not dressed correctly, but I knew that was going to be the case three days in advance. I even took optional outfits so I would have choices . . . and I had an idea about what most people planned to wear. I just could not bring myself to wear something very casual to a nice restaurant for a rehearsal dinner. Call me hard headed, but there are just some things I cannot get past. There I was, as we walked up to everyone seated outside. They all looked cool, calm, and casual. I looked like my Aunt Kat with her Sunday-go-to-meeting dress on. Hell, I might as well had a hat and matching purse and shoes. (The gloves would have been in the purse.) One of friends politely said I looked good in green. I think that was the most positive honest comment she could make.
After we had been sitting there, I just wanted to get back in the car, return to the hotel and order room service. One of the girls, said, "OK, I need to know right now what everyone is wearing to the wedding tomorrow." And then they all turned and looked at me. Oh, for God's sake, don't make this any worse. "Well, I had planned to wear this short blue and green dress, that I really can't describe," I stammered. I could only imagine what that description brought to their minds given my current frock. "Well, I was thinking it was going to be dressy, but after talking with everyone, I'm not so sure now," said one of my friends. After much discussion, no conclusion was reached, but I felt better about my wardrobe decision for the next day.
As we were seated for dinner, I had a little talk with my self, asking why I had to be so provincial and hold myself up to these standards. After all, my Granny, Aunt J'Nelle, and Aunt Kat, God bless them all, were not around to judge me anymore. And, times were changing and I better get with the program, or I was going to find myself turning into a caricature of one of my twentieth century relatives with blue hair and sensible shoes. It is amazing how three glasses of wine and a table of good friends will make you forget you showed up in a frumpy frock.
The next day, I put it all behind me. Like Belle, in Beauty and the Beast, said, "There must be more than this provincial life." OK, I'm not ready to dye my hair blond, or go nuts but I have got to realize that there is a happy medium between being proper and being appropriate. And, today, I'm going to break loose. Stylish, appropriate (and comfortable) wins over Amy Vanderbilt and my concerns about other's perceptions of me. I am no longer going to be the flag bearer for the fifty year year old frumpies. I say this as I put on my linen pants and sweater set with my pearls. Like I said, small steps.