Almost three years ago my only brother, who I love more than anyone else except my children, married the perfect woman for him. I was absolutely thrilled for them, and thrilled that they asked me to be in the wedding. I was also thrilled that my new sister asked the women to wear whatever cocktail-length black dress we wanted (and then she chose our shoe color to match the wedding colors).
I went out on a limb and got a strapless dress. I’d never worn strapless. When I was in high school in the late ’80s strapless wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is now, so I made it through two proms, numerous minor dances of the homecoming and Sadie Hawkins variety, and a mindboggling number of musicals and plays without ever wearing strapless. And I’ve never been very body confident, so I was always hesitant to wear strapless as an adult.
But this was post-divorce, and I was SO HAPPY for my brother and new sister, and feeling like a new woman, so I decided to try it. The dress was comfortable and had good support and I felt pretty in it, and it made it through the ceremony and reception, and even the dancing (half of which I conducted with my then-4-year-old on my hip).
I was also very happy that my cousin, who is an excellent photographer, thought to have me sit down at the beginning of the reception with the kids so he could take a picture of us. I hadn’t had a picture done with me and the kids together in years, and to have one that was a real portrait was absolutely lovely.
He emailed me the pictures the week after the wedding, and I was excited, and started putting together my Christmas card using that picture as The Picture, when I noticed something. About the neckline of the dress. Or, rather, where the neckline should have been, but wasn’t.
Remember when Elaine Benes sent out that Christmas card? Yes, that.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. And I only thought that because I hadn’t actually had the cards printed and sent them to my grandma’s sister or my favorite high school teacher or our former exchange student from the Dominican Republic yet.
So I IMd my friend Wendy and told her what had happened. She laughed and laughed. And then she photoshopped up my neckline so I wouldn’t end up sending obscenity through the U.S. Mail. Here’s the final photo (yes, I blurred my kids faces out so they wouldn’t be horrified by this when they hit middle school):
So all this is to say that when you’re caught with your nipples hanging out, it pays to have good friends who will help you and laugh at you at the same time.
Follow her cat on Facebook at Alex the Assassin Cat.
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