Monday, December 7, 2015

And the Bride Wore Gap Maternity

As my sister sat poised with a hammer aimed at my wedding dress, you'd think I would've had a moment's pause.

You'd think for one second it might occur to me that this might not be a good idea. You would think that since the one and only experience I'd had with my sister and a hammer had resulted in a hole in the wall next to my head, I might have been more cautious. But no. I am not that bride.

You see, I'd put off buying the dress for weeks if not months. I knew I was either getting married over Thanksgiving break or Christmas break, and that's a lot of time to a pregnant woman. I couldn't buy the dress until the wedding date was near. I now realize that at Thanksgiving I could have worn a normal dress, but as Christmas arrived it became clear that the only place I could shop for a wedding dress would be a maternity shop.

While I've had great success ordering online from Gap Maternity, I'd put off buying the wedding dress to such a late date there was no time for shipping. Fortunately I'd found a Gap Maternity store about 30 to 45 minutes from my house, in the lovely town of BFE. Once I'd found the store in the "outdoor mall" (who the hell makes outdoor malls in Michigan?) I was in maternity heaven. I didn't care that the Gap Maternity "store" was actually the back room of a Baby Gap and there were no sales people there to help. I quickly took over the entire room and tried on every pair of jeans, every sweaters, dress and shirt that I could find and left with an armload of clothing that I hoped would last me four more months.

I picked out two dresses, unsure of which to wear. One was a bit more "evening," the other a bit more "day." I was disappointed they didn't have a red dress in my size, but settled on either wearing gray or black to my wedding. When you're six months pregnant, there really isn't a need for white.

Fast forward a few days and it's about an hour before we have to leave for the courthouse. I'd selected the gray dress because it seemed more appropriate for an afternoon wedding in a courthouse. I also look good in gray. I think it's my color.

I trotted down the stairs to show my sister and niece my cute gray Gap Maternity dress. They both ooohed and ahhed over it and told me how adorable it was. Then my niece gasped.

"What?" I said.

"Oh no!" She pointed at the back of my dress, where there was a giant white plastic security device attached to it.

"Dammit!" I said. "I'm getting a pair of scissors."

My sister was right behind me, muttering, "We can get this off." My niece who just quit her retail job in August so she could attend her freshman year of college tried to tell us that the security tabs were difficult if not impossible to remove. She said something about stopping at Target real quick and talking a sales associate into removing the tag for us.

"We haven't got time for that," I said and waved her off.

My sister and I stomped downstairs to the basement where I kept my tools. All three of them.

"Do you have any needle-nosed pliers?" My niece asked, feebly trying to talk reason to two crazy women on a mission.

"Just give me a hammer," my sister said. "I'll get it off."

"It's coming off," I told the niece. "One way or another."

My sister and I quickly entered The Zone. The zone for crazy. I made one futile attempt to "cut" through the metal pin of the security device with a pair of scissors to no avail.

"Just give me the hammer," my sister hissed. "I'll get it off."

So I handed her a hammer. It didn't occur to either one of us that it might be easier if I removed the dress before my sister took a hammer to it. No, we thought it best that I, a six-months pregnant lady, kneel on the cement floor of my basement with my dress stretched out over the floor so my sister could pound at it.

"I don't think you should hold the tab," my sister wisely noted as she held the hammer over my hand.

We both watched as she whacked at the plastic tab and it started to break. Elation! She tried to pry it off but it would not budge.

"Hit it harder!" I said.

She lifted the hammer over her shoulder and really waled at it. No luck.

"Try hitting the side!"

"What side? There is no side."

"On the side, on the side, like this," I snatched the hammer from her. But I couldn't kneel, hold the dress out and hammer all at once.

"Here, let me do it," she said. We both watched with the fiery glow of security-tag-removing zealots as she hammered the shit out of that dress on the cement floor. When she stopped, we sat there panting and surveyed the damage to the security tab—which was nil—and then the damage to the dress, which was considerable.

"You hammered a hole in my wedding dress," I finally said.

"OH MY GOD I'm so sorry!" My sister clamped her hand over her mouth and stared at me wide-eyed.

So we stared at each other in horror. I briefly wondered what Dr. Freud would think of this and admired the moment. If I were a poet, I could write a poem about it and call it "Sibling Rivalry." After a long pause, we both started to laugh. Maniacally.

"It's okay," I said. "I'll wear the black dress."

I stomped upstairs and put on the black wrap-around dress with the ruffled collar. I was pleased my tights still worked with the wardrobe change. I wore the black shoes with the off-white flower on the strap. I found a necklace to wear with it.

"Oh, this dress is much better!" my sister and niece both agreed, a little too eagerly.

On our way to the courthouse, we finally spoke of it again.

"I can't believe I let you take a hammer to my wedding dress," I said.

The niece, my sister and I all erupted into laughter.

"What were we thinking?" my sister gasped.

"I tried to talk some sense into you people!" my niece protested from the back seat. My sister and I cackled even harder.

"I could write a wedding advice book now," I said. "I already have the first three tips: 1) Never give your sister a hammer on your wedding day 2) If you do give your sister a hammer on your wedding day, don't let her anywhere near your wedding dress and 3) always buy two wedding dresses."

My sister laughed like a mad woman again and then covered her mouth with a look of horror in her eyes.

I should put "a look of horror" in quotes. To be honest, I think it was more of a "sparkle."


  1. I love you both, you know that right? I can SOOOO see this, and wish I was there. Or at least that your niece had a video camera whilst it happened. I think you look beautiful in black, by the way.

    (Maybe you should have called a retail thief, and asked how THEY get those damn things off!)

  2. Oh, that is soo funny! A video of that would have been priceless!

  3. You're the opposite of a bridezilla, you should be profoundly pleased with yourself! -Plus, it's a very, very funny story.

    Congratulations, Mrs. Dirty!!!!!!!

    (More stories!)

  4. "You hammered a hole in my wedding dress," I finally said.


  5. Remember when those things used to be filled with ink?

  6. I'm glad you and your sister laughed about it at the end instead of bursting into tears or an extreme sister cat fight.

  7. Hahahaha! That is terribly funny. I do hope strange things never stop happening to you; they are often the highlight of my day.

    And congratulations to both of you, but especially to the lucky Mr. Dirty!

  8. I think more weddings should have hammers. Also that scene on your basement floor was straight out of Pulp Fiction in my head.

  9. Leaving the wedding dress ON was my favorite part. Wow. That story is classic.

  10. "She lifted the hammer over her shoulder and really waled at it"
    lol I laughed at this so much
    You might as well have driven a car over it :P

  11. Oh, wow. That was funny. Great stuff.

  12. Actually, on second thought, you made that up, didn't you? Admit it.

  13. As the sister, I can vouch for the authenticity of this story.
    It was far, far, far from my proudest moment but thankfully, Mandy was just bursting with joy that day. Clearly nothing was going to bring her down that day.

  14. This is an amazing new beginning for you. Glad it was launched with a "bang".

  15. while i love pretty much everything about this story, it was beth's comment that you were bursting with joy that caused my heart to overflow.

    congratulations, and wishing you many many happy years together.

  16. Congrats on SO many counts!
    The dresses, surviving the tag non-removal, for having a sense of humour and on getting married!

    I'm pretty certain having a Bride say "You hammered a hole in my wedding dress" is a seldom heard comment.

  17. Thanks for sharing this AWESOME memory from your wedding day! I think it was PERFECT!

  18. @Soobs:I think it's hilarious that the sister is so disturbed you can "soooooo" see this.

    @Eva Gallant: A video would have implied forethought, which perhaps would have prevented the scene. Ha.

    @DDJ: You're like a mature married gentleman now.

    @Mona Lott: It was a very non-bridezilla moment, wasn't it? The Buddha would be proud.

    @Sweet Herald: I had a fleeting thought about the ink as we were hammering away at it.

    @Miss Yvonne: We really haven't had a cat fight since puberty.

    @Mike 129: I don't know if strange things happen to me, or if I'm just a strange person.

    @Kurt: We just needed some guns and some drugs, yo.

    @Lindsay: It just seemed quicker that way.

    @The Last Santa: Seriously.

    @Richard: I wish. That dress was totally cute.

    @Beth: You just keep giving me that blog material, deal?

    @Just LD: *Cue rimshot*

    @Megan: I was joyous, it's true.

    @LaFang: I'd certainly love to write the scene for a screenplay. That's dialogue gold.

    @Caroline: Thank you.

  19. OMG, that's too funny. I agree, the fact that you and your sister laughed says good things about both of you. Congrats on being married... or are there other hilarious and potentially disastrous stories to come concerning that day?

  20. You are hysterical. Only you could this happen to. Congrats!

  21. Congratulations & best wishes to you both, hammered dress and all!

  22. Congrats to the both of you. You do realize your life is my new soap opera? ;)

  23. I laughed and laughed and laughed. You ladies wanted at that dress with the hammer like a fat kid loves cake. Your blogs are always great, but I love the humorous ones the most.

  24. So many congratulations to you both.

    I hope Cracky looked as fine as him mum?

    Are you now Mrs BMSD-DJ?

  25. Bwahahaha!

    Congratulations, wife-and-mother-and-Buddhist-therefore-you-don't-fall-under-labels.

    Congratulations nonetheless, Mandy! Congratulations on the holey wedding dress and crazy sister and non-pc dynamo husband and your futures with all your kids. *confetti!*

  26. OK that's friggin funny! You throw in a 6 pack of Coors light and a reference to NASCAR somewhere and I think you may have the perfect wedding story!

  27. Congrats to the both of you. I wish you a long and happy life together.

  28. Congratulations Mandy!!! I am very happy for you! What a great start to a New Year, married & pregnant.

    When I got married 28 years ago I had a 8 year old son and our daughter was 2 months old. It has been the best years of my life.

    I hope that all your dreams come true!!

  29. Hi Mandy,
    Wow, what a Christmas story.
    Thank you for the wonderful
    Christmas & New Years Present.
    As I write it's almost 12
    midnight and the start of
    the new year.
    Congratulations!! :)

  30. Congratulations on your wedding and having the forethought to buy two wedding dresses! Very fortuitous. I'm not letting my sister anywhere near me with a hammer, wedding emergency or no. That's just crazy talk!


  31. This is almost better than my wedding day when I threw up outside the courthouse because some stupid jackass (that would be me) thought it would be a good idea to have an impromptu bachelorette party the night before the ceremony. Congrats!

  32. I wasnt even there and I could totally picture it. Love this story.

  33. Awesome and yes one should always have a back up wedding dress!!
    Congrats and what a funny story!

  34. @Blissed Out Grandma: Nope. Just one disaster per wedding allowed.

    @DDJ: It's frosting.

    @Denise: Me AND my sister.

    @Grey Street Dress: Hammered dresses are going to be all the rage. Thank you.

    @Koreana: I want a daytime Emmy.

    @Wow: We can be rather focused at times...

    @Me: I'm keeping my name. I'm too old to change now. ;-)

    @Just Kate: Oh, the "crazy sister" makes me laugh and laugh. It won't make her laugh. At all. Which makes it all the funnier...

    @Kenny: Please. We try to preserve some dignity around here.


    @Ambellina: Thank you, dahling.

    @Kathy: Thanks for the encouragement!

    @Raao: Thanks!

    @Spot: You are a smarter woman than I am.

    @Kim: Bwahahahahaha! Now that's an awesome wedding story!

    @SexShoppingGreed: I aim to cause incontinence. Thank you.

    @JennyMac: It was quite an image...heh.

    @McG: It should be the girl scout's honor.

  35. I think grey is MY color. It goes with the circles under my eyes. Heh. heh. heh. *sigh

  36. Hi Mandy,
    As I was reading your post I wondered "what had I missed", until I read my comment from 2010. This is a great story, a gem.
    My reason for a second comment: I Have a neighbor, she is retired form the US military and wrote a book about her time in the service. She is in need of someone to proof-read her work.
    I thought of you and told her I'd contact you.
    My best to you and the family and Happy New Year 2016.
    Sincerely Richard O.usa

    1. Ah, very nice. Thanks for the recommendation, Richard!

  37. Needed a good laugh. Thanks for the second chance to see this!

  38. Congratulations. May you and our family have many more happy years to come.