I'm giving away my beloved niece to her handsome fiancé on their wedding day. Thankfully, the ceremony and photo session are brief affairs; and we head to what is affectionately called a "redneck reception" due to the location (a barn), the personal facilities (port-a-potties), the novelty memorabilia for guests (koozies in that camo pattern), and the yummy blue groom's cake (adorned with beer cans). It's really a cute outdoor setup and fun from the moment we arrive. I'm thrilled at the lack of pretense.
Meanwhile, my whole demeanor is a pretense. In the 100-degree heat of a Houston afternoon, I exchange pleasantries with T-Doo's friends and the groom's family, and I smile. But neither the bridal party nor the guests can see that I have four boners, two in front and two in back, sewn into the lining of my dress. Cutting into my lower back and cinching my abdomen, they are determined to make me scream and buck like a sweaty, pissed off bronc at the rodeo—which could work at a redneck reception, but which would also make me look silly in photos.
The tiltwall structure of my covert corset keeps me upright. I cannot bend over. I cannot sit down. I wonder absently why I'm holding my breath. Oh wait. I'm not holding my breath; I can't breathe because my lungs can't expand, which goes against the laws of physics! Remember Elizabeth in Pirates of the Caribbean, when she stands up on the cliff and her corset is squeezing her to fainting? That is me. I have passed the point of coping, and before I pass out, I MUST GET THIS THING OFF ME!
I steal my daughter's keys and march in white highheels through a pasture where all the cars are parked. Not even Captain Johnny-Jack Sparrow can stop me. By the time I get to the Honda and drop into the back seat where ultra dark windows will protect my impending nakedness from onlookers, I am in an all-out panic. Ah, but I am safe now. I can get out of this thing and breathe!
Except that I can't reach the hooks or the zipper in the back of the dress, and even if I could, the dress is so tight, the zipper won't budge. Nooooooooooooo!
I text Scoots: Help! I'm trapped. I can't get out!Since she hasn't replied, I think #2 daughter is blowing me off, laughing wickedly with her evil sister at their mother's ridiculosity. I kick open the side door and roll out of the car, gasping for fresh air. In the distance, I see Scoots. Thank God, she hasn't forgotten that I gave her birth! Thank God she HAS forgotten all those times I embarrassed her in front of her friends. I fall to my knees in gratitude -- and dizziness. Despite people milling through the parking pasture, I stand in full view and turn my back to my daughter. "Do it now!"
Scoots: You need help getting out of your dress?
Me: Come now! I'm stuck in it!
Me: Seriously! I can't fucking breathe!
Me: Are you coming?????????
We attract attention, but I don't care. Scoots tugs on the fabric, drags the zipper down, and finally sets me and the girls free! I smile like a big dork, slump into the back seat again, and just lay there, breathing, watching my belly swell, letting it all hang out.
A few minutes later, I emerge back at the reception in flip-flops, shorts, a nice top, and pearls. This is how I spend the rest of the reception, dancing the night away. And I don't care. Cuz I can breathe.