You Want Me to Wear That?

By Alice Muschany

My long-time friend, Janice, arrived at our girls’ only luncheon grinning like a Cheshire cat. She held out her hand and announced, “Look who’s engaged.”

In her late fifties, Janice had been divorced for over twenty years and finally met a great man. We were all ecstatic. She deserved to be happy.

Everyone congratulated Janice as they checked out her beautiful engagement ring and asked about the wedding.

“What color are our dresses?” I teased.

Another girlfriend chimed in, “I look good in black.”

“Remember, we’re all blondes now,” one quipped.

The following weekend I watched a movie about a girl who was always a bridesmaid, never a bride – to the tune of twenty-seven weddings. The gowns, ranging from hilarious to downright ugly, hung in her closet as a constant reminder.

That gave me the idea of throwing Janice a shower requesting guests to wear a bridesmaid dress, style and color of their choice. Enthusiasm bubbled, but there was just one small problem. Even if we’d kept the dresses we’d worn in weddings years ago, there was only a slim chance we’d be able to wear them now, thanks to our middle age bodies.

Gowns that no longer fit were pooled for a free-for-all. Everyone eyed the formals discretely, hoping they’d be able to squeeze into one. Some browsed garage sales, while others checked out resale shops. One friend found hers at Goodwill.

Who needs the Academy Awards? Guests paraded in wearing long gowns and sporting beehives and bouffant hairstyles. Charm bracelets jingled from their arms. Suddenly our days as bridesmaids didn’t seem all that long ago. Conversation turned to styles we’d been asked to wear by our so-called friends. Not even a model could have pulled off some of those dresses.

Guests were given the job of voting for the prettiest gown, the ugliest, the shortest and the tightest. The Southern Belle ensemble won hands down for the prettiest, even though the gown used more material than Scarlett O’Hara’s dress sewn from curtains. The girl with the ugliest formal, shoes dyed to match, wore it in a friend’s wedding and managed to forgive her. From the looks of the dress, that couldn’t have been easy. Shortest was a no brainer, but tightest a close call. After much thought, Large Marge was declared the winner. She wasn’t the only one afraid to eat a second piece of cream-cheese filled cake, iced with colorful bridesmaid dresses. Most of our vintage clothing left little wiggle room, a few held together only by safety pins.

As Janice opened gifts, Sonny and Cher crooned softly in the background, “I Got You Babe.” We warned the guest of honor that each ribbon she broke would represent how many prescriptions the newlyweds would need instead of the

number of children they’d have. She unwrapped each present slowly.

We’d participated in traditional shower games too many times. Instead, we played games geared toward our era. In the unscramble-the-words game, Menopause, Viagra and Depends replaced bride, groom and wedding cake.

Next, guests triumphed when it came to recognizing theme songs from popular 50s & 60s TV shows. Like Mary Tyler Moore, we knew we were going to make it after all. And didn’t we all enjoy those Happy Days? Of course, everyone laughed at the mention of Lucy. And like Laverne and Shirley, we’d been busy making our dreams come true.

Commercial jingles kept us on our toes. How many times did we wonder, does she or doesn’t she use Clairol? And who wasn’t Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Two days after the shower, I still had “See the USA in your Chevrolet,” stuck in my head like Bazooka bubblegum.

As guests departed, everyone agreed it had been a while since they’d laughed that hard. Our shower proved that, although we might be showing our age, we were still young at heart.

It’s always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting.

About this writer

  • Alice Muschany Alice Muschany lives in Flint Hill, Missouri. Now that she’s retired, everyone wants a piece of her. When she does find free time, she enjoys writing, photography and hiking. Her grandchildren are her biggest joy.

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8 Responses to “You Want Me to Wear That?”

  1. Bev says:

    Loved the story!

    • Rita says:

      Both the shower and the telling of it are definitely “alice” style. So engaging! Keep living life to the fullest and writing about life’s funny situations.

  2. Dana says:

    Great idea for a shower!

  3. Janice says:

    It’s all about me ! OMG…. One of the best days of my life ! She tells it like it was…fun, food, and best of all, friends. Thanks Alice!

  4. Dorothy Wilber says:

    FUNNY and CUTE IDEA for a shower
    My era of memories

  5. Janet says:

    Brilliant writing style! So witty and entertaining!

  6. Debby says:

    Great story. Your stories always make my day brighter.

  7. Debbie S. says:

    What a hoot!!! Loved the story. How true it is.

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