Not Black, Blue, or Beige

For the first time ever, I find that I have empathy for mothers-of-the-groom and mothers-in-law in general. After all, it’s tough playing a minor supporting role in a story in which you birthed the male lead. Whether he is tall, handsome, smart, funny, athletic, or any other number of things, he is the “Best Actor in a Leading Role” and you get none of the credit. You are relegated to “walk-on” or “walk-off” parts and pray that you are not cast as the wicked witch or that your part isn’t written out of the script entirely. Then you find yourself alone in a dressing room, expected to take care of your own make up and wardrobe.

And so it starts…tomorrow begins my quest for a dress to suit my character. A “mother of the groom” dress. Yup. In a little over five months my son will be getting married.

*   *   *

It’s been a long time since I’ve purchased a gown, but I vividly remember the favorites. First came my wedding dress. It was stunning and fulfilled all of the expectations of a first-time bride. Next was the first “grown up” dress – a white one – that I bought and wore to my brother’s wedding (I was only twenty-five at the time); but even more memorable were the Stuart Weitzman satin and rhinestone shoes I splurged on! Then came the fitted black and lace dress that I wore to my cousin Stephen’s wedding. After that was the gold tulle and beaded dress I wore to my sister’s wedding. And last, but not least, was the orange beaded “red carpet dress” I bought for my son’s Bar Mitzvah.

All of these frocks are safely stored in my basement cedar closet. I guess I saved them all (they range from twelve to thirty years old!) because they tell about a meaningful event in my life and remind me of how I felt – inside and out – when I wore them. Ironically, I know that I am the only one who remembers at which occasion these dresses made their appearances; how much they cost; or which shoes and accessories accompanied them. No one else knows or cares.

With this in mind, it’s obvious to me that my “mother-of-the-groom” dress will only mean something to me. I even got this message loud and clear when I googled “mother of the groom dresses.”  Do you know what happens when you enter this string of search words? Most of the results are “mother-of-the-bride” dress sites! Go ahead. Try it and see for your self. Even worse, on the rare site that actually has a category called “mother-of-the-groom,” you’ll find the ugliest, most frumpy gowns ever.

*   *   *

My sister-in-law, Ann, suggested that I come up to New York and she’ll help me buy a dress. My daughter wants me to come visit her in Chicago so I can buy one there. My mother thinks we can find something different in Florida when I go visit in April. But, it was my friend, Meredith, who pushed me to start looking right here in Atlanta. She made me call a boutique store that specializes in “high-end special occasion and evening wear,” where I learned that the spring and summer inventories are actively coming in now.

The saleswoman barraged me with questions about my height (5’6”), weight (uh, let’s just say I still have five to seven pounds to lose), dress size (6+/-), style preferences (I have no clue), and color preferences. Color? The bride is wearing white; the bridesmaids are wearing navy; and the groom and his entourage are wearing “midnight navy” or black tuxedos. I, however, was told that I may wear whatever color I want. So, I made an appointment and reviewed the list of “Best Dressed” from last week’s Academy Awards. My Spanx, good bra, and a pair of heels are packed. I’m ready to start the search for my version of the “mother-of-the-groom” gown.

My mother keeps telling me to “shut up, shell out, show up, and wear beige.” While she might be right, I won’t be wearing navy, black, or beige on the Big Day. I may only be playing a supporting role, but this new dress will be worthy of joining the others in my wardrobe of memories.


About Through Jewish Eyes

Just an average girl trying to do good, with a family and a faith that keep her grounded and focused on what's important.

Posted on March 6, 2014, in Random Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Adorable. I love it!


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