Big and White?

This morning I went down to church with my arms filled with lace and tulle and all things white. Our ladies are going to be hosting “Wedding Dresses of the Century” sometime later in the year and wedding dresses are needed. I can’t fit into mine – and am certainly not alone in that respect – but was hoping that there would be a young pretty model that would fit it.

While there I was asked to try on someone else’s wedding gown and agreed to model it.

I went home and told DH and Son#5.

DH: Whose dress are you wearing?

Me: Heather’s.

DH (with obvious surprise): Really?

Me: What do you find so surprising about that?

DH: But she’s not big.

Me (trying not to get upset): Noooooo.

DH: So who’s wearing yours?

Me: Jaycee.

DH: She’s tiny.

Me (thinking it was about time I stood up for myself): Actually, Amber tried it on and it was a bit tight on her.

Son#5: But Amber’s small.

Me: Well I was small when I got married.

Son#5: But Amber’s small.

I could have told him it was his fault – his and his brothers – that I’m no longer the size I was when I got married but I was too hurt to say anything.

The thing is, neither DH nor Son#5 realised they had hurt me. DH even thought he had paid me a compliment. He thought he was saying, “Heather’s not big therefore you can't be big either if you were able to fit into her dress,” whereas what I heard was, “How can you fit into Heather’s dress when she’s not big and you are?”

No amount of discussion has smoothed over the misunderstanding either. DH still doesn’t understand how I could get so upset when he meant to compliment me, and I still don’t get how he could have intended that for a compliment.

As for Son#5, I guess he can’t see past what I am now. I think there’s a theory that boys see their mothers as something impersonal and not as girls at all, but right now it would be tempting to be able to lay all the blame for the way I look at his feet and make him feel some remorse that the reason I’m no longer small and have so many grey hairs is because of what I’ve had to endure not just bringing him into the world but also in raising him. But that would hardly be fair.

Sigh. And I thought I was beginning to understand men.

Comments

Ohtawen said…
As a girl, I understand your reasoning so well, Jules. We interpreted your husband's and son's comments the same way. That's the female way of thinking, so it seems. They unwittingly hurt you... And although they didn't mean to, you can still feel the sting. I'm sending you hugs anyway :) I believe you look gorgeous in that other lady's wedding dress! I would like to see a photo too, the curious thing I am ;)

Now I realize how lucky I am. I don't think I've ever experienced something like that. My dad is incredibly tactful. He never gives comments about my looks and outfits, but when prompted, he'll reply with "fine" or try to find out how I feel, to agree with my thoughts and feelings. I guess he is somewhat atypical...
winterwren said…
Oh, no, no, no! Oh, poor, poor beautiful Jules! Reading your post, I felt awful for you--and yet it was so funny, I will probably be smiling to myself all day. I hope you can sort things out with DH soon.

As for Son #5...I don't have any children, but I do have a much younger kid brother...and if they are anything alike, you might just have to chalk that one up to a loss (the misunderstanding, not the son.)

Hang in there!
Fox said…
Oh Jules....

I feel for you. I can actually see that your husband was trying to pay you a compliment. I think he already knows how you think and was trying to say you always think you are bigger than you are... see, she is not big, so you aren't either.

It is often easier for us to view other people as being smaller when they are the same size we are. We see ourselves bigger than we are. So I do think your husband was trying in his own way to help you realize that if you don't think Heather is big and you are wearing her dress, then can't you see that you are not big either? The truth is... you are not big!!!!!! If it makes you feel any better, my Mom is not big, but she would never fit into her wedding dress either. In fact, I can't even fit into her wedding dress. Once upon a time I could but that was like 20 years ago. There is a reason they called them child brides, LOL! Actually, she was not a child, but 19 is not "old" either!

I wear my Mom's original wedding band on my... pinky! So yes, things change and babies certainly help to do that! I am sure my Mom wouldn't trade any of her children in so that she could fit into that dress once more. Sure, we all moan and groan about lumps, bumps, and clothes that don't fit, but who stays the same size their whole life anyway? I can't wear the clothes I could when I was 20 years old and I haven't had a child! I blame it all on changing hormones and aging. :) Well, that and chocolate!

Try to give your hubby and sons a break... they are... well, men. :) They don't understand. It's good to help explain to them that their comments were hurtful, but it's also good to try to accept that they didn't mean them to be hurtful to you. Children (no matter what their age) often find it hard to imagine their parents differently. When my sis sees how tiny this ring is she can't fathom how it could have fit our Mom. It's not because she thinks our Mom is fat or big or anything... it's just that it seems so tiny and not like Mom's hand now! So maybe it will help you to think of it that way... to them you have never been any different and it's hard for them to imagine you differently, and that is all it really is. Not that you're big or fat or anything like that... just that they can't picture you being any different than you are now. Pull out some of their clothes from when they were younger and see if they fit them. :) Maybe that will help put a smile back on your face!

You're lovely in all ways, and I am so sorry you were hurt by their comments because you are NOT big! Look in a mirror and try to see the real you. Beautiful wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend!
Jen said…
Okay Jules, I have seen pictures of you. You are NOT big!! And for having 5 children, you look absolutely amazing! I know women that have only had a few children and are very large. When I look at pictures of you, I am amazed that you birthed 5 kids. I know that men are sometimes not the best at compliments, and can say hurtful things when they don't mean it. I'm sure your son and husband would never intentionally hurt your feelings. I truly think that you are such a beautiful woman, both inside and out!
SchnauzerMom said…
It's really hard for guys to give compliments. They don't think like we do and don't seem to understand the effect of their words. You are beautiful!
Jules said…
Thank you all for your kind words and for taking the time to reply. I can see now that neither DH nor Son#5 meant to be hurtful and that DH was even trying to pay me a compliment in his own way. It's not the way I would have worded it - but then if men were just like women we wouldn't need them!

The hurt has gone - mostly - but I am having second thoughts about being a grey-haired granny in a wedding gown!
Ohtawen said…
Jules, I'm so glad to see you are healing :) And I'm also surprised by your last words... "gray-haired granny". I know we all have doubts about ourselves, but I'm still somewhat shocked to see such a beautiful woman write that. I always think: "So young, and already a grandmother!". And that's a stretch, because before, when I was a lurker, I couldn't believe that you have grandchildren.

Don't you think that I'm just saying that; I mean what I say :):)

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