Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Oh, yes, I'm so like that myself. I love to give gifts that make someone say "oh, that's perfect" and I want desparately to get such a gift from GB...

Love hearing about the dress, dear - will we get to see pictures? We promise not to tell LD before he sees it himself on the big day!

By Blogger Amie, at 3:20 PM  

I promise - we've only photographed the prototype dress but I have some preliminary sketches. I'll try to get them up tomorrow.

By Blogger Bess, at 8:33 PM  

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Sunday, December 05, 2004  

And the answer issss


Bess will get to cut into hundreds of dollars worth of glorious silk today. My fingers are absolutely itching.

I completed every task on the list except making the petticoat, so that when Bride showed up to try on the prototype dress we had to stuff the ball of netting beneath her skirt to see if the skirt was wide enough. It wasn’t, and the left hip of the bodice, where the deep point is, was way to wide. The bust needs to be just a tad bit tighter too, but the heavily interfaced lining is just the right amount of shaping to hold the dress up without boning. Though, as I type this, I may make her wear the silk version for a while, just to see if body heat softens it up to the point where boning is needed. I have it if we need it and we certainly don’t need the Janet Jackson effect at the Baptist church. But it’s not comfortable so I hope we don’t.

We both want the skirt to be a little fuller, too. It’s a sort of bell shape right now. I could either exaggerate the bell when I cut out the skirt or put gathers in - either technique would create the proportions we want, but the look would be quite different. I’ll have to talk to her on the phone - maybe even have her come over, to consult because once I cut the fabric, that’s it. I came up with another idea in the night, too, about the bodice. So there will have to be a morning consultation as well as a possible evening fitting. Ahh well. It’s all a yummy experience for me.

And now, as proof that I can think about something besides TheWedding, I want to talk about Christmas. Christmas gifts, to be precise. I’m thinking hard about gifts these days, partly because I don’t have a clue what to give anybody except BD, who actually told me what he wanted (Though he doesn’t remember). I already gave LD his gift because he needed it in November and there will be a small token gift for him from me on TheDay. But what to do for the rest of the precious people I’d like to give to is a problem I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around. I am thinking of something small and duplicable, like boxes of Godiva Chocolate or a book or something. I’m afraid I won’t have time to select individual gifts this year.

Normally I love gift giving. I love to take time to think about each individual and try to match a gift to her preference, his personality, her wishes. I also enjoy showing off that I remembered some obscure comment made way last June, and tracked down the object of someone’s desire. Well, I never said I wasn’t egotistical. Another fun thing about seasonal giving is that I love to shop. I like to go into stores and I like to spend money. I particularly like to spend budgeted money - to find bargains, riches, treasures, without spending money I don’t have.

The flip side to this gift giving stuff is the gift getting. BD asked me what I wanted this year and for the life of me - I was stumped. And this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this DeerInTheHeadlights sensation, when asked what I want - and heard the thought run throng my head: “oh lawsee - what do I want that I can’t just go buy myself?”

Now, if I were a more generous, less materialistic sort of person, I could just say, “make a donation to charity for me”. But I don’t want that either. I want a gift to open on Christmas Day. I want it from BD. I don’t want it to be something he wants for himself. I want it to ...


What is it I want from a gift?

I think the trouble I’m having is that I want a gift from him that not only symbolizes his knowledge of me, but also demonstrates his deep admiration for me and expresses his romantic love for me.


That’s a heckuva lot to ask from a gift - especially a gift from a poor unsuspecting husband. I realize this is a totally unfair, albeit very real, desire. That it is unfair is why I can be gracious about any gift anybody gives me, and that it is real is why I almost always go buy myself something I really want during the Christmas season (as well as just before my birthday) and let that be the official gift. And in many years I can actually tell my most beloved several things I’d like to have as gifts. Sadly, even those gifts don’t quite hit the bulls eye on the GiftsTarget. That’s because I know that if I hadn’t gotten it as a gift, I’d have gone out and bought it for myself sooner or later. The real gift was merely the convenience of not having to drive to the city or wait for the UPS truck.

Just typing the word “real” to describe “gift” brings me a little closer to the crux of this conundrum. What is a “real” gift. For one thing, it is an unexpected tribute to someone’s specialness. That is why a little box of Whitman’s can be a real gift when it comes out of the blue, from some unexpected source. That is why a new vacuum cleaner is seldom a gift, even if you desperately need one. A “real” gift is also a way for a person to pluck a piece of his heart out and place it inside yours. The pillowcases I lay my head on, sewn by my special Philly Friend, make me glow whenever I use them. Every few weeks I put a kiss on her because she put her heart into mine. The polished stone necklace from J warms me each time I wear it, because it came out of the blue and whispered “I am thinking of you.”

So. Now you know how demanding and materialistic and egotistical and unreasonable TheQueen really is. It’s true. Alas. I would that I were more altruistic, more generous, more open, less critical; altogether a finer person. I have worked on my flaws, not always to much effect, but at least I acknowledge them. And as I have typed this I realized two things. If I want BD to give me a romantic feminine gift, I really ought to tell him. And tell him that I will buy myself what I need. I want him to buy me something pretty.

But I also realized that he already gave me the gift I was aching and longing for, last weekend. That was the low point in the WeddingDressMaking process, when I began to doubt my worthiness to even exist, much less my ability to actually sew the durn thing. I mentioned his support in Monday’s post, but I failed to convey the complete perfection of his compliment. Unsolicited, he looked into my soul, saw something that is integral to my very being, and stroked it with unexpected words of the highest praise. The tribute to my specialness. The “real” gift. The perfect gift. I believe that is the real reason I had no suggestion to make when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. He had already given it to me.

Merry Christmas!

posted by Bess | 9:03 AM