All Our Best-Laid Plans

Evan and Audra – Ridgecrest, NC

Today, March 21, 2020, I was supposed to attend the wedding of my oldest son in Candler, NC. Instead, I am sitting in the darkness of our finished basement, my laptop warm and glowing, trying not to think about what could have been, or the sheer strangeness of the times in which we find ourselves living.

Since Evan and Audra got engaged last fall, I have had their wedding on my mind almost every day. My younger sons couldn’t wait to attend the wedding of their older brother. Their chosen venue was a beautiful farm in the mountains where they were to be married in the outdoors they hold so dear. There are several beautiful cabins on the property where wedding guests had planned to stay and we had reserved our favorite. For months I played over and over in my mind how we would visit with one another on one of the cozy porches or perhaps stroll along the beautiful grounds. I visited every store in our area looking for a mother-of-the-groom dress. I wanted just the perfect dress — classy, not-too-old and not-too-young, the perfect fit, the perfect color, the appropriate length. Finding nothing to suit in the stores, I turned to scouring every dress I could find online. I found that most MOG dresses were either frumpy, totally inappropriate for our particular occasion, or just downright ugly. In early February, already feeling I was running out of time, I found a website that seemed like a dream-come-true. I loved almost every dress and now had a hard time deciding just which one I should pick. With the help of my daughter I finally narrowed it down to one. These were the early days of hearing about Covid 19. “Back then” most of us were just worried about not receiving orders from China (or receiving them contaminated) with all the chaos going on over there. This new coronavirus was still pretty far removed from us. After reading terrible reviews of this company online, I discovered it was in China and tried to push their beautiful dresses out of my mind. I made the decision not to order them solely based upon my concern that I wouldn’t receive my order in time for the wedding. I finally found 2 dresses at a well-known department store online and ordered one. It arrived on time and in perfect condition, except it was a size-too-big (never trust those online measurement charts) and covered in sparkles (that you couldn’t detect in the advertised picture). I returned it and stressed about them receiving the return and crediting me back the small fortune I paid for it. I then ordered my second choice dress, stressing that it wouldn’t arrive on time or that it wouldn’t fit or that the pale pink would wash me out. It arrived and it was perfect. I tried it on several times, imaging with what shoes it would look the best, with what jewelry, with what dainty little handbag. I imagined the mother-son dance with Evan, us dancing to Idaho by Gregory Alan Isakov, as we had planned.

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