Struggling to feel like a “good enough” mother? I have a tip. Get a pen and write this down: Watch two episodes of Say Yes To The Dress back to back and then VOILA! You will feel like the greatest mother who ever drew breath on this planet.
I had the opportunity to see two episodes of this show at the gym. Sure, I could have averted my eyes and ignored the closed-captioned crawl at the bottom. Maybe I could have read Moby Dick on my iPhone, if I could only get past all that whaling. I didn’t have to watch it. Except I did. I found myself on a treadmill with nothing else to look at and I’d forgotten my earphones so I couldn’t get my sweat on with my own jams.
The premise of the show is palatable: brides some with their entourage to a fancy store in NYC and we watch as they travel that precarious road to finding The Dress. A subtext of the show is Wwtch how emotionally stunted mothers ruin their daughters’ hopes and dreams. From my sample size of episodes (2), I draw the following conclusions:
- The more botoxed the mother is, the lower the self-esteem of the daughter.
- The most toxic combination is the super-thin mother and “heavier set” daughter who just lost 100lbs but you can totally tell it’s not enough for the mom.
- Some brides have to contend with the one-two punch: “Opinionated” mother and “Set-in-her-ways” grandmother– Let’s say a silent prayer for those brides.
- Second most toxic combination: Mothers with specific ideas of how the dress should be who also insist on a $1000 budget.
The upside of that torture was twofold: 1) I didn’t notice how uncomfortable it was to run a few miles after HALLOWEEN CANDY indulgence, and 2) I felt like the greatest mom in the world. I’d never act like those fools on that show. I mean, for one thing, I have no plans to ever get botoxed, which makes me feel so far ahead of the game.
Programming note: One of the brides featured was a 24-year old cancer patient (cervical) named Margo who was planning to get married after her chemo. I teared up watching her describe the dress she wanted, which she hoped would “make her feel beautiful even though” she didn’t have hair. She and her twin sister and her mom looked like lovely people clinging to each other through a challenging time. I loved the dress she chose– and almost lost it when they showed a montage of pictures of her and her fiancé. I almost thought this show isn’t that bad as I luxuriated in all the warm feelings swirling inside.
Then? Right at the end of the show, a graphic appeared. “In Memory of Margo– 1988-2012.” And that, my friends, was when I lost it completely. I cried enough tears to equal about half the candy I’ve stolen from my kids.
In other parenting news, I’ve decided to STOP princess bashing in front of my daughter. Because guess what? She likes princesses and my eye rolling and belittling it is making me feel like I’m headed to a future as one of the moms I spent an hour hating in Say Yes To The Dress. Read more on that here.