A New Wife’s Tale

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In relating the story of my tragic third and final choice of dress for my wedding last September, I am reminded of the old saying that, before you take an aphorism to heart, you must first make sure that it is not stupid.

For example, let’s examine the saying “Dress for the job you want and not the job you have.” Sure, it sounds good on paper, but how will you take your drive-thru customer’s order if your astronaut helmet garbles sound? Will hospital scrubs on a dental hygienist ever be anything more than sad? More to the point, what if the job you want is to be Cat Deeley, the 6-foot tall, thirty-something model/hostess of the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance,” but the job you have is to be Heather Aronson, the 5-foot tall, middle-aged hostess of the reality show “Thanks For the Salty, Slow-Cooked Beef, But I’ve Decided to Become a Vegetarian”?

I know what you’re thinking, because, as a trained and board-certified psychopath, I can totally read your mind. You’re thinking: You’re a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood.

To which I say: Okay, but let me finish my point.

Here’s another aphorism that sounds okay, just before it turns out to be completely idiotic: “Everything we really needed to know we learned in kindergarten.” Please. Did you know, in kindergarten, that you have to bring both photo ID and your social security card with you when you open an account at PNC? Did you know about fibromyalgia?

Did you have any idea that a cute little 60s-style white mini-dress with an empire waist and three-quarter length sleeves could look absolutely smashing on a beautiful and willowy model/hostess on tv, but would appear sort of shapeless and dumpy on someone who is more or less the opposite of Cat Deeley, not to mention totally show your bra straps because the neckline will be too wide?

No, because in kindergarten, you knew nothing about bra straps. Nobody in kindergarten knew anything about bra straps.

Wait, what?

Please stop thinking about your kindergarten teacher right now.

Finally, let’s parse the aphorism “You get what you pay for.” Except for those times when you’ve cheaped out and bought an inferior quality product, when has this saying ever turned out to be accurate? How many times have you paid for a giant bag of chips, but gotten only a handful of chemicals and despair? Who here has used up every last little gabillabyte allowed by the texting and data plan she paid for, without having to sign up for a gazillabyte more that she will never, ever use?

And who hasn’t gone in to Free People and paid one hundred and eighteen dollars for a white lace mini dress that looks kind of like the one Cat Deeley wore on Top Six night of So You Think You Can Dance’s season 10, only to realize, in the middle of her wedding, that what she is actually wearing is a tunic top, and no pants?

Please stop thinking about the no pants.

Which reminds me of yet another aphorism: Once bitten, twice shy.

Wait, no it doesn’t.

I guess it’s like my mother always said: I should have studied to become a telepath, instead.

About Heather Aronson

Heather Aronson is a freelance writer and editor. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona way back in the 1980s and has put it to scant use ever since, publishing a few short stories in now-defunct magazines (including American Short Fiction) and storing a handful of novels in now-defunct boxes. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, in a new house with some of her children, her new husband, and a bunch of old stuff that totally doesn’t go together. Especially the cow creamers.

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