19. Fat Ribs.

I have been working on my 40 By 40 list for over a week now and I am hoping to publish it tomorrow. Some of the things in the list are going to seem obvious but some are going to require some explanation.

One of my list items is to get an amazing dress.  I don’t know if I’m thinking cocktail dress or a ball gown or what, but it’s going to be gorgeous and I’m going to wear it some place.  But, you might be saying, you got married and had a wedding.  Some of you were there for it and saw me in what most people would consider a fancy dress.  And while this is true, like anything else, there’s a story behind the dress.

We were on a very tight budget for our wedding.  Our ceremony was held in the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s garden and the reception was held in their large round meeting room that sits atop the water.  We brought in a reasonably priced caterer, DJ and photographer.

I, with the help of my bridesmaids, made all of the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, favors and centerpieces and my veil.  I had a friend make the programs.

The dress was proving to be problematic though.  No matter where I went, what I liked was really expensive.  I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on something I’d wear one night but I wanted it to be beautiful.  To say I wanted to look like a princess would sound kind of lame coming from me, but if there’s a word for when really grumpy and sour people want to look like princesses while still retaining all of their cynicism, that’s what I was going for.

I ended up finding one while searching for the bridesmaids dresses.  It was really, really nice and it was only $150.  It fit pretty well except for a small bulge in the gut.  I vowed to do sit ups constantly until there was no visible gut.

About six weeks before the wedding, I tried on my dress to see how my ab work was going.  I went into the room where the dress was, disrobed, and opened the dress bag.  Carefully removing it and spreading it out, I stepped inside.  I pulled the strapless bodice up to its proper location and reached behind me to zip.

I slowly slid the zipper up, sucking in as hard as I could.  I reached my mid-back and the zipper wouldn’t go any higher.  I pushed every bit of breath from my body and sucked my middle in so hard I thought I was going to puncture my lung.  It was no use.

In tears, I called my matron of honor.  One of the reasons I selected her, aside of the fact that I love her to bits, is that she is brutally honest.  Sometimes too much so, but I love her anyway.  She came over and tried to zip the dress.  She could not.

“Well,” she said matter of factly, “I think you’re going to need a new dress.”

“Can’t I just…” I was hoping there was an answer she didn’t think of yet.




“What if…”

“Michelle!  We need to go buy a new dress!!”

The problem was not my fat gut because that was noticeably slimmer.  The problem, you see, is that I have fat ribs.  I didn’t know it when my fat gut hid them, but when I lost some weight, I found out the awful truth. My ribs are disproportionately fatter than the rest of me.  I call it Fat Rib Syndrome and it occurs in 1 person in the entire world’s population.  That person is me.

We got in the car and drove to David’s Bridal, known for it’s low price dresses and significant stock.  I found a suitable gown that fit without alterations except for the straps and the hemline.  It would be ready for pick up 2 days before the wedding.

I barely ate until the wedding and thankfully dress number two fit, even though my ribs were still fat.  I know this was so because I tried on the first dress just in case and it still didn’t fit.

The flowers strategically placed to hide the ribs.
Tania, my MOH, and I are laughing because posed wedding photos are goofy.

Before I turn 40, I’m going to buy myself a beautiful dress that fits my body, whatever it looks like at the time, and find some place fabulous to wear it.  Because I deserve a dress story that doesn’t involve fat ribs.

Linking up with the Open Grid at the Yeah Write Challenge which goes live Tuesday.  Old school voting going on this week, if you’re into that sort of thing.  Make sure you read the other entries before you vote though, OK?

54 Responses to “19. Fat Ribs.”

  1. Adore this and adore you. I can’t wait to read your 40 before 40… You know I’m all about the life lists right now. Go get you that dress!!

    • I’m behind on your blog and I’m so pissed about it! They’re sitting in my inbox waiting for me to read them!! I will catch up this weekend though :)
      Thanks for the RT and the lovely comment. And I adore you right back!

  2. Love this post! You look beautiful in your wedding gown :)

    You deserve any dress you want. I can’t wait to hear all about it and where you wear it, even if I have to wait.

    • Aww, thank you so much :) It was a great day and I’d have been happy wearing anything just to have a great wedding with a guy I love and awesome friends by my side.

      But, there’s still that part of me that’s really pissed about that dress!!

  3. Hahha, I loved the line about wanting to look like a princess or whatever cynical people call it, haha!
    Cannot wait to see your list , Michelle, and beautiful picture from your wedding day!

  4. IASoupMama says:

    I suffer from extreme short waist syndrome. That means that there is only one inch between the top of my hips and the bottom of my ribs. And that was before the twins ruined me forever. Sigh…

    You are gorgeous in your wedding dress and will be gorgeous in your new dress, too.

    • What is the normal waist length? I count about 3-4″ on me, at best. If I go around a roll instead of through, it’s more. Kids…

      I’m sorry about your ESW Syndrome. I understand though. There’s no cure for FR Syndrome. Perhaps we should form fundraisers for our afflictions :)

  5. Kianwi says:

    I loved this. Yes, absolutely, you need to buy a beautiful, cynical dress and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! And also? You looked gorgeous in your photo, truly.

    • Thank you so much. It was a great dress, I did love it, even though it was second choose and so much more expensive than the one I gave away. But I want to put one on and love it, you know?

  6. Yes! You so deserve an amazing dress. I hope you find the one of your dreams, and I hope you wear it somewhere extra special and post pictures! Your wedding dress is beautiful and I love, love, love your bouquet.

    • There will be pictures, I’m sure!

      Thanks about the bouquet. I really wanted 2 dozen roses and a dozen for each of my 6 bridesmaids but I just didn’t have that kind of money. But my bouquet still sits on top of my dresser, 11 years later and I couldn’t have said that if I went with real ones, so it was a win-win!

  7. Christie says:

    Awesome story!!! So good!!! I cannot wait to see that dress sparkle corn 2013?

  8. Mamarific says:

    Fat ribs…you are killing me! Great story, and I’m glad you ended up with a dress you could live with (and breathe in!).

  9. Oh my God, we are like totally related…I have the SAME syndrome! Loved this post!

  10. Gina says:

    You look beautiful in your wedding gown. I lve that you and you MOH were laughing, not posing. Can’t wait to see your awesome dress and hear where you debut it!

    • Thanks Gina!
      The photographer was getting annoyed because he kept trying to get us to do stuff and we couldn’t stop laughing. It was absurd! But we had a great time, so who cares, right?

  11. Everyone should have a fabulous dress that they feel amazing in… no matter whether your complaint is fat ribs or a fat anything. btw, i love fat ribs – i actually think my mom has that.. and she’s a waif…she keeps saying she wants lipo, but i’m like, you can’t lipo your rib cage!!! she’s funny… and so are you.

  12. Bill Dameron says:

    You really do look beautiful in that dress! But go ahead and get another dress, you deserve it!

  13. Angela Ryan says:

    You look beautiful in that dress — “fat rib syndrome” and all. I enjoyed this post and you deserve it. Have you ever checked out the community of the traveling red dress started by the bloggess? You should do so. Whatever fabulous dress you find, you should do a wonderful photo shoot in it where you don’t hold back and then post all those photos here for everyone to enjoy your well-deserved fab dress moment. I also loved that line about princesses who want to retain their cyncisim — that would be me too. :)

    • I have hard of the red dress. I love that idea so much. We deserve to feel beautiful, even those of us so outwardly grumpy (like me!) that no one would ever think we cared about that sort of thing. Thanks for your great comment!

  14. I look forward to seeing a picture of you in your lovely dress, celebrating your beautiful body.


  15. Dilovely says:

    What an awesome idea. You are going to SIZZLE.

    And… I have fat ribs too, for the record. Even more disproportionate when I was a kid – my ballet teacher used to tell me to “pull my ribs in” and I’d be like, “um, that’s as far in as they go!!”

  16. Lance says:

    great picture. good luck on your 40/40

    I’m going through something similar but I call “middle-age sucks hards” list

    Happy Thursday, whatever you do

  17. danastaves says:

    Eesh, I am currently planning my wedding and trying to find a dress that doesn’t break the bank. Why have I been cursed with expensive taste, Michelle? Why? Nonetheless, I’ve been there. Our ribs apparently can’t be helped. I support your goal: find a rocking dress, wear it somewhere fabulous, and have a blast!

  18. bahaha you are so funny. I love the fact that you wanted the princess dress while retaining your cynicism about princess. Fabulous.

  19. Miz Yank says:

    So funny! The dress you wore was beautiful, as was the wearer. BTW, I bought my wedding dress at David’s, too. At $400, I still thought it was exorbitant, mainly because it detracted from the food, booze and music budgets.

    • Thank you. I think my second dress ended up about $600 or $800. It wasn’t awful, but it was so annoying that I couldn’t wear the first one! David’s ended up being great, I had no complaints there.

  20. Kristin says:

    I have fat ribs too! I found it out when I lost a bunch of weight in my 20’s – but I still had problems closing fitted shirts. I prefer wide ribs, but it’s the same deal. My calves are that way too. I have a wicked funny story about that, but it’s creepy too. Maybe when I get time to write it down properly.

    And I got my wedding dress from eBay for $60. I bought two, actually, the other one was $52 – and much more beautiful. It didn’t fit though – because, you know, fat ribs.

  21. Ginny Marie says:

    Oh, absolutely! Dressing up is so much fun! I bought my wedding dress at David’s Bridal, too…I didn’t want to, but after going to several bridal boutiques, I was frustrated and found the perfect dress at David’s.

    • I’m so glad you found a great dress. I do love mine, don’t get me wrong, but there was still that little twinge of bitterness about it. I want a totally non-bitter dress, possibly mostly because it’s so unnecessary.

  22. What a precious photo! Love it. Maybe I have fat ribs, too. Can’t wait to see your new dress!

  23. Azara says:

    Aw, fat ribs suck. I’m sorry you weren’t able to wear that first dress; I had dress drama for my wedding too and I know that feeling of looking at the pictures and thinking, “Meh. That’s not the one.” The dress, not the guy! Haha! I also have been avoided buying new clothes out of unhappiness with my weight. I finally caved and bought some nice shirts last week.

    Thanks for the tweet :)

  24. Azara says:

    *avoiding* Curse you, sleep deprivation.

  25. Emma Roslyn says:

    I’m 41 so too late for me on the 40 by 40. Maybe I could try one for 45. I sure like the idea. Funny story, a good funny, and I think you deserve a nice dress. I love your wedding photo. You are so pretty.

  26. Larks says:

    How cute are you?! Great picture and nice post!

  27. you look beautiful in that picture and incredibly happy, which is ultimately all that matters. I feel your pain: I come from a long line of squishy-middled women. It doesn’t matter how much weight I lose (hypothetically speaking) or gain, or how many situps I do (or don’t do): the middle stays squishy.
    That said, I am thinking about The Bloggess’s project about the Red Dress (look it up if you don’t know it), and you are SO RIGHT. Everyone needs a dress that makes her (or him, what the hell) feel beautiful and fantastic. It is, as the credit card ads say, PRICELESS

    • My wedding day was fabulous – we had a great time and so much fun.

      Lots of squishy women in my family too. Stupid genetics :)

      I have heard of The Bloggess’ Red Dress. Maybe I was channeling her when I wrote my list. Red would be an awesome color too!

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