Mommie Dearest

With Mother’s Day occurring recently, I was curious, so I did a bit of googling. The first Mother’s Day occurred in 1914 and was originally suggested by the same lady who wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a day of peace. I think motherhood and peace are comfortable bedfellows. After all, who would want their child to go to war?

If you’re like me, I always send my mom a HUGE bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day as well as call her because I am a distance daughter. If we lived within a few hours of each other instead of a few states, then I would be spending the whole week with her.

In my line of work, of course, I deal with moms all the time. The question I get a lot is, “Who’s worse in terms of being a Zilla, the bride or the mother of the bride (MOB for short)?”

I would have to say the MOBs, hands down, are worse, especially if it’s their first or only child getting married or if they themselves didn’t get the wedding of their dreams. At this point, it literally becomes “war” between mother and daughter.

The Zillas are always a hot mess.

Joan* was so wound up that she criticized her daughter for choosing a strapless dress, as well not choosing to have me make sleeves or a bolero to cover her arms. Apparently, she thought her daughter’s arms were ugly with their skin condition and scarring and didn’t want that to mar the pictures. She actually made her daughter cry, and I had to ask her to leave so we could get on with the fitting.

Judy was so close to her youngest child that she displayed her jealousy in childish ways in front of me whenever the daughter talked about doing wedding things without her. I could tell that she was having a really hard time letting go.

Mary was a real piece of work–a MOB who decided to text me behind her daughter’s back with instructions for the dress. I finally had to tell Mary that I wasn’t going to make any changes to the initial alterations request unless it came from her daughter.

Kathleen asked me to make her a dress for her daughter’s goth Halloween wedding. During the time frame (we started the dress process 6 months in advance of the wedding), her husband filed for divorce. Originally, I wasn’t to make the dress sexy. After he pulled that stunt, however, Kathleen decided that she DID want the dress sexy after all, but she had a hard time conveying that to me. Finally, I sat her down and asked what was really wrong. Through several tissue boxes and a glass of wine, she finally confided in me.

Speaking of dresses, I made Alice a stunning dress for her daughter’s wedding, but, two weeks before said wedding, the daughter told Alice that my creation made her look too old and frumpy. Crushed, she went to Macy’s and grabbed three dresses from the rack and brought

them to me for a consult. Fortunately, there was one in the mix that was perfect. It didn’t need any alterations, so I didn’t charge her for my time because I really felt sorry for her.

However, I’ve also had super cool MOBs–like Barbara who brought champagne to share with everyone when her daughter picked up her dress from me.

Or like Terri, whose over-the-top ‘80s dress I redesigned for her daughter. We giggled through all fittings like we were old friends. I’m sure her daughter thought we were crazy.

Or like Patricia, who brought her sister AND all of the bridesmaids (7 of them!) to the fitting along with the bride and turned the whole afternoon into an amazing dress party (pre-Covid, of course).

Or like Nancy, the future mom-in-law, who came to all the wedding appointments (including all fittings) in place of the MOB because she was deceased. I was so glad to see that the bride and her “bonus mom” got along so well.

Or like Lily, who came to all her daughter’s fittings via Facetime because she was several states away.

There were a myriad of other moms whose warm relationships with their daughters showed in their fun interactions with each other during our fitting appointments. Their laughter was infectious, and I was happy to be included in their fun.

There are far more cool moms out there than Zillas, thank goodness. I guess the point is MOBs are human, and we all deal with major life changes in different ways. I try to be patient and positive with everyone. Sometimes I play therapist, and sometimes a little wine and chocolate and a few tissues help make life a little easier. In the end, I think every single MOB would agree that it’s worth it when that beautiful bride walks down the aisle and her mother, whether she’s a “cool mom” or a “Zilla,” forms tears of joy and happiness during her daughter’s glorious day.

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent or the extremely crabby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *