Sandra dragged me out after work to look at wedding dresses. There was a shop that sold them and she wouldn’t leave me alone till I agreed to meet her there. I emailed Jim that I was going to be late because I was going to look at wedding dresses and he was really excited. “Buy whatever you like,” he said. “I don’t care what it costs.”
I was less excited. When we got engaged, I decided I needed to lose thirty pounds before I got married. So far, I’ve gained five more pounds. I got on a scale over the weekend and I honestly almost cried. I have now gained 25 pounds since Jim and I have been together. At this rate, I’m soon going to be confined to bed and have to wash myself with a rag on a stick.
I really don’t know how I gained so much weight. I don’t think I’ve been eating that badly, but maybe I have. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m 30 now and my metabolism has slowed down. My mother is pretty overweight, even more than me, and I’m scared it’s just in my blood.
After avoiding it forever, I finally had to go get new clothes because my work pants were seriously not even buttoning anymore. I went to Target because I’m the height of fashion. I got a bunch of new pants, but not too many because I’m still hoping to lose the weight. I passed by the Plus Size clothing and I got really nervous because I’m worried some day I’m going to have to shop in that section. Not yet though, thank god.
Anyway, Sandra picked out a few white dresses for me that she thought would look good. Sandra is more stylish than I am, although not by a huge amount. Still, I trust her taste more than mine.
The first dress was strapless and really poofy. I feel like my arms are too heavy and I hate the way I look in sleeveless stuff, but most dresses are strapless or at least sleeveless. At least I have big boobs, which are now even bigger, so that helped a little. Although in all honesty, maybe you can’t be too rich or too thin, but you can definitely have boobs that are too big. Mine are definitely bordering on too big.
“You look so pretty, Tessie!” Sandra squealed.
“Ugh,” I said. I looked at the pricetag and gasped. “Oh my god!”
One of the young salesgirls, whose nametag said Kim, saw us trying on dresses and came over to help us. She asked me when the wedding was and I said I wasn’t sure yet. Then she looked down at my ring and her eyes widened. She was probably amazed that someone would give someone like me a ring like that. “Wow, he’s a keeper,” Kim said.
“He’s really cute too,” Sandra chimed in. “He looks like that actor Paul Rudd.”
I shot her a look.
Anyway, Kim picked out some more dresses for me and I tried them on and they all looked terrible, but Kim and Sandra both thought they all looked great. I needed someone really objective to come with me and be honest. I need to get myself a stylish older sister or something. Otherwise, I’m going to end up looking horrible on my wedding day.
My wedding day. My god, I can’t believe I’m getting married! Why do I keep thinking something is going to screw it up?
We had a big meeting at work today, which I was forced to participate in. My boss Rich always forces me to go to these meetings and I never have anything to contribute. I always end up zoning out and often trying not to fall asleep.
Sometimes I do think I have something to say, but I can’t bring myself to make comments in front of such a big crowd. In case you can’t tell, I am a pretty introverted person. I hate public speaking. I always considered myself very shy, although I guess not cripplingly so. I feel like it should be impossible for an unattractive person to be really outgoing, but I actually have met a lot of outgoing unattractive people. I’m just not one of them.
Vincent Alton was at the meeting. I was already there when he arrived and he sat next to me. I have to admit that lately, whenever I think about Vincent, I get a little jolt of self-esteem. I can’t believe he told me he used to like me. And honestly, I’ve had a couple of fantasies about him lately too. Don’t tell Jim.
As usual, I didn’t say a word during the meeting, but Vincent was pretty vocal. I guess as a junior executive, he has to be outgoing and aggressive. I got the feeling that a lot of his comments weren’t totally necessary, but he was just talking for the purpose of squeezing his two cents in. I’ve been at a couple of meetings with Jim, who isn’t really like that. Jim is definitely really outgoing, but he doesn’t say much at meetings unless he actually has something important to contribute. He’s not as much of a go-getter businessman as Vincent is, I guess.
After the meeting was over, Vincent asked me if I’d like to go to lunch. Jim had mentioned something about us having lunch together, but he hadn’t called me, so I figured he was too busy. I guess I could have called him and invited him along, but I remembered how awkward it was last time with the three of us, so I decided not to bother.
We took Vincent’s car and he drove us to a small restaurant that was actually a bit far from work. Jim and I usually stayed nearby when we went out to lunch. I was going to protest, but Vincent wouldn’t tell me where we were going till we actually got there. “Trust me, you’re going to like this place.”
It turned out to be this hole in the wall Greek restaurant. “It’s very authentic,” Vincent told me. “I think you’ll like it.”
I didn’t think I would. No matter how “authentic” a Greek restaurant is, it’s not going to taste like my mother’s cooking. I’d rather not even bother to try to match that. My mother is an amazing cook. That’s probably why I’m so overweight.
I was aware of the fact that there were four steps to get to the entrance, so this wasn’t a place I could ever go with Jim if I liked it. I think it was too small a restaurant for them to have a handicapped entrance.
As we were sitting down at our table, Vincent took off his jacket and I had to admit, he had an incredibly nice body. I found myself admiring it. Jim obviously doesn’t have a body like that and he never could, even after a million hours at the gym. I don’t mind and it’s not his fault, but there’s a part of me that feels kind of sad that I’ll never be able to date a guy with a body like Vincent’s. I know it’s dumb. I mean, who cares, right? But Vincent was all tight muscles that I could see even under his shirt and I sort of felt this urge to reach out and touch him.
“You made some right insightful comments at the meeting,” I said politely.
Vincent smiled crookedly at me. “I didn’t invite you to lunch to talk about that stupid meeting, Tessie.”
“Oh,” I said. What did that mean?
Before he could say anything more, my cell phone rang. It was Jim. “Hey, Tessie,” he said. “Do you want to go to lunch?”
I instantly felt really guilty. “Um, actually, I’m already at lunch.”
I glanced up at Vincent, who was staring at me. I could have lied, but I always always get caught when I lie. Anyway, there was no reason to lie. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. “I’m with Vincent Alton,” I said.
“Oh…” Jim was quiet for a minute. “Do… you want me to come?”
“No, we’re already… you know… at the restaurant.”
“Oh,” Jim said. “I guess I’ll see you tonight then.”
“I love you,” he added.
“I love you too,” I mumbled.
When I hung up, Vincent was smirking at me a little bit. “I assume that was Jim,” he said. “He’s pretty clingy, huh?”
Jim wasn’t really clingy. He just liked spending time with me.
“I was back home last weekend,” Vincent said. “Your parents came over for dinner and your mother was pretty vocal about your engagement. She didn’t have many nice things to say about Jim.”
“I know,” I said.
“She thinks you’re making a mistake,” Vincent said.
Vincent’s brow furrowed. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“What did my mother say?” I asked.
“She doesn’t think Jim is good enough for you,” he said. “She was really upset.”
“She thought that I would be a better choice for you,” Vincent said with a sideways grin.
I blushed. “I’m sorry she was bothering you.”
“She wasn’t bothering me,” Vincent said. “But I’m concerned, Tessie. It sounds like you haven’t been dating him very long. Are you sure you’re not rushing into things? I mean, marriage is a big deal.”
If anyone else, especially my mother, had been saying these things, I probably would have been kind of upset. But Vincent just seemed concerned. The points he was making were not lost on me. Jim and I have been together for less than a year. I feel like I know him really well, but maybe I don’t know him as well as I think I do.
I was relieved though when Vincent changed the subject. We talked a little more about high school and about work. Vincent really liked to talk and I ended up doing a lot of listening. We didn’t have the same kind of banter that I have with Jim. Jim and I just click… Vincent and I didn’t. I’m not sure why I was making that comparison, except that I was getting the distinct impression that Vincent was still interested in me.
Honestly, I’ve never in my life had a guy as attractive as Vincent who was interested in me. I would say he is completely out of my league, yet he was definitely flirting. Jim is actually probably cuter than Vincent, but he’s in a wheelchair so that changes everything.
The food ended up being okay, but nothing too special. I pretended like it was great though and I’m embarrassed to admit that Vincent insisted on paying. He said he’d bill it as a business lunch, so it wasn’t like he was taking me on a date or anything. When we got back to work, he walked me back to my cubicle. As we walked, he kept one hand on the small of my back. It wasn’t actually like he was hitting on me, but there was something a little inappropriate about it, considering I’m engaged to another man. Also, Sandra was gawking at me as we walked past her. As soon as Vincent left, she was at my side.
“What’s going on between you and Vincent?” she demanded to know.
“Oh my god, nothing!” I said.
“It didn’t look like nothing.”
“Will you stop it?” I said irritably. “We just had lunch, that’s all. Jim knows about it.”
“He sure does,” Sandra said.
I frowned. “What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing,” she said mock innocently.
“Nothing,” she insisted. But she was the one who pointed out that Jim was capable of being jealous and I wondered if he had called her to ask about Vincent. If he did, that’s pretty insulting. I mean, doesn’t he trust me?
Tonight I walked in on Jim in our bed, changing the dressing on his heel. Yes, his sore is still there and taking forever to heal. I’ve been changing the bandages for him in the morning and at night and he’s been making an effort to not wear shoes as often as possible. I can tell this is something Jim is really worried about, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s extremely close-mouthed about stuff that really bothers him.
Anyway, I was surprised to see him changing the dressing himself. Obviously, he can do it himself, but it’s a lot faster and easier for me to help him with it, and up until now, he’d been totally okay with it. It takes him a long time and I do a better job.
“I can do that,” I said.
“No, that’s okay,” he said.
“Jim, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he said. “But, you know, you’re not my wife yet. I don’t want you to have to do these things for me. You’re not going to want to have sex with me if you’re looking at a big sore on my foot all the time.”
I wondered if this had anything to do with my lunch with Vincent yesterday. “That’s silly,” I said. I sat at the edge of the bed by his foot.
“I mean it, Tessie,” he said. “I don’t want you to do this anymore.”
There was nothing I could do to convince him. He was really adamant about this. I guess to some extent, he’s right. Foot sores are not sexy. But more than anything, I just want him to get better.
Jim and I were discussing the guest list today. It’s kind of a sore subject for me because I’m not sure if my own mother is even coming. Whereas Jim’s mother sent him a long list of family members she wants him to invite.
“I think your mother will come around,” Jim said. “I bet she’ll come.”
“Maybe,” I said. I wasn’t so sure. My father called me and said that he’d come to the wedding, but my mother wouldn’t. And she hadn’t called me on the phone since that dinner. This is incredibly unusual behavior for her. I’m actually starting to miss her annoying phone calls.
“I’m sorry, Tessie,” he said quietly.
I feel guilty that he’s the one apologizing even though my mother is acting ridiculous. “It’s not your fault,” I said.
“Maybe you were right before,” he said. “If your mother isn’t going to come, maybe we should just do a civil ceremony. Just the two of us.”
That sounds great, but then again, I know it would be a disappointment to Jim’s family. I told him we could think about it. We haven’t even set a date yet, so there’s still time to decide.
And yes, I know we need to set a date. But I just can’t think about it with all the drama going on with my mother. And I still need time to lose 25 pounds.
To be continued...