Aideen Glynn’s weekly column as published in the Waterford News & Star Well! magazine
I THINK I need to get out more. I need to get up from the couch and actively interact with the outside world. More to the point I need to stop watching so much television. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was highbrow documentaries or intellectual news programmes I have been feasting on but sadly no. It seems I have become rather addicted to the frivolous instead. My latest guilty pleasure has recently taken the shape of “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Brides by Franc” and other such intellectual fluff. These programmes present such a beautiful snapshot of dress shopping. There comes the bride or the debutante in search of the perfect gown for her big event, followed by her adoring entourage. Her tearful mother takes pride of place in a beautiful showroom with dressing rooms the size of the downstairs of your house and sometimes sips away on expensive champagne as she tells the viewers about the wonder and beauty of her daughter. Meanwhile, the girl in question tries on all manner of styles and shapes until she finds the perfect dress. Cue lots of subsequent tears, applause and emptying of bank accounts. Is it any wonder I had slightly unrealistic expectations when I decided the time was right to go on the hunt for the perfect Debs dress for my own daughter?
‘Cue lots of subsequent tears, applause and emptying of bank accounts. Is it any wonder I had slightly unrealistic expectations when I decided the time was right to go on the hunt for the perfect Debs dress for my own daughter?’
Needless to say my vision of how the event was going to transpire clashed rather unfortunately with reality of the day itself. There were no enormous changing rooms. Nobody exactly danced attention upon us, they weren’t even slightly interested in our back story and there wasn’t a hint of champagne. I had to make do with the luke-warm bottle of water at the bottom of my handbag instead while I rifled through racks of fancy dresses and queued for the teeny tiny changing rooms. A different version of reality as I said.
She liked one style, I preferred another. She was searching for one colour, I was encouraging another. She was veering towards one price, while I was very definitely looking for another. It was never going to go well. They say that when you find THE dress, you know instantly. The hairs on the back of your neck are supposed to stand up, goose bumps are supposed to develop on your skin and tears will gather in your eyes. The only problem is that I had that reaction to nearly every single dress she put on. The ones with the flared skirts, the ball gowns, the straight clingy ones, the lace ones, the shimmering ones, they were all amazing. Or maybe they were just amazing because they were on her. Or maybe I’m ever so slightly biased. Could be that either.
There is nothing like seeing your little girl transformed into a woman before your eyes. It doesn’t seem that long ago that she was playing dress up and tottering about in my high heels, all full of innocence and pure fun. Now she’s doing it for real and I couldn’t be prouder. She knows her own style, she moves with a confidence I wish I had and she can carry off any one of those amazing dresses. The one she finally selected was her own choice. I agreed completely. It was stunning, striking and spectacular on her. Absolutely perfect. Or so I thought. In fact she changed her mind, as is a woman’s prerogative, or so I’m told. Apparently, upon reflection, it wasn’t quite so perfect after all. I’m sure it’s my fault. Naturally. So, back to the drawing board, or in this case, the dress shop. Only this time my expectations are a little more realistic and more to the point I’m bringing snacks… shh Mum’s the Word.
Parenting Fail of the Week
Watching little kids going around on their wobble bikes is the cutest thing ever. The little legs are pushing them along the ground and there’s no need whatsoever for the hassle of pedals and the drama they bring. However, having a little child on a wobble bike on a main road is not the smartest idea in the world. They are, by their very nature, wobbly and therefore unpredictable. Might be a thought to keep them for the safer paths instead.
Aideen’s Parenting Hacks
I would recommend never engaging in a shouting match with your precious teenage daughter. If she screams at you, which is likely, lower your voice. The more she raises her voice, the more you should lower yours until it’s barely above a whisper. She will eventually take notice and stop to hear what you are actually saying. Failing that, just agree to talk when you are both calmer.