If any of you have come to one of my bookstore events, you’ve probably heard the story of my wedding dress. I won’t give the whole thing right now, but the general idea is that it is a magical dress that not only conforms to the wearer-whatever her shape-but also transforms her and connects her to the women, before and after, who have worn it. Does this sound familiar at all?I wore it when I got married 14 years ago. Then my sister-in-law Kirsten wore it when she married my older brother. Then my sister-in-law Katrina wore it when she married my younger brother. Then by my life-long friend Beth wore it at her wedding. Now my youngest brother Ben is getting married and there was some suspense as to whether his fiance, Kate, would wear it. Well, guess what? She’s wearing it. (I didn’t pressure her, I swear).
Kate emailed me a couple of days ago to say that a woman (I think a co-worker) asked her what she was wearing to her wedding. Kate explained the great history of The Wedding Dress and all of its wearers. The co-worker said, “That’s just like the Traveling Pants.” And Kate explained that, in fact, I, her sister-in-law to be was not only the originator of the dress, but also wrote the Traveling Pants. According to Kate, the woman was “gobsmacked.” I love that expression, but do not feel entitled to use it in regular speech, because I am not British. Kate is British, so it sounds just right from her.