My brother’s fiancee picked my worst nightmare of a bridesmaid dress. It has such thin little spaghetti straps that it might as well be called strapless. As soon as I saw a picture I started researching gyms. I hate my upper body. I have fat armpits. It’s true. I have rolls of fat on the front of my armpits when I put my arms against my sides. Since I lost weight they are even more pronounced. When she asked me to be in the wedding my first thought was, “As long as the dress isn’t strapless.” But I didn’t want to be meddlesome. I should have been meddlesome.

I’m joining the YMCA tomorrow. I’ve decided on my upper body weight routines. These pictures will be prominently displayed in my parents’ house forever. Maybe if you notice my muscular arms you won’t notice my armpit fat.

I went to try on the dress today. At first it took the salesgirl forever to find the dress. Then she asked what size I wear. Now their advertising proclaims that they sell dresses up to size 24. I said either 12 or 14. “I don’t know that we carry anything that would fit you,” was her response. They had 8 samples of the dress on the rack. Biggest size? 12. Sales girl? 0-2 at the most.

I tried on the 12 and was pleasantly surprised to have it zip up over my hips and waist. But it got stuck tying to close over my chest. If you have to be too big for a dress that’s the best place to be big. So, I’m standing there in a dress that fits great below the chest. The girl takes my measurements and says that I should order a 14 because then it would fit over my hips and waist better. I concluded from this that she was either crazy or on drugs.

I took my camera so I would have a “before” picture to compare to my post-YMCA workout wedding day pictures. But I was surprised by the sight of me in the mirror. I know that I am about the whitest white person out there. So imagine me strapless with the contrast between my super pale skin and farmer’s tan. I have informed my brother that an airbrush tan to use before the wedding would be a fine Christmas gift. There were also no mirrors in the dressing rooms. You had to come out and look. It felt a bit strange to be taking pictures of myself in the mirror in the middle of the store.