How to give a girl a heart attack.

My cell phone rang shortly after 8 a.m. this morning. I was in the midst of my morning commute. It was Mom. I, being the worrier that I am, first assume someone is dead. She should be at work by now, I thought. She only calls me between 7: 30 and 7:58 a.m., during her own commute.

So, before I answer, I contemplate who, exactly, has died. Ozzie? Did he get hit by a car while traipsing through the neighborhood, hunting down his girl(dog)friend, Sadie, two houses down? Perhaps a cat? I mean, there are three of them. God forbid it be an actual person. I cannot fathom that possibility.

Prepared, I answer the phone.


Oh God, I thought. She sounds upset. Crabby, perhaps. Someone is dead. I know it.

And then she says it. She speaks the words that, normally, make a bride-to-be smile, but when uttered during a time of duress and anger, force my throat to constrict and heart palpitate. In two seconds, flat, my palms began to sweat. I just turned 25. I can't die. Do not speak these words to me, Mom...

"You know your wedding dress... ?"

That was it. That was my heart actually ceasing to beat. How does one reply? She's going to reply with something horrible, I just know it. She's about to tell me Grandma's house burned down, and the dress? It burned down with it. (I promise that, yes, I'd also be concerned about the welfare of my grandmother, but people, she was speaking about my dress at this moment).

"Um, yes... ? I.. know it."

I braced myself for her reply. I was prepared, if need be, to careen my vehicle into oncoming traffic. My dress? What about my beautiful, perfect, doesn't-need-one-ounce-of-alterations-because-I-swear-to-God-it-was-crafted-perfectly-for-ME? That dress? The one that sucked dry a significant portion of The Wedding Budget?

My heart managed to squeeze in one more beat. A last reminder that, yes, I am still alive, but in mere moments, my own mother would cause me to die.

"Did you buy the one you tried on? Or did they give you a brand, new one? Because do you know how many people probably tried on that dress? That's disgusting. I hate David's Bridal."

Blink. Blink-blink.

Deep breath.

Heart? Resumes beating.

That is what she had to tell me? My heart palpitations were unnecessary? I said silent prayers in my head, and heartfelt goodbyes to my loved ones, because Mom hates David's Bridal? My dress is in one piece? Still shining in Grandma's closet?

Son of a, oh my word, I swear to Christ, I almost DIED just now, mother fu- ...

"Um, yes."

They were the only words I could manage. I then nodded, agreed, appeased her hatred of David's Bridal because, honestly, they charge 10 dollars for a bag to put the (used!) dress in?