Playing it safe?

circa 1982, my sister Jayne’s wedding…I loved these dresses (I’m in the pink dress, and was the one who picked them out). My sister Anne on the right, was less thrilled with them. I almost threw these photos out because I was so embarrassed that I had been the one to push for these…today I pulled out the photo and laughed

The other day, I was watching an episode of, Say Yes to the Dress, and the bride-to-be was trying on these over-the-top tight, sparkly, very sexy dresses. As she was being interviewed about her choices she laughed and said, “I want to look back on my dress and say, ‘Wow! What was I thinking?!” I have never heard anyone say that before….as a matter of fact, just the opposite.

It was delightful to witness someone living with that kind of attitude. Sometimes we get so afraid of making a bold move, or taking a risk that we might regret, that we live partial lives. Reading over the comments from my last post, Guilty Pleasures, was so much fun because I felt like I got to see the funny, quirky, silly, sides of people and I loved it.

It’s hard to love someone if you don’t know who they are.

“Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward“. Robert Collier

The winner of the skin balm was Diane Fiore!

24 thoughts on “Playing it safe?”

  1. Mary, we ALL look at ALL our pictures from the 1980s and say “Wow! What was I thinking?!” (Except your sister, who is saying “What was Mary thinking?!”) Not a good fashion decade. And you’re right; preemptive regret is paralyzing.

  2. I have that same one! in red from a Christmas wedding, in Bronze from a fall wedding and in pink from a summer wedding…sad part, they were all in a size 7.. boy those days are gone forever!! :O)

  3. hi mary, my favorite most used comment is “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!” it makes risk taking a little easier! love that dress!

    1. that is a wonderful, light-hearted phrase Carolyn, and I can feel how the energy of it does make risk taking a little easier. Thank you ( a great new tool for the spiritual tool box)…I can feel a smile coming through the words!

  4. Goodness, Mary, those dresses look familiar even though my bridesmaid days were in the late 50’s…all taffeta confections that made us look like the toppings on wedding cakes, shoes dyed to match, of course. I love the photo of you and your sister who looks as though she might have had sinister thoughts of you at that moment. Raised during the late nineteen-fifties as teenagers, we were never ‘allowed’ to step out of line. Where I lived in the west end of the city of Toronto, it was like a small village back then. If any one of us girls managed to do anything untoward, not only would our mother hear about it, but ten others would report it. Eyes were everywhere. Getting down the aisle, not pregnant, was the goal of every one of us. The end goal of course, was a husband, a rose covered cottage with a picket fence, a station wagon full of children…and of course, behaving ourselves. Social mores. People seem less concerned about them today but I may be wrong on that. It’s fun to think of stepping outside the boundaries and restraints of what we grew up with and how we were expected to behave. Never one to run with the flock, I nevertheless, was always mindful of ‘not stepping out of line’. Now I think it might be fun.
    SandyP in Canada

    1. Sandy P., everytime I read one of your posts, I think we may have been twins separated at birth! You always tell your story in the context of what MY experience is.

      Now for the proof-of-twinship question: Do you like chocolate? 🙂

      1. Suzanne, I love 80% dark chocolate. We have a chocolatier in town who makes delicious dairy-free dark chocolate and I restrain myself to one bar every few weeks. Since I’m lactose intolerant, I top vanilla rice ice cream with chips of dark chocolate. Now if you like milk chocolate, we are definitely not twins…(g!)

  5. Mary – I’ll admit to wanting to play it safe at times. I’m thankful to have friends and family members who sometimes help me recognize other options. By the way, I think your pink dress looked lovely on you. It’s much more attractive than many of the bridesmaid dresses I’ve seen (and worn!) in the 70’s and 80’s!

  6. Oh…and yes…how many times did we say, “and we can either wear this again or have it cut down and wear it to something else”! And never did. I have one, just one, old bridesmaids dress hanging in my spare closet, still! It was my very favorite, covered in lace. And somewhere in my creative space, I keep thinking I will make something with the lace! Hmmmm…I think I will go look at it right NOW!

    I love your message today Mary and Carolyn’s ‘most used comment’ from the past! Great idea!

  7. Shel Silverstein has a poem called “Whatif.” It’s about a little boy in his bed who is thinking about things when “some whatifs climbed inside my head.” They are fearful things, and his life feels more and more treacherous until he comes to a final, and satisfying, denouement. I’ve always taught my kids that you can’t live by the whatifs. If you do, you would never get out of that bed.

    1. I wanted to see what Shel Silverstein had to say. I was not familiar with it – so here it is:

      Whatif – Shel Silverstein
      Last night, while I lay thinking here,
      Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
      And pranced and partied all night long
      And sang their same old Whatif song:
      Whatif I’m dumb in school?
      Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
      Whatif I get beat up?
      Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
      Whatif I start to cry?
      Whatif I get sick and die?
      Whatif I flunk that test?
      Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
      Whatif nobody likes me?
      Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
      Whatif I don’t grow tall?
      Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
      Whatif the fish won’t bite?
      Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
      Whatif they start a war?
      Whatif my parents get divorced?
      Whatif the bus is late?
      Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
      Whatif I tear my pants?
      Whatif I never learn to dance?
      Everything seems swell, and then
      The nighttime Whatifs strike again!

  8. I love those dresses! They are classic and really quite stunning in their own right. Who says fashion has to be fashionable? They have an air of “watch me now!” about them and so very in the moment. I think you and your sister look stunning.

  9. As an actor, whenever I would get up to do a piece in class, I’d position myself in the very centre of the playing area in a formidable stance, then raise one fist towards the heavens, and gazing defiantly upward, would shout, “In bocca al lupo!” which, according to an old Roman legend, is the equivalent of “The hell with it!” I always found it very freeing. Playing it safe … ha! 😀

  10. “amazing site! Thank you for the all of the information. I definitely need to bookmark this site for my brother. I’ll let you know what I think about the other pages”

  11. “What were we thinking?” So funny! Thought I’d share a “What were we SAYING” short video clip of a young couple on their wedding day. I crack up every single time I watch it – keep it ‘bookmarked’ for a guaranteed laugh!

    My friend’s comment upon watching this couple was that they will most assuredly have a very very happy marriage! Laughter, the best medicine 🙂

  12. The dresses are quite lovely – just change the puff sleeves and they would still be fine. The puff sleeves make me think of Anne of Green Gable when she (Anne) wants puff sleeves. I was married in 1967 and you should see my brides maid dresses. Makes me smile. Phyllis

  13. At first glance, I thougth you were the one in red…All three of you are quite good looking!

  14. Hi Susan A., What a great video! So infectiously funny! (unlike my two marriages :=) ) !!!

  15. Better to say, “Wow, what was I thinking?” about the dress 20 years into the marriage than about the groom!

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