An in-depth look at something that, at one time or another, will affect us all, from new contributor, Patty O’Bench.
Have you put a deposit down on a solo dress? Are you checking email obsessively hoping for a photo or a FedEx tracking number? Do you worry endlessly that you’ve made a big mistake and you should have forked out the extra money for a Gavin?
You might be suffering from Custom-dress Regret Anxiety and Panic Syndrome or CRAPS. The symptoms of CRAPS change with each stage but might include the following:
- Anticipating the moment your daughter earns her first solo dress. This symptom includes bargaining with God, biting your nails, private lessons and searching for a Feis with four other dancers in her category.
- Dreaming of your little darling in the most gorgeous dress ever created. It must stop people in their tracks.
- Combing the internet for the perfect dress that can be slightly tweaked and made again for your daughter without copyright violations. Dance.net, Dance-again, Pinterest and every dress maker’s sight on the planet are bookmarked on your browser and dinner is late – again.
- Sketching and coloring dresses in a sketch book from Michael’s – extra points if you have tiny bling on your sketch.
- Seriously considering selling any of the following: plasma, a kidney, a sibling of the dancer or your grandmother’s wedding ring to finance the dress.
Stage Two (post earning the dress)
- Immediately after sending an exorbitant amount of money to a complete stranger, which is just half of final cost, you second guess yourself.
- Stressing over the sketch from the dress maker, how long will it take, will the designer understand how special the dress needs to be and did you communicate the color accurately? These questions result in no sleep from CRAPS.
- You panic because the sketch is taking much longer than you thought.
- You eye your daughter every morning because you know that the measurements you sent are way too small even though it has only been a week. You consider feeding her junk food so she won’t grow before the dress is out of style (four months – at most)
- You vacillate between reassuring yourself that the dress will be lovely and perfect with panicking because you are scared it will be so hideous that you won’t be able to sell it – EVER.
- Telling yourself and anyone who will listen, that you will never, ever make another dress again. The stress is too much and at least with a used dress you know what it looks like and how it fits. You will take the body odor of a thousand used dress over going through this process again.
- You make the above statements while simultaneously dreaming of how you will manage the next solo dress designing and creating with a fresh perspective with all that you have learned. These conflicting symptoms occur while waiting for the dress to arrive. This is when you can sure that you have CRAPS and that you need help.
- You pre-order additional matching crystals so you are prepared to bling the dress out to the max. You throw in a new wig and a tiara because who can debut a new dress without everything being bright and shiny.
- Resignation. You succumb to the fact that you will never have a savings account and that until your daughter gets a wedding dress, you will be going through this process every year. With wine in hand, you get on your laptop start pinning solo dresses that your picky TCRG might consider…maybe…probably not. Sigh.