If You Buy it, He Will Come:Or My Mother’s Alternative to eharmony

“Forget about a puppy!” Ivy teased when I told her what I hoped to get  for Valentine’s Day. “How about a hubby! I bet your father wouldn’t say no to a hubby!”

What do you want for Valentine's Day? A puppy or a hubby? I'm leaning towards the puppy...

Ivy was probably right — my father sees no reason to bring another dog into the family, but I don’t think he’d object to the addition of an able-bodied human male to watch football with. Well, bad news daddy, it looks like you’re going to be paper-training a terrier long before you’ll be welcoming a son-in-law.

Then again…maybe not.

Thanks to a weekend in Dallas, my mother has written a new marriage mantra which she is convinced will produce my prodigal rich husband in no time:

If you buy it, he will come.

Buy what, exactly? The wedding dress, of course. Surely, there’s a superstition about that, Mom.

The trip to Dallas was for business rather than pleasure, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s never let a little business get in the way of a good shoe sale. Neiman Marcus was broadcasting a designer footwear clearance that weekend, and Dallas just so happens to be the Neiman Marcus mothership. It was a good thing I brought my big suitcase.

The Kevan Hall wedding dress conjured in a dream found in Dallas, Texas

Inside the famed department store, the sea of shoppers parted allowing me a clear line to survey the couture ahead. There, radiant under a single spotlight, stood the wedding dress I had seen only in a dream. Equal parts Victorian and modern, it was perfectly me in beige-pink lace.

“So are you planning a wedding?” the sales associate asked as I gently fingered the beading on my way to a price tag.

The real answer was “no,” but because I didn’t want the woman to think I was some crazy, desperate single girl who spent her weekends trying on wedding dresses for no one, I lied.

No matter where I went in the store, I couldn’t shake the dress from my mind. Not even Diane Von Furstenburg could hold my gaze. I had eyes for nothing else.

“I think you should just buy the dress,” my mother whispered when 20 minutes later she found me back in the bridal salon, dazed and drooling.

“But, I’m single.”

“Doesn’t matter. If you buy it, he will come.”

“My life isn’t a Kevin Costner movie.”

“Well, it’s not like anything else has been working for you. Let’s see if they have it in your size.” Sometimes, my mother is a bad influence.

So at the end of the trip, there were no size 8 1/2 Manolos or Louboutins, Jimmy Choos or Diors packed into my over-sized Delsey roller bag. Instead, just a receipt for a fairytale-sized confection of silk and satin and the promise of my mother’s voice saying “if you buy it, he will come.”

Is there a reason why everyone wants me married off?

D: “I can’t wait for your wedding. The food is going to be  great!”

Me: “You’d better not be counting on my wedding day for your next meal… you’ll probably starve to death before we ever get round to an hors d’oeuvre.”

in the middle of a gym workout

HK (age, 17): When you get married, can I be your flower girl?

Me: When I get married, your daughter can be my flower girl

upon finding the broken sapphire necklace my father gave her some 20 years ago…

Mum: I can salvage the sapphires and have them made into your engagement ring.

Me: Who’s proposing? And when can i meet him?

Mum: I had a front-runner in mind.

Me: Oh, boy. Can I just have the sapphires now, ya know, before I start holding my breath?

Ruth A: Let’s pray together. (takes my hand and we form a circle) God, please lead this young lady to a wonderful man, may they marry and be happy. Amen

Me: Do you think we can do that again? Maybe this time ask if I can have a good job and lead a good life? I wouldn’t mind a loyal dog either.

woops! I’m behind schedule… way

When I was 13,  I had my palm read. “You will have many boyfriends,” the psychic told me, “but there will always be one great love, one soulmate for you.” That started the wheels turning. By the time I got home, I had my life-plan all mapped out.  I was going to be married at 25 to that soulmate — ideally, someone I had met at college, hopefully an ivy league college — and towing behind me as I walked down the aisle would be a slew of broken-hearted former lovers.

I hit the 24-mile mark about a month ago and while I was blowing out candles, someone I knew in high school announced her engagement to a guy she met in college. So what about me? What about my schedule… was I engaged at 24, as my life-plan implied? Was there a trail of broken hearts behind me?

Yea…no. Life-plan major Fail.

Why is it that psychics are always so vague? “Boyfriend” and “boy friend”  are homonyms with very different meanings. “Boyfriend” is a term that implies dates, physical and emotional intimacy, lingerie, red roses and the glint of diamonds. “Boy friend” connotes sports bars, sports bras, ball busting, ballgames and platonic nights out. If she had been clearer with her meaning, I would have been better equipped to deal with the next ten years…

I went through college with a 3:1 ratio of male friends to female friends. I spent more time at neighborhood sports bars than I did at Manhattan’s trendy night clubs. By my senior year,  Friday night outings and  foggy Sunday brunches were passed with a group of about 5-7 guys. Girls’ Night Out didn’t exist on my social calendar. The reasons for this were manifold — most of my female friends had boyfriends and were too busy being girlfriends to be friends; it was more fun hanging out with guys because my guy friends and I talked about everything and anything except “boys.”  We’d talk about relationships, if there were ones to talk about, but never was there the ridiculous sharing and analysis of the minute details of a brief conversation with a crush. Guy friends felt safe — they weren’t going to steal my boyfriend.

Yet, while I had a slew of men around me, I managed to make my way through college and most of grad school never having a serious boyfriend. No broken-hearted exes to carry on the train of a white gown. And so, I had to shelf the plan an over-ambitious 13 year old me conjured. The psychic may have been onto something, but I sure would have appreciated it if she had given me a better idea of when this soulmate fella was going to show up.