Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Nip Slip

Every week, Danny Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the nip slip.

Nicole: Oh, I feel bad for you, but also you really let this slide.

Danny: I find this DEEPLY RELATABLE

Nicole: “Dress, handled.”

Danny: and also I think it’s time for my Laura’s Wedding Dress Story

Nicole: PLEASE


Danny: years back, I was maid of honor at my sister’s wedding, and one of the (very few! her yoke was gentle) jobs she gave me was dealing with her wedding dress after the reception

and I was very Amelia Bedelia about the whole thing

I often get Amelia Bedelia about chores

Nicole: Oh that’s so accurate

Danny: “No one should expect me to use my critical thinking skills or foresight in asking me to do chores, I will do exactly what I am asked and then forget about it completely”

she told me to take it to the dry cleaners, which I did, and then promptly forgot about it

something like … six months later?

she said “Hey, where’s my dress?” because they were moving

and I said, “Did you not pick it up from the dry cleaners when you got back from your honeymoon?”

Nicole: I know this story and I am still stressed.

Danny: in my mind I had done exactly what had been asked of me!!! I had just assumed she would pick it up when she was back in town, because the reason I’d taken the dress in for her was because she was on her honeymoon

she got back from the honeymoon, ergo she was going to pick up the dress

and it was gone!!!! they had gotten rid of it

Nicole: I do genuinely think it wound up getting donated and someone was very happy.

A lovely clean wedding dress.

But yes, this is so relatable to this question!

She knows she dropped the ball. This is not how getting a dress made works! She didn’t ask about design? She didn’t ask for a refitting (most women BC SOCIETY lose weight before their wedding)? She didn’t have a backup?

Danny: right, this was completely avoidable

Nicole: A month out, she should have had the dress in hand and then had time to run to David’s Bridal or do alterations

Danny: you should have budgeted, at the very least, for a fitting weeks before the ceremony so there was time to make alterations or find a second outfit if you needed to (I’m not sure this outfit was a dress, it sounds more like a jumpsuit)

Nicole: Her anger is at herself

Danny: and I get that it can be hard to say no or ask for specific things when a family friend offers to make you something for free

Nicole: but also at her parents bc I think she wanted to please them by using their friend

Danny: but you just have to! this is why people get fitted multiple times


Nicole: Absolutely.

It happened.

It is in the past.

Danny: and to be clear! just because this was avoidable doesn’t mean like, “Well, you got what you deserved, suck it up”

Nicole: YES.

You can learn from this!

You can also be annoyed

Danny: I totally get that you felt embarrassed and self-conscious and didn’t want to have to hold your outfit together all through the ceremony, and I’m so sorry that that happened

Nicole: It sounds so awful and like it took her out of her day

Danny: but you got married, it sounds like everyone had a lovely time otherwise, you’ve learned from it, if you want to privately tell one or two people that you’re really embarrassed and hadn’t realized the outfit didn’t fit in advance and you’d appreciate their discretion/not bringing it up

that’s about all you can do at this point

Nicole: I think telling a few people that is good.

And be honest with your parents, that it happened and you wish it had gone down differently but it didn’t and you would like it not to come up again.

Get it dry-cleaned and never pick it up.

Danny: hah!

Nicole: Thank you, I was proud of that.

Danny: I felt terrible at the time, I also felt defensive, I wanted it to be “not my fault” but it’s not as important to assign blame so much as say “how can I learn from this and make different choices in the future”

plus Laura’s gotten plenty of her own back over the long course of our relationship

Nicole: Oh, yes. Has dragged you in print.

And you two love each other very deeply!

It’s my hope for the LW that one day this is funny.

But she doesn’t have to force that.

Feel your feelings, learn.

Danny: also it does not ever have to be funny!

or like, if it’s funny, only privately funny with you and your wife

Nicole: For sure.

Danny: not like, a family joke

Nicole: RIGHT. Not a family joke.

Danny: that I think you would definitely have grounds to say “Please don’t joke about this, I was so embarrassed and wished I’d been able to wear something else, I really appreciate your letting this go”

Nicole: YES. Those exact words.

Danny: you and I have similar habits, LW! I feel for you, and I hope you are able to put that behind you and enjoy being a newlywed

that should be it, we’re good, thank you

Nicole: Excellent

what a nightmare

first trying it on the day of the wedding must have been horrifying

Danny: oh, just awful

and that sense of “maybe it will be fine, oh god, we have 18 other things to keep track of, i have to go GET MARRIED, i can’t think about this now”

Nicole: And being distracted all day, tugging at your neckline

Danny: I’ve been there!!!

Nicole: INDEED