The sweet thing about older brides and bridesmaids

Written by T.A. Nelson, CNN I started shaving my legs and arms when I was 13. For me, it was a sacrifice to have long legs. My mom insisted I could wear little or…

The sweet thing about older brides and bridesmaids

Written by T.A. Nelson, CNN

I started shaving my legs and arms when I was 13. For me, it was a sacrifice to have long legs. My mom insisted I could wear little or no clothing at all if I cut off my pubic hair. “So?” she’d say. “It looks great.”

I used to shoot my older sister’s boyfriend in the arm for reasons nobody quite knew. Once, I caught him in the act with another woman in the street, and I wouldn’t stop screaming until I saw him stumble home.

By the time I was 20, my brother was about to be married, so he’d move in with me for a bit. That time, though, I stopped shaving. In the meantime, I booked a vacation to the Gulf of Mexico for myself and my new boyfriend. We ran away and got married at the inn where I’d stayed for the week. We stayed in bedouin tents and built a fire in the middle of the night, and we slept together like that for a while. I remember getting up each morning to face the desert to a microphone that I played during the day, singing lyrics from “Let’s Get Married.” It felt strange — I was so young, and yet I felt so comfortable. I couldn’t imagine anything ever feeling so right again.

From 2019 onwards, my body didn’t change very much — except that it got rid of extra weight over time — and my legs didn’t get super short. For me, the biggest shift was when I began working a lot. I stopped going to the gym every day and paid less attention to my body at all.

T.A. Nelson and her husband Alex. Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Calvin Klein

I started dating my husband, Alex, in my mid-30s. He was completely different from anyone I’d ever met. The first time we met, he introduced himself as a stand-up comedian with a team. He was very smart and creative. He was taller and leaner than me. I got a vague image of his body from his clothes, but it wasn’t really until we started dating that I started to see the big picture.

Alex and I now have two children. We were married for 16 years and had three children together. The big thing I noticed about Alex as I got older is that he finally was comfortable enough in his own skin to start moving. My marriage was strained and we had a very stressful life. In fact, when we took the kids out for the first time, he seemed incredibly nervous.

He had had some concussions as a kid and when we finally took off for a four-day vacation, I remember how scared he was of dropping his kids. We’d come home on the Friday night and I was exhausted, ready to sleep. The same thing happened a few nights later and the Saturday.

I didn’t notice anything different about me at this time, but it wasn’t a coincidence. Alex always smiled all the time. He loved taking family vacations, but he always looked more energetic than me.

“But I have to dress up or I’m gonna make my kids feel like …” he’d say to me when we were thinking about how we were going to look. It was exasperating, but it happened over and over.

One night at our wedding, we were walking through the village. The baby was crying and all the sudden I felt this huge sense of euphoria. The crowd was huge and it seemed like we’d come out of an alien movie. It felt like I was floating. My body felt so light, and then I felt him tap me on the back and take my hand. I put my head down and I fell asleep, unaware of what had happened.

I sometimes wish Alex had just been happy with how my body was changing, but he was more patient than I was. I can’t say what happened next, but eventually he stopped worrying about my body and instead focused on making the family happy.

Leave a Comment