Dear Abby and the Mirror

Dear Abby and the Mirror



This is where I stood the day of my wedding.

Right in front of this mirror.

I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I had hot rollers sprayed with an entire can of Aqua Net hairspray and bright red lipstick and liquid black eyeliner and yards and yards and yards of beaded satin with a monogrammed train…..and a southern accent.

We were supposed to be leaving Β for the church and my mother was rushing around with the veil and a cake server….telling me how late we were going to be and asking me why in the world was I wearing such red lipstick?

And all the while she was talking and fluttering about…..I stood here…..

……in front of the mirror.

Thinking about Dear Abby.


Dear Abby?


I mean….isn’t that what every bride thinks about on her wedding day?

They would if they read the whole column Dear Abby wrote on being extra careful when you get married because your wedding date and time are Β published for the world to see in the newspaper…..and all sorts of unsavory characters could break into your house while you are gone and take 23 place settings of your elegant new china and fancy silver….and even the occasional toaster oven.

Can you even imagine?

I loved my new toaster oven…..

……and Dear Abby had me all tied up in knots about it.


Panicked…..I rushed from the bathroom and immediately told my mother that we needed to put our dog in the house. Β You know….so the dog could protect the china and the silver….and the toaster oven.

My mother said no.



Obviously she had never read Dear Abby.

I pled and begged and let a stray tear slip from my eye and stomped my pearl encrusted newly dyed satin heels.

To no avail.

My mother informed me in a very stern voice… no uncertain terms……that the dog would be staying outside.


Even after all these years… that moment I’m not really sure what came over me.

I don’t even know why… my Dear Abby induced state…..that I thought……that what happened next was the best chosen course of action.

But whatever the reason….whatever the consequences…..

…..I took my monogrammed train and Aqua Net hot rollers and sat down on the floor and refused to budge.

Right then and there….sitting on that tile floor…..I took my last stand.


It was not my finest hour.

I learned something about myself that day.

I learned that my mother was a saint.

I learned that worrying about a toaster oven can make you 20 minutes late for your own wedding.

And I learned that when it comes to brides and weddings…. never….ever….ever…..

….should Dear Abby be required reading. πŸ™‚

PS Β This incredible amazing house of my childhood……where I applied eyeliner and wore hot rollers has just been bought by a wonderful new family.

We spent the weekend packing up a lifetime of memories.

And just in case you were wondering…..the mirror….and the lipstick….

….came home with me. πŸ™‚

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  1. your mama is going to love reading this!! πŸ™‚ beautiful mirror and memories.

  2. Memories are what it’s all about Karianne! The mirror is fabulous!

  3. BEautiful! So glad the mirror is coming home with you!

  4. lovely post! I’m sure you shed a tear writing it.. does your mother remember that conversation?

    BTW – glad you got the mirror!

  5. Loved hearing about the pretty mirror and memories. That darn toaster oven…..:)

  6. Love that mirror! And my mother must have read the same Dear Abby…we had a family friend “babysit” the house during the wedding. I understand it can happen during a funeral too, just because the crooks figure that you won’t be home…

  7. Too funny! Being a bride can make anyone a little loopy πŸ˜‰ Love the mirror too!

  8. Memories are such a wonderful thing. You can take them with you WHEREVER you go! xo ~Sally

  9. What a sweet story! Loved reading it, Karianne. I sent it to my son, who I know will love seeing your home and reading this sentimental, cute piece of your life.

  10. Wonderful story! Now your daughter can stand in front of the same wedding mirror!

  11. I did not get a mirror from my parent’s house, but I did get a whole bunch of letter that I wrote them. Can’t believe they saved them all!

  12. Anne Presley :

    I love you. Remember the memories are never sold or forgotten and family is the MOST important which includes spouses, children, parent, siblings, grandparents and extended family. They are the ones with whom you are making and celebrating the memories.

  13. My hubby was late to our wedding when his best man decided to go fence shopping and got lost on the way back! Wonder what Dear Abby would have to say about that?!

  14. Oh, selling your childhood home and seeing your life going into boxes must have been very bitter sweet. Bless your heart.

  15. Aaaah! You got the mirror!!!!! I knew you would.

    Now, KariAnne. You sat down in the floor in your wedding gown? God bless your mother. Talk about making a memory. And, I doubt a “spanking” would have helped either.

  16. Well, you’ve done it again. I love your writing and your take on life. God bless you and your sweet mother for getting you to the church however it had to be done. Sweet memories, sweet mirror. I’m glad you have it and the memories. As the years go by those memories become all the more important.

  17. I still mourn the loss of my childhood home, and can’t drive past it to this day! Memories are a beautiful thing……
    ~ Kim

  18. I miss my childhood home so much right now! I remember being about 10 and oh so sure I would have my wedding in the back yard surrounded by memories and sliding on the lippie in the 50’s bathroom! Gotta love the memories.

  19. Lovely post and as usual, I had a smile on my face when I was through reading it! Precious memories can never be taken from us! I know you’ll find the perfect place for the mirror! Have a lovely day!!~~Angela

  20. So sweet. I would LOVE to see a picture of you on that wedding day. πŸ™‚

  21. I’ve told you before, but I LOVE the way you write. It brings a smile to my face every time. Love the story, love that mirror.

  22. KariAnne, What a story! I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time, but I gotta tell ya, it’s pretty funny! Your Mama was probably beside herself. Haha! I’m glad you got your mirror, it’s beautiful.

  23. Great story…precious memories! So glad you got the mirror…now, where are you going to put it? πŸ˜‰

  24. Aren’t memories something! What a beautiful story; thank you for sharing the day with us, XOXO

  25. Sheila Miller :

    I love your posts. The washer is going, Fleetwood Mac is playing and here I sit by the computer. I was headed to Running’s to buy a galvanized bird seed can to use for kitchen garbage, but it is raining outside and I can’t tell if it is freezing. That has nothing to do with your post but I’m trying to be like you.

  26. I was so engaged in reading what you were saying. I wanted to see what the outcome was. Then I decided that you must have been a very young bride to have acted like that. Such lovely writing!

  27. I’m thinking you *need* to post a wedding picture!

  28. Packing up a childhood home conjures up so many memories. Thanks for sharing one with us. Glad you were able to bring home the mirror.

  29. I really can’t imagine sweet lil’ ol’ you doing that! I agree…. pictures!

  30. You sure know how to tell a story! I love that you shared! Cindy

  31. Actually, Dear Abby had a point. I was in a wedding once, where all of the bride and bridesmaids wallets were taken from the dressing room during the wedding, so you had a right to take a stand. I hope you packed those beautiful sconces beside the beautiful mirror. πŸ™‚

  32. Sweet post. I KNEW you must have that mirror too!!! Your poor Mom:) I do not have fond memories of my wedding day……

  33. I thoroughly enjoyed your story!

  34. I will be helping my mom go through the treasures in the home our family built 60+ years ago to move her closer to us. It will be a bittersweet weekend for sure, glad you brought that mirror (and red lipstick of course) home πŸ™‚

    xo, Tanya

  35. Beautiful story and wonderful mirror. You are a wonderful story teller. I can just imagine you standing there….thinking of all these things. So bittersweet. Life is crazy. I cry at weddings….even my own. My poor groom….he was probably worried. lol! k.

  36. I totally get you, KariAnne, because I read that SAME Dear Abbey column and might have done the same thing. (Same logic goes for funerals, also– have someone at the house.)

  37. Love the mirror and thanks for sharing the memory. You crack me up! I look forward to reading your posts on a daily basis!

  38. …even the worst of times can turn into good memories…
    and I love your mirror and am pretty sure I’d love your bright red lipstick….:)

  39. What a sweet story!! That made me laugh. πŸ™‚ So silly the ridiculous things we worry about…

  40. KariAnne, you’ve been an inspiration to me this morning while reading your delightful post. My daughter is getting married in November. I’m going to start searching for the perfect mirror to surprise her with at the church for her to use that day, a mirror that she can keep and say, “This is the mirror my mom gave me to use the day of my wedding … ” I’m so excited! Thanks for writing about YOUR mirror.

  41. What a beautiful mirror and memories…. I assume the dog did not come in , but the china and toaster over were fine??
    I have a picture of me getting ready, looking into the bathroom mirror, but not for the life of me can I remember what I was thinking. ….
    Hugs, Gee

  42. tear fell. so great you have mirror that reflects the present and the past. packed up my sister’s house this week. moving is never easy. πŸ™‚

  43. Weddings can make anyone crazy. Love your willingness to share the bridezilla moment. Your mother really is going to laugh reading this.

  44. Loved your post & your mirror – thanks for sharing!

  45. I can only imagine that packing up your childhood home was even more challenging for you and your mom than your wedding day crazy …

  46. I almost got a tear in my eye reading this…I can just imagine how your young, new, bride self worried about a column written by Dear Abby (someone-who-we-believed-every-word-she-wrote, next to the Bible, she was gospel.)

  47. Such a wonderful memory – thanks for sharing it with us! I’m glad the mirror came home with you so you can remember those days of Aqua Net and hot rollers while applying your red lipstick each morning!. I went down this road a few years ago – it’s hard to say goodbye to your family home. I treasure the items I have from my family home and I know you do too!

  48. Oh my goodness, I loved this post. What a wonderful way to tell the story of your wedding day and a mirror! You have a gift with words and made my day a little brighter. Thank you for painting this word-picture. I loved it.

  49. Karianne, What a sweet memory and it’s sad but so nice that you add the mirror to your home. I’m curious to know what monogram was on your train?
    Joyous Wishes, Linda

  50. What a well written and fun story to read. I enjoyed it very much! And, I’m so glad you have the mirror.

  51. I have married off two daughters and with all the stress surrounding a wedding day, I have to say this is pretty funny and your mother is a saint. I hope the photographer got you in your “seated” position…….sorry, not funny!

  52. Marydon Ford :

    These precious moments you captured well, shared beautifully & will treasure forever. Whoa! right red lipstick, how daring of you … chuckle!

    Love your memories, sweetie.
    TTFN ~

  53. I agree that you should have posted the wedding picture πŸ™‚

    It’s hard to sell a home with so many memories.

  54. I appreciate so much your transparency and your gift of making the reader feel like they’re right there experiencing the “event” with you. I’m so glad you were able to bring a piece from your childhood home to treasure. Maybe one day your daughters will be prepping for their own weddings and applying red lipstick in front of that lovely mirror. Thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚

  55. Beautiful and funny, you gave me goosebumps AND made me cry! Thanks

  56. What a cute story! I’m sure I must have had moments like that too on my wedding day, but I’m glad to say that over the decades… I’ve forgotten. Little Bit from

  57. I loved reading this story. You write beautifully!!!

  58. I can just picture you standing in front of that beautiful mirror all worried about your beloved toaster.
    What a great story.
    I love the mirror and your stories.

  59. Lovely mirror…lovely story! Thank you for sharing with us. You transported me right there along with you!

  60. Karianne, the lovely thing about all this is that no one can steal our memories. ‘-) Glad that mirror is with you at Thistlewood Farms. Perhaps those precious twins will stand before it doing whatever young brides do their hair on wedding days. You think hot rollers will still be around? ‘-)
    Thanks for sharing yet another great story…….Sarah

  61. Thanks for sharing the story of your lovely mirror, a possibly stressed young bride-to-be and a very patient mother. Glad you were able to keep the mirror, along with all the memories.

  62. Ha! That’s an awesome story. I’m glad no one stole your china and new toaster oven.

  63. LOVE that mirror!! But Im stuck on the monogrammed veil…. see, growing up up North, monograms did not become my passion til much later in life….but now, I would SO have a monogrammed veil!! I wish I could pull off red lipstick, I would look utterly and completely hideous. You can work it though sista!!

  64. Cute post! We did have some friends whose daughter was getting married and it stated in the paper that they were driving back to the East Coast for an extended honeymoon. This was before cell phones (and yes, there was a day before cell phones). Someone read it in the paper and called her parents and told them that they had kidnapped the bride and groom and demanded a ransom. The parents naturally were frantic. By some sort of luck or fate, the new bride stopped a few days after the wedding and called her folks to check in. It was all a hoax. The caller knew they wouldn’t be hearing from them for a while. Don’t know how some people’s minds work.


  65. Was the mirroe white on your wedding day??

  66. Sweet story…beautiful mirror!

  67. What a sweet story and challenging weekend you shared! Brought a tear to my eye…maybe because I too had a small melt down on our wedding day 29 years ago.

  68. My parents moved from my childhood home 10 years ago. Just this week-end I got the nerve to drive past it for the first time. (It’s 8 hours away from where we live). I took photos and am going to have an artist do a water-color for me.

  69. oh you’re going to love having that mirror in your home! Dear Abby – the patron saint of worry. I totally remember her giving that advise.

  70. I can just picture the whole thing. Glad you got the mirror and the lipstick πŸ™‚

  71. Oh how I love your story, and so glad I got to hear your voice at the blog gathering, I can hear you telling it . Such a beautiful mirror, a special memory, and in it’s reflection you are forever young!

  72. Oh, I love this story! And I love your beautiful mirror….what a wonderful treasure to own from your childhood home.

  73. How wonderful that you have a keepsake from your family home. My Mom quietly sold her house and moved to a condo when I was living 3 provinces away, so i couldn’t return for the packing up. I wish I had gone back to the house on one of my trips back and asked if I could have the peony plant. I see now from a google shot all the bedding plants have been ripped out and sodded over : (

  74. Thank you for sharing this memory. I really enjoyed reading it!

  75. Now I want to see wedding photos… So glad you were able to get the mirror… Priceless!

  76. I am amazed that you can remember your wedding day that well mine is a blur…………………….honestly I remember very little about the day I do remember I was 15 minutes late because there was some problem with the cars but really not much comes to mind about the day

  77. I can’t even remember how I found you, exactly, but I’m so happy that I did. I love your style and your writing! I should be sleeping right now, but I’m stuck at Thistlewood Farm!

  78. What? No wedding picture? I thought for sure there would be one, maybe at the end…..
    Loved the story, of course, Dear Abby was always so well-intentioned.

  79. Great story, love, love the mirror.


  80. I am balling reading your post. I am “the wonderful family” ( which you are far to nice with that statement) that is buying your mothers house. The memories and love that is tied into this home is so evident, and there is no doubt that this house is the house God wanted us to have. I hope one day my daughter will be standing in front of a new mirror in that same bathroom making the same memory. I am so thankful for the note your mom left today telling me about your blog. I am a new dedicated follower. And please know you are always welcomed home!

  81. I’m pretty sure I would’ve taken the sconces too, just saying πŸ˜‰

  82. Hilarious! I certainly would have been worried about the toaster oven too. Sometimes Moms just don’t get it do they? πŸ™‚ The mirror is stunning! So glad you were able to keep it.

  83. This was one of the most beautiful posts I’ve read in a loooooong time. Thank you for sharing this moment, even if it wasn’t one of your “finest.”

  84. Love this…we so read Dear Abby and had one of the neighbor’s kids house sit and stand guard on my toaster!

  85. I am so glad that you were able to take the mirror of so many wonderful memories home with you…good luck to your mom on the move….and I have my childhood mirror too…it is a bit rough and “spotty” but everytime I look into it, I see only a 10 year old girl…wondering where life would take me…it took me to a great place…and I will always have a special place for that mirror…..Hope you find a special place for your mirror too!!!

  86. KariAnne!

    So bittersweet. I know you are struggling with your family home being sold. I would be as well. Thinking of you!