Archives: 5 Card Stud & Love Dresses


Dear ____________________,

I see you staring at me.  Don’t worry, I’m not offended.  In fact, the only reason I know you are staring at me is because I am staring right back at you.  Let me guess.  You don’t want me to leave. Not without you. Trust me beautiful, I do not want to. You look as though you hold the secret that Victoria has kept from me all these years. You are the epitome of me. I see me when I see you. I see us, and we are a union. Well, we COULD BE a union. One under God, under friendly evening skies and mountain cliffs with tides beating the outer crust of the rocks below. Yeah, it’s safe to assume I had a fantasy about us, me and you that is, in that small amount of time I let you rock me back and forth. I can’t lie….i want you. I want you all to myself, to be mine forever; I want to look at you, stare at you when other’s are NOT watching, I want to touch you, walk with you, feel you against my skin. In a perfect world, you would be leaving with me and this letter would have been left in the unwritten files. But I can’t have you. I am not complete. I am not whole. At least not the kind of whole I have to be when in the presence of what is so magnificent (as you are). I’m not in here to shop, I’m here with someone else who’s attempting to torture me, accidentally of course. I am not standing in front of bent knee and I am not holding out my hand for a token of a new life. I am not a wife to be and I have absolutely no reason to be in this room with you. My closet is too full anyway. Tons of clothing and shoes have created a rift between me and space and there is no room left to add the unnecessary. After all, there is but one place you can wear a love dress; and that is during your walk down the aisle.

As a child, my grandmother used to teach me all kinds of poker games. Some of my fondest childhood memories come from playing Five Card Stud with my her for pennies. She would teach me how to read my cards, how to know when I have a good hand and how to not carry the look of “I lost” on my face, even if I knew it was inevitable. As an adult, I realize that whether purposeful or not, she was teaching me major life lessons during those games AND relationships/love are the best place to revert back to looking at every hand like you have a winner, even if the truth is you are about to lose. Now does that mean hold on to the lose-lose indefinitely? No. All card games end, so know when to fold. But you don’t have to let the uninvited world in on the fact that you have hit a brick wall for the time being and are disgusted about it. After all, if you can’t change it and didn’t die from it, all you can really do is Kanye-shrug it off and keep it moving. At least until your next hand is dealt. At some point, the odds are going to be in your favor. You will get a hand with that perfect card; the Ace of Spades.

As I stare at your beauty from the pedestal you are perched atop, I can’t help but look at this hand of unfortunate low numbers and feel discouraged. Around the room, there are women with single Aces in their back pants pocket that lies on the floor of the spacious, mirrored filled dressing room. They stand out on the open floor for their accompanying friends/family and the rest of the real patrons, twirling and moving around in different angles, looking for a love dress that will speak to them the way you are silently crying out to me. Each woman is attempting to look like the Ace of Hearts. She wants to look the part that she has already been designated for. I keep taking my eyes off of you just long enough to look at them and wonder what in the world is in their sauce. I wonder if their grandmother taught them to play 5 Card Stud like mine did. I wonder how many days or nights or years even, did they spend with the wrong stud left in their hand, while trying to keep their poker face on. I look at their smiles and the love dresses they are trying on and I fold my eyes downward to the last card I have left and tears fill up. I look back at you and stop resisting the urge to touch you. I may never have this chance again. My poker face is poked out. My heart is bruised and sore. And you feel like what I’ve been missing.

In five card stud, the first two cards are dealt one face down and one face up. The face down card is not revealed until the other four have been issued. It seems I’ve exhausted the other four cards and each of them has been a low number. The odds have continued to stack against me over the years and for awhile. I’ve bet my heart with each turn and every time it has kicked the bucket, thus becoming in need of reviving. I gave up on the idea that I would ever meet you, love you, want to be with you, in the way that I do right now, so for a long time, it stopped mattering what the face value was on my cards. Then I walked into “The House That Good Cards Built” and there you were. Enticing me to walk over to you and so I did. Begging me to rub you; see how your fabric feels against my caramel epidermis. So I did. You felt great. I searched through bagged love dresses beneath the “Wang” sign and found you in all your glory, asking me to put you on. And I almost did. Unfortunately, first I turned over the only card I had left; the face down card. In the soft spoken 20 minutes I stood beneath your white shadow, I accidentally dropped my liquid angst on you (thank God for plastic covers). My card is joker. And there is no need to try you on, for I will not be twirling in front of family, friends and onlookers while fitted inside your tiers of Couture ruffles. There is no angle that can make the time I’ve invested and thus wasted any less painful. The fantasy of people standing to their feet with bright eyes and cheerful smiles from the first look of us, me and you that is, together is something that will just have to reverb in my dreams….at least for now. For right now, I am cardless and in need of a brand new hand.

I see you staring. Don’t worry. I’m not offended. In fact, the only reason I know you are staring at me is because I am staring right back at you. Let me guess. You don’t want me to leave. Truth is I don’t want to leave. Not without you. You are indeed the most beautiful love dress I have ever seen and the one dress out of the all the ones I have accidentally confronted, that made me want to look at my face down card. Well like I said, I looked. And it sucks. And I will be leaving now. And you will be staying here; on this pedestal.  One of those things I’ve rarely been put on and never long enough to make a home out of it.  My guess is you are awaiting the person who has played her cards right and knows not only the rules of five card stud, but also the strategies for winning. Apparently I need to consult my grandmother on getting a better game plan. But if I remember right, you should usually fold if you don’t have a pair or better in the first three cards.

And that, my beautiful $1000 Vera Wang love dress of a lifetime, is the only reason why I am leaving and you are not coming with me.

Love Always,

The Runaway Bride

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