Lucy & Me
21st May 2018 by Babs Spence
Firm friendships are forged in many different ways. Some go back years and have become stronger over time. Others spring up from the strangest places, under the most extraordinary circumstances! Take Lucy and me, I’m Babs and I always warn people: I have a ‘bonkers head.’ I mean, let’s understand each other straight away. I’ve had anxiety depression for many years, and it can manifest itself in the strangest ways, hence ’my bonkers head’! And this troublesome head took complete control when my wonderful daughter and her fiancé decided to get married. Overnight, Babs was gone, and I’d turned into a drivelling wreck, ‘The Mother of The Bride’!!
Friends, family, daughter, all wanted to help me find ‘the perfect outfit’. I was told by every volunteer that no, I could not wear a navy blue and white pinstripe trouser suit, with white patent leather Doc martens! That was the only outfit in my head, and with that turned down, I was vulnerable. I was marched around every shopping centre in Essex, made to look at hundreds of dresses and frocks, with matching coats or jackets. I was learning words like Pashmina, and horrid things you wear instead of a hat...a Fascinator!!! I was getting really depressed, trying to please everyone, trying on everything they showed me!
Then there was a miracle. My sister showed me some beautiful trousers she had bought. She wanted another pair, and was steered toward the Lucy Cobb website. Well, I think I beat her there. I ordered trousers and dresses and coats and I was so full of hope! But then my eyes settled on the beautiful, and forever to be called ‘The Daisy Dress.’ Even I, with a frock/dress phobia, could see the beauty of this dress. The fabric was lace daisies with lemon centres. And it had a lovely white lining which ended just above the last row of daisies. And the dress was completed with three quarter length sleeves. Now I’m short but big, I wear an 18, everything I had ordered from Lucy Cobb was size 18. But the largest size for this dress was a 16. Ever optimistic, I ordered it.
The next day, I fretted, and decided to phone the shop. I went in search of the phone, which luckily started ringing...I answered and heard “Hello, this is Lucy Cobb.” This was my first contact with Lucy, a very special lady, nearly a year ago now. I was staggered by the coincidence! I babbled on, about this, that, and fat, and mother of the bride, and depression, and doc martens. I told her I didn’t want to go to the wedding, but had to. And I was tired of being poured into frocks that I felt uncomfortable and looked ridiculous in.
Lucy waited patiently until I paused for breath, and then with perfect timing, she took over like a true fashion guru. She sent the daisy dress. She kept encouraging me, got the measure of me, or got my measurements. She sent trousers, and summer coats - I think they have names too - and dresses, and she took the time to look at anything I ordered from hers and other outlets. When I found something I felt I could tolerate, Lucy was the first person I wanted to show. She gave it her seal of approval and the agony was over. To be fair, Lucy had many beautiful clothes that I really, really loved. But at 5 ft and over 13 stone, we sometimes had to admit defeat.
Lucy is special, she understood my depression, never got frustrated, was fine when I kept sending things back, and really wanted to help. She is kind, patient and certainly knows about fashion. My only criticism: she lives too far away and works way too hard!
We are still friends and I hope we will be for a long time yet. One day I hope to meet her, face to face. I need to show her what I look like in Doc Martens. She doesn’t own a pair, can you believe that?!!!