Dressing the Part


This past weekend was estrogen-packed. On Saturday, I drove to Charlotte, NC, for my sister's baby shower. Then on Sunday, I went with my mom, my sister and my sister-in-law to look for a wedding dress. I'm surprised I still have my hearing from all the squealing.

Now, I don't want to spend over $500 on my dress. It doesn't make sense to me when you'll only have it on for 8 hours and you can never wear it again. So we went to David's Bridal, a chain wedding dress store that is known for mass-market (and down-market) appeal. It's kind of like the Pottery Barn of wedding gowns.

We were herded into the line of brides at the registration table and were assigned to our wedding gown specialist "Krista." She gave us a David's bridal catalogue and told us to mark the pages of the dresses that we liked. Then she brought them to my dressing room, along with a bra and slip.

I tried on about 10 dresses, which might have been a more pleasurable experience had the girl in the booth next to me not have been a size 0 and whining very loudly, "Really? All you have is a size two? How will I ever know how it's going to look? I'm swimming in this gown!"

I asked my sister-in-law to hand me the heavily-beaded size 10 gown on my rack next so that I could clobber the waif with it. After going through about twelve dresses and narrowing it down to the best two, I asked Krista to bring me a veil so I could get the full
effect. She came back with an armload of veils, crowns, pearl chokers and other things I didn't recognize. She came at me with the accessories and I put my hand up. "I don't do pearls," I said.

"But, if you just…" she started.

"No," I said more firmly. "Just the veil, please." My mother stifled her laughter. I am her daughter, and accessories are not our style. She sulkily just slipped the veil onto my head and left to go help another, more accoutrement-friendly client.

I turned to look in the mirror and heard the collective sigh from my gaggle of female family members. I felt like Pinnochio after he met the fairy. "I was a real bride."

I left without buying a dress, much to Krista's disappointment, but I have a better idea of what I want (no poofy crenolin skirts, hold the pearls) and to my surprise, I can't wait until the next estrogen-packed adventure.