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Monday, August 07, 2006

Dress Drama

I'm sure most people have a hard time finding their dresses. I'm sure I'm not alone - being a woman of substantial girth, yet small pocketbook - trying to find something that I'll feel comfortable in without sending me into years of debt.

I started out just looking around, both online and at stores, trying to find a style. My most interesting journey was into a downtown Chicago bridal salon. (What was I thinking?) I rode up the three floors in a painfully slow gilded elevator. When it opened, the decor was antique, sophisticated and undoubtedly expensive. I was greeted by a petite woman, who unfortunately resembled Skeletor. To my left were three size 00 models, sipping champagne. Harp music was coming from above. The previously slow-as-molasses elevator decided to be VERY fast at that moment. And claw as I might, I couldn't get back in. Skeletor came over to greet me and told me that her posh salon (I'm pretty sure she said it with a French accent) was available by appointment only, but I should feel free to look at their inventory. I smiled at the lovely women to my left and made my way to the dresses. They were elaborate, Barbie-fantasy-wedding gowns. The Targo is pretty close to Ken, but drat! that pocketbook of mine. Needless to say, the dresses were thousands of dollars out of my price range. I'm fairly certain I fainted from sticker-shock, but coolly (so coolly) regained my composure and continued to browse. What about the barrettes and headpieces? OMG! That does not say $500! I decided to make my escape and Skeletor cut me off at the elevator. Being fairly socially capable, I requested her card and told her thank you. She offered me some free goodies and sent me on my way.

A friend of mine and I decided to do some reconnaissance work before I went dress shopping with my mom and future MIL. I wanted to know what size I wore and what styles I liked. Fortunately, that was uneventful. Well, except I didn't realize how much work it was to get into those damned dresses and my poor buddy would have to see me in my skivvies.

In June, my mom, Targo's mom and I made appointments at two places. The first was a small salon recommended to me by a woman whose advice I should have NEVER taken. It was horrible. The assistant couldn't be less interested in assisting me. She told me to find styles, not sizes. So, I tried on five dresses that were either three sizes too small or a size too big. I had no idea what any of them would actually look like on me. My patience was exhausted and we left. We went to my last ditch effort (if this didn't work, I wasn't shopping for a while!). The woman assisting me was frank, but nice. She helped me pick out styles I liked but also suggested things that would look better. As I was about to give up, she brought me this gorgeous dress. It was a size too big, but close enough to get the idea. I think I saw my mom get misty - and she's so not like that.

I found my dress! Fortunately, it was both affordable and made me feel good. Sometimes, it just takes ridiculously surreal experiences to make you grateful for David's Bridal.

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