My Aunt Chris came out to Pittsburgh yesterday to go dress shopping with me. It was my first time diving1 into Wedding Industrial Complex-sanctioned bridal gowns.
I don’t have any pictures of me in pretty pretty dresses for you. I can’t even link you to pictures of bridal models making bitch faces and holding their arms in tai chi postures while wearing dresses that I’m considering, because the only dress that is even worth writing about was as much designed by Donnie the Sales Consultant than whatever fashion designer is actually responsible for the base dress.
It’s funny, because when my sister went dress shopping for her wedding, she kept saying she didn’t want a strapless dress and the salespeople kept insisting that straps could be added to anything. They’d hold little triangles of lace up against her shoulders and insist after alterations it would look like they belonged there. I never believed them. But when Donnie2 took this dress and tucked some fabric and added some details, I believed it would work. And a dress I thought was pretty but not good enough suddenly became “the dress.”
The owner of the shop made all the other women come in and see what Donnie had done, saying, “learn from a professional.” They swarmed around me like birds and mice around Cinderella to pin all of Donnie’s innovations into place, oohed and ahhed and said they should send a picture to the designer.
I started to get a sinking feeling that I was wearing an outrageously expensive dress, but as it turns out it was reasonably priced. And the sample fit, so I could get a discount.
I didn’t buy it. I’m holding out hope for the Running of the Brides, in large part because I think I will have fun at there even if I don’t buy a dress. And because “reasonably priced” is not inexpensive, even if I get the discounted floor sample.
Before leaving the shop, one of the Ooh and Ahh Birds said, “So are you gonna get it?” And I said, “Not yet.” I think it’s going to be the dress that every other dress is compared to, which means chances are good it will be the dress I get married in. I’ll let you know in two weeks.
1I haven’t practiced my diving formation since Bill Clinton was president! I felt like a Girl Scout again. And all it took was putting on a bunch of dresses that are longer than a loveseat and heavier than a newborn human baby.
2Hearing all the Pittsburgh-accented salespeople say “Donnie” over and over again was a good source of entertainment.