The bridesmaid dresses came in this weekend, sparing me from developing an eye twitch (Claudia was measured for her dress one month after she gave birth. The dress ordered was gigantic. She is now a size 4. Her dress needs to be altered in a serious way. This isn’t turning guns into walkie talkies; these are Greedo shoots first alterations.)
So I went to my local FedEx Office yesterday to send these bad boys to the various points West where my bridesmaids live (not before having every panhandler in Oakland comment on how I’m carrying three floor-length gowns around on the sidewalk, like that’s the strangest thing anyone’s ever done on Pitt’s campus, which I can assure you IT IS NOT).
The trouble started when I couldn’t get the dresses out of their garment bags. I fought with my gowns and their “THIS BAG IS NOT A TOY” shells for a good five minutes on the packing supplies table before a nice fellow customer pointed out an additional strap around the hook part of the hanger that I had missed. Then it was time to pick out boxes to ship the dresses in. Problem: FedEx was out of stock of the obvious slightly-bigger-than-a-shirt-box size package. I half-assembled various too-small boxes and tried to shove folded up wads of charmeuse in them until finally the line cleared and the professional behind the counter was able to join my cause and use her expertise to mash the dresses into 11 inch cardboard cubes.
As she started taping the second box shut, I screamed. “STOP!” The long queue that had formed behind me all snapped to attention. “I don’t know which dress is which!” I was just in time. She re-opened the second box to avoid the formal wear shell game and we carefully labeled each address slip and box with numbers to avoid sending Carrie’s dress to Becky or what have you. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Finally, all three dresses were stuffed away and labeled with their proper recipient’s address. I started to wonder if I put enough quarters in my parking meter. The extremely helpful and patient shipping lady started to ring them up. “That’ll be $37.50.” “For all three?” “No, just for one. Wait, that’s not right…” Turns out my purse was on the edge of the scale. She rang me up again, three times for three different shipping addresses, and I imagined the people behind me in line wishing me divorce and worrying about their own parking meters. People I would have to sheepishly walk past on my way to the exit.
The moral of this story is: buy your bridesmaid dresses from a shop that will ship them for you, if not to save money, to save your dignity.