That title up there? Shocking, no? You are probably thinking "GET OUT. What, did you drink ALL of the booze in California and live to tell about it?"
No. This is actually the story of buying a wedding dress from February of 2005.
I don't do well with assistance when I'm buying anything as it is. Give me self serve. Give me the pile of shoe boxes on the floor so that I can dig around for my size and get out. If you want to guarantee I'm not going to buy something, put it in one of those display cases where I have to ask someone to take one out for me, or make me ask for my size from the "back" or off the wall.
I knew that wedding dresses were an entirely different situation and that meant I'd have to at least try not to flee the store screaming when an employee led me through the process.
That running screaming part was not so much an issue after the "consultant" at the first store walked up to me, put her hands on my girls and said "....hmmmm - I'd say 36 C?" After that, I was a tazered woman, incapable of logical thought. Also, I knew my girls were Ds. I thought "Felt me up AND got the size wrong. So far I'm not encouraged."
This woman with the large hair and coordinating orange outfit on was acting a lot like my prom date from 1987. She reached for my waist and then squealed "Ooooooh! How tiny you are there!" Thank goodness she didn't go for the hips. They are far from tiny and have been rumored to bite.
Her glee was squashed like a Mormon tasting a caffiene free diet Coke when I informed her that I was only able to spend a certain amount of money on a dress. She quickly lost interest and tossed an ill fitting undergarment at me.
Then came the naked. Once one is down to her undies, the store undergarment is wrangled on. And it's not an item that you can put on by yourself. Which leads to more cold hand action for the girls and the waist. They claim they are showing you how to get the best look out of your dress...I mean gown. All it ever did for my girls was make them look like they belonged on Annette Funicello. I wanted to be able to get close to my husband (to be), not impale him. Death by boobies - and on our wedding day too. That's not right.
This orange lady helped me in and out of about 12 dresses. These things are heavy and awkward. They take at least 1 other person to get them on and off. And most of the time there's an entire herd of clasps, zippers and buttons in the back that require advanced degrees and 4 hands for proper activation.
And I got to do this again, with a whole new set of strangers because I didn't like any of the dresses at the first shop.
After a while, I got used to it. At the second shop I pretty much just held my hands in the air and offered up my girls for fitting.
And you'd think this would be over once a dress was found. But it's not. You have to come back for a bunch of stupid fittings complete with girl adjustments by yet ANOTHER group of complete strangers. The turnover rate of employees appears to be terribly high.
Then there is the bustle. Every stupid wedding dress with any kind of a train needs a stupid bustle. Yet, every bridal shop acts as if they've never heard of one before, and SURPRISE, it's another $100 or whatever. Plus, you get to stand there with some lady all up under the backside of your dress while she pins the thing in place. Then you have to come back AGAIN to make sure the bustle came out alright. And they won't release the damn thing until you put it on.
And then there's the whole "person doing the bustling learning curve". You get to stand there in the dress, with the back flipped up so they can see what they are going to have to do on the big night. How my maid of honor saw past my big old nekkid butt [thong undies] looking at her the whole time I'll never know. I kept waiting for someone to say "now cough for me please."
And forget about any kind of a "slip." Unless of course, you love stewing in your own sweat.
The day of the wedding I was being helped into the dress by my maid of honor when the photographer came around the corner shouting "Oh my gosh you are naked! Ooops, so sorry! But I can't go back out this way [pointing], there's too much mud. Can I come through this way?" I, of course, let him through.
I now believe that buying/selling wedding dresses is as close to prostitution as one can get, without having to actually whip out a condom. You go in, you pick from the racks, you pay your money and you get quite a bit of action. Not always in that order though.