This week has been pretty trying, but Wednesday took the cake.
I had an appointment for a dress fitting at David's Bridal. I made the appt. weeks ago and was really excited for it. I bought a dress that wasn't entirely modest, but had thick straps which sleeves could easily be attached to.
The bodice of the dress is lace and after hours (literally) of discussions my mom finally convinced two managers and a seamstress to detach a thick run of lace from the train to make matching sleeves and bust insert from. I was pretty nervous about the lace detaching and sleeve attaching process (since the store was completely flabergasted that I would suggest such a thing. I don't think they've ever worked with an LDS bride.), so I was really eager for this dress fitting and hopeful that I would take it home to find matching hairdos, etc., afterward.
My mom, the professor, had to teach a class that night and my sister, the wife/ teacher/ mother of 3 had an impromptu doctor's appt. with her husband who was diagnosed as extremely sick so she couldn't come, either (that was ok... he is the third member of her family to get sick. I am not touching that household with a 10-ft pole until they've all been well for at least 3-5 days. I'm getting married in 2 weeks. Precautions, people.), so at the last minute I invited my amazing and endowed friend, Eve, to come with me and make sure my back and all spots I can't see were modestly taken care of.
Remember that extensive, labor-intensive work needed on my dress that I mentioned? None of it had even been started. I stood on the mirrored platform (30 mins. after my appt. was scheduled to begin) and was having extra pieces of fabric pinned into place on me that very night! And my reception is in TWO WEEKS!
I wanted to stay calm, though, because another bride came in for a fitting while I was there and she was a total Bridezilla. First of all, her dress was... let's just say unlike anything I've ever seen... and she was having a royal meltdown because the hem appeared to be shorter on one side than the other. Her wedding isn't until May, but she "needs the dress immediately for a portrait session so now it's too late to fix the hem though [she'd] wanted to come in earlier but these people wouldn't let [her]!"
The ever patient tailor, Dottie, ignored her tantrum and tears while working on me, and Eve and I (who both know sign language) started talking "in code." Not even about this bride-- we just like using sign language around each other-- but it certaintly didn't help the situation :)
She was just so funny... and helped me realize that brides can be really, really bratty. I guess there is a reason for it, though. This is a highly emotional time and we are extra sensitive. A bride's life is changing drastically, and hundreds of people are watching it happen. There is a lot of pride, fear, excitement, nervousness, and a lifetime of dreams and desires all building up until that one day. Of course she wants everything to go well!
Well, I didn't want to be like that one bride and cause Dottie to cry, so I kept it inside when I was really frustrated that the work hadn't been started on my dress and the extra pieces she pinned on didn't look very good reflected in the mirror.
I came home that night and told my mom, "There's nothing to report. Nothing has been done." when she asked how the fitting had gone. She came into my room around midnight, sat on my bed, and calmly told me to call the store in the morning and cancel the alterations. Dottie had never attempted the work I was asking her to do, and with only two weeks left and a load of other brides for her to please, Mom was convinced the dress would end up rushed, experimented on, and look like a home ec project. I have to admit, her logic made sense. Besides, Dottie had figured a random amount to charge us for the alterations, which cost, added to the initial cost of the dress, made it a very expensive home ec project. And I wouldn't even feel beautiful on my day.
Needless to say, there was no sleep that night! It was already midnight so the only person I thought to call and talk to about it was Ben, but his phone had broken earlier that night. So I did the next best thing: called his sister, Marie, who lives in Utah (a safe two-hour time difference).
"Marie, I am totally overwhelmed from this week and what happened today, and I'm really not sure what to do right now. I'm going to explain this situation to you, and you're going to tell me what to do."
"I don't know if I'll be able to do that....."
"You have to. I'm putting in the quarter, you give me the gumball."
Talking it out to Marie helped me realize that I really hate my dress. Don't get me wrong-- it is beautiful-- but has now compiled so much distress that I don't want it anywhere near me. Even if it did end up looking halfway decent I would be thinking "this dress was so difficult" and not "I feel so beautiful" at our sealing celebration. And no bride should feel that way.
So Thursday morning I calmly called David's Bridal and said I would take the dress as-is before any cutting or lace detaching had been done. They eagerly agreed (hadn't wanted to do the work in the first place) and refunded the alterations cost. Ben will try selling it on eBay (he would probably sell the carpet if he weren't renting), and I have two weeks to find a new wedding dress that fits my style, reception theme, and modesty standards. But hey, things go wrong for anyone planning a marriage, right?
As long as I need a new dress, anyway, I may as well get one that's unique and re-wearable! What do you think of this one?
"I could ask a friend of mine if you could wear her gown.... Actually, she might not loan it out.... Not because she's afraid it could get dirty.... Because it would be to you."
Maybe I'll have better luck next week.