Sometimes you can’t help it. You feel really great about life; sassy, empowered, pretty and witty and bright. And sometimes you want to lie in the fetal position in a corner with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos attached feedbag style to your face, drinking blueberry Schnapps through a straw out of a commemorative plastic cup you got when you were six at Wildwood N.J. in complete darkness save for the jasmine scented candle flickering shadows on the wall to the dolorous sounds of Morrissey (which is on repeat on your iPod) wrapping your body (despite the 80 degree weather) in a comforter that may or may not have been washed less than a dozen times since you bought it freshman year of college and is covered in various mystery stains.
This was the state of mind I was in this week after looking for a bridesmaid dress for a wedding less than two months away.
For anyone reading this who will be in a wedding in less than two months heed my advice, do not wait 60 days before a wedding to get a dress because you will be laughed at in any store that specifically caters to bridesmaids.
Such was the case as I walked into one of only two ‘bridesmaid dress shops’ in my county. My first clue that perhaps I had waited too long was that there were only two racks of dresses in the whole store. Not the huge selection like I was expecting so that I could try a few on, get one I loved, and walk out of the store with it that day. When relaying this to some of my more seasoned bridesmaid compadres they all shook their heads in a “you poor, poor, poor fool” manner. I even got one gaffaw.
My second clue was the look of sheer panic and possibly disgust on the saleswoman’s face when I told her the date of the wedding.
“Oh boy.” Were her exact words. Oh boy indeed.
I’m sure there are deep-rooted psychological reasons why I waited so long to get this dress. Certainly my ignorance on the subject was one of the reasons. Another one being my wish to walk into a store with rows and rows of dresses made just for me, all of which would instantly ‘wow’ me and my problem would not be that there was nothing that looked good but the opposite, there were too many choices for me. (Okay my real hope was that the morning of the wedding chipmunks and bluebirds would come into my room and dress me).
In my head I pictured that moment when I audibly gasp at how amazing I look in a dress. How it fits like a glove and how I will clearly be the envy of every other person at that wedding. (Besides the bride. There are rules about that sort of thing).
Instead the person staring back at me from the mirror looked more like a sad, fat ballerina mocking me in my singledom and foolishness.
The very nice and helpful saleswoman called the manufacture of the dress that I decided made me look least like a hideous monster and relayed the message to me that if I wanted that dress the best thing for me to do was go to physics school, learn how to build a time machine, build one and use it to go back one month. Since this didn’t seem feasible I made it plan B.
It was too much pressure and I felt a panic attack creeping up my throat ready to expose my lack of knowledge and preparation for the event happening in October. I went home and rocked myself back and forth for several minutes with a box of Cheez-its tucked comfortably under my snacking arm.
After a few deep breaths I took my thoroughly orange-cheese stained fingers to the internet, typing in various searches such as “ready to wear bridesmaid dresses,” “bridesmaid dresses that will be delivered quickly,” “bridesmaid dresses off the rack” “suicide hotline” etc.
I ended that day no better off than I started. With no dress and an extra three Cheez-it pounds to work off. A few days later my sister in law mentioned to me that J.Crew had a line of bridesmaid dresses that might work for me. Who knew?
Well thank you J.Crew gods, (If I had a nickel for every time I said that in a day I’d be a rich women) because they did have exactly what I needed.
I decided the best thing to do, since I couldn’t try on the dress, was to buy several and pick the one I liked best and send back the rest. After looking through their selection (in an almost fugue state) I went to check out and to my utter surprise I had ended up spending $1,200 (after tax).
Now I would like you to take a guess as to how many dresses I got for that whopping price tag. Go ahead, guess.
If your guess was less than five give yourself a high five. If it was over four punch yourself in the face (I did).
If you are using your marble notebook conversion charts then you will see that is a mind boggling 4 dresses for the same amount I paid for my first car.
Yes. I ended up spending $1,200 on the possibility that I will like one of these dresses. All of which will be delivered after the second week of September, which is less than a month away from the wedding.
I’ve decided that if all of this goes badly and I end up with no dress I am fine with the fact that I have a very snazzy taupe pantsuit turtleneck combo that had never failed me in the past.