The dress I ordered is neither the right color nor size, two issues that sent me into a small tailspin mid-week. I set today aside as my day to remedy that situation and cross that stressor off. Of course, I would be doing this without a ring on my finger, being a plump 40-something and not wanting anything along the lines of "typical wedding dress". What a fun day this would be!
I decided to brave an actual bridal store, although I was quite skeptical about them having what I wanted. The drive was a bit of a distance, but of all bridal stores, I had highest hopes for this one. Yeah, um, no. While I gave it a go, and even agreed to try on a couple gowns, I still left nearly in tears from having to undress with a complete stranger to help me put an ugly satin thing on, only to have this same stranger (who was all of 20) tell me how bad that sort of waistline made me look and that this or that was just certainly not for me....right. Like I was unaware of this. She kept giving me color advice, "for being a redhead" as though I was new to that color palette and not 41 years used to it.
In any case, that traumatic experience shall not be repeated in my lifetime. I have sworn off bridal shops for.evAH. (And in case you are thinking, oh heck, I would have gone with you, please realize I am far less likely to allow someone I know well help me in and out of dresses. At least I can rest easily tonight knowing that while I have probably scarred that poor young thing for life, at least I will never have to face her again.)
From there, the next best option was the city, and of course not the one I live in, and it certainly couldn't be someplace that would have a short direct route from where I currently was. But, to the city it is. And the search begins for a boutique a friend recommended, only to finally figure out after quite an extensive, back-and-forth search, that it has gone out of business at some point. Fine. Be that way. So, a couple stores were hit along the way until the only option left was the nice, big, mall.
Yes, a mall. In December. Just where I want to be! The first store I hit, however, had some potential. As long as I changed my idea of what I had imagined, and went with a "whatever works at this point" attitude, we might actually be in luck. "Special occasion dresses" don't generally come in all ivory, nor look this time of year like what I would like to have, but fine. Let's alter the vision and cross off a stressor. I tried some on, asked the clerk to hold two and continued shopping.
All around the mall, surrounded by more people than I enjoy, I went in any and every store that had potential. Nothing else came close anywhere else, so back to the original store. I still couldn't decide between two. To complicate matters, (because of course there had to be further complications), the one I was leaning towards was missing the little jacket that went with it. There was one in a smaller size, but it certainly felt like a smaller size. I finally decided that was the dress I wanted. The clerk, a very busy, quite ragged clerk at that, told me there should be a jacket in the right size somewhere....it was just a matter of where. While she helped other patrons, I looked everywhere. I was back at the counter, ready to tell her that I was unable to fine it, when I caught a glimpse of the fabric on a mismatched rack of various items. I grabbed it off of there and sure enough, it was the size I needed that went with my dress. The clerk was thrilled and so was I. She felt badly about being so busy she couldn't even help me look and scanned a coupon I didn't have that gave me 25% off! Woohoo!
So, there is a dress. Not like the vision in my head, but a dress.
But more importantly, there is a man. A patient, loving man, who sat in a Jeep, or on a couch in the shoe department, who read sports updates on his phone, or watched toy demonstrations, all.day.long so I could hang a dress in my closet. He had been up at 3 for work and still endured driving all over the state, in and out of stores and watching his frazzled fiancée struggle to keep her wits about her all for the want of a stupid, wear-it-once dress. He didn't go because shopping is his thing; he didn't go because I insisted; he didn't go to keep an eye on my purchase or the money spent on it; he went because he knows how much I hate to shop and how stressed I am about this silly dress, and so he went, despite my permission to stay home, to help me through it. He saw a problem and he wanted to do his part in finding a solution. And he did it well.
Problem is, now the flowers have to be changed.
Sigh. I hear the gods laughing....