My husband proposed to me on December 5th, 2002. It was a rather unplanned proposal, despite the fact that we had been dating for almost three years and everyone was kind of wondering what the crap was taking him so freaking long. But anyway, he proposed to me while I was sitting on the couch wearing my Mickey Mouse nightgown and socks with a hole in the toe after I had come home from my health class that I was taking at the local community college. He didn’t give me a ring that night, but we did shop together for one ten days later.
I was really excited because I had sort of started to give up on him ever freaking proposing. Since, you know, it had been three years almost and he hadn’t done it already. I’ve never been a big “wedding” kind of person, other than my morbid fascination with how very much they cost. My lack of interest in weddings didn’t stop me from noticing a bridal shop while I was out at a meeting the next day, and it also didn’t stop me from stopping in just to take a quick look.
The store was in a strip mall type location, next door to an organic foods store. I parked right up from and went in, noting that there were absolutely no cars in the parking lot. I didn’t think it was strange at the time, I guess.
Inside the store was a young girl of approximately eighteen, chatting on the phone to her fiancé. I knew it was her fiancé by the microscopic piece of glass on her ring finger, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I greeted her brightly, “Hi!”
She looked up at me, clearly annoyed that I had interrupted her phone conversation. She said to whoever was on the phone, “I need to call you back later. I have a customer. No. No. NO! I didn’t say that! I was not talking to him. I WAS NOT TALKING TO HIM! I can’t talk to you right now! I can’t! I have a customer! No! I do too love you! I’ve got to help this person. NO! I CAN’T TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW! I did not do that! No, I did not say that! You are so stupid! I can’t talk right now! You say you love ME first!”
That went on for a while. Finally she hung up.
She said, in an extremely bored manner, “Can I help you?”
I said, “Well, I’m getting married and-"
She looked at my ring finger and immediately cut me off to say, “Where’s your ring?”
I was startled. Shocked. Now, in the light of day, I realize I should have said, “If it was up your butt you’d know!” and marched out of the store and let that eighteen year old twit get back to her oh-so important phone conversation. However, I didn’t. I, foolishly, continued to respond to her.
“He just proposed last night,” I explained. “I haven’t gotten the ring yet.”
“Oh,” she said, smirking. “Right.”
She clearly didn’t believe me.
I guess there are a lot of women who aren’t engaged or dating or anything that just go try on bridal gowns. I mean, I think I saw something like that on “Friends” this one time. But I just can’t imagine that a lot of women on a random Tuesday morning at like 10:30am would leave their jobs and come over to try on bridal dresses in her store. I mean, really. It wasn’t exactly the nicest store I’d ever seen. I mean, it wasn’t even David’s freaking Bridal! Come on!
Anyway, she just stood there, looking at me until finally I said, “Can you please show me your plus-sized gowns?”
I hate the word plus-sized, by the way. What a stupid word. It’s better than “husky” or “stout” I suppose, but still.
She picked up the phone and began to dial while pointing to the rack that held the plus-size selection. As I walked over to it I could here her talking to her fiancé and saying, “It was nothing. Nobody. Some girl who says she’s getting married.”
The plus-size “selection” consisted of two dresses. One was a size 12 and looked suitable for a mermaid who was attempting to start a business as a low-rent hooker. It was short and had the flared looking bottom. The top was really, extremely lacy. The other dress was a size 28 and it weighed approximately 28 pounds. It was long sleeved and had a high neck. It had the back cut out in the shape of a heart with teardrop pearls all over the back of it. The train looked similar to the one that Princess Diana wore when she married Prince Charles. In, you know, the early 80’s.
Horrified, I hung both of the dresses up and walked towards the door. The salesgirl ignored me so I shouted at the top of my lungs,
“THANKS EVER SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP! YOU HAVE JUST BEEN SO DELIGHTFUL THAT I CERTAINLY WILL NOT BE BACK!”
I then smiled politely and slammed the crap out of the door when I left.
I did resist the urge to go back ten days later and shove my considerably larger than hers platinum and diamond engagement ring in her (stupid) face. And I also didn’t call the shop’s owner and complain. I figured it just wouldn’t matter. She was probably the store owner’s daughter or something. I can’t imagine she would receive any type of customer service position based on her own personality.
I found my wedding dress on eBay, paid $50 for it (brand new!) and that was that.
A few months later, I saw that shop had gone out of business (as an added bonus, I think it’s something ridiculous like a feed store now). I just have no idea why.