Thursday, March 24, 2005

weddings aplenty- long live lina!

tuesday morning, my roommate calmly told me she's engaged. i couldn't believe her fortitude in not waking me up the night before to tell me her good news. by tuesday evening, they had already booked the church, gotten the minister and set the date- not bad for a day's work after an engagement right?

last night, as a bridesmaid in my friend julie's wedding, we journeyed over to the embarcadero for her first wedding gown fitting. as always, the bridal salon was bustling with activity. a lovely woman named lina took us back into one of the fitting rooms. i had re-entered the netherworld which is the world of brides-to-be, a little scary. while we waited for her dress to be brought in, we sat and chatted about the song she and chris picked to dance to at the reception and pretty banal details about the wedding.

so with a sweep of flare, the large platic bag is brought in- the white material's sheen glistening through the bag. we are all very excited to see how it looks, now that it is the right color, fit, etc... but then she puts it on and we both distinctly remember it being an empire bodice, whereas this one just has side seams- it's the wrong dress!

her face turns from porcelain white to beet red as she tries to hold back the tears because she knows her wedding is in 15 days. lina keeps her cool and tells her she will go and check her records. julie sidles out of the dress and just sits next to me, silent. and i can't tell if her eyes closed indicate she is praying or she is very upset- about to blow.

lina comes back and explains that this is the right dress for the train that has been selected. we consult the photo of the dress julie initially liked and tore out, but it only shows the back, the dramatic train. so lina says she will call the other bridal salon we visited and initially liked the dress. so julie and i are alone in the fitting room again. the prospects are not looking good...

but we start to dress her anyway. we need to get a fitting out of this meeting, since the time is slim. i unwrap her veil and get that ready to hand to her. she puts on her pearls and opera length gloves and she still looks radiant, radiant with a beet-red face that is. lina starts trying to attach the train, which is surprisingly a very intricate process. and i can see the train is looking all wrong, but try to hide that expression from my face, not wanting to further upset julie.

until she and lina and i all see that it is poufy...
and julie is definitely not a poufy girl, so the crying ensues again. i think this going to put her over the edge. but then i remind her that she has made a business transaction and as such, they must deliver the exact product she has purchased, which in her accountant's brain makes sense and calms her down.

we are all somewhat exultant. since the wrong dress was sent down from canada, the designer will have to rectify the situation, and julie won't be stuck with outrageous alteration fees. i escort her from the salon, as she is told by lina that she will take care of it and call julie by noon today.
we head out to one of my favorite french bistros, so she can have a lovely cotes du rhone.

at one point, she and mindy are in the same room, exulting over their newfound happiness of marriages and weddings and husbands. and i start feeling a little weird because even though you want to be happy for the engaged- when it gets to a certain point, you feel kind of nauseous, as if there is more to life (which can feel very traitorous). so we leave, thankfully only after a little while because i've been doing bridespeak for 2 hours already and i've maxed out.

after i drop julie off at her apartment, i head to citizen cake to pick up some gelees for work. as i'm parking my car by the volunteer center, i see two familiar photos in the window. once i'm on the sidewalk, a big cheshire cat smiles slides across my face. it's mother teresa and gandhi...

oh the details in life; how they give it such panache.


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