Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bridesmaid's Dress - The Fitting (June 20, 2006)

Since you all have been the recipients of my bridesmaid's saga, you will love the tale of today's dress fitting. (Don't you love how I can make my friend's wedding all about me?)
Today was Eli's first day of summer pre-school, so I thought it would be a good idea to schedule my fitting when I only had Georgia with me. So, I packed her up in the stroller, and off we went to David's Bridal.

Oh! Oh! The bolero jacket is in, and it fits! Woo hoo! It is a happy, happy day because my arms will be covered. That alone allows me to laugh at everything else. When I got to the store, the first thing I asked is if that jacket was in. The lady looked it up and loudly said, "Is it in a size XX?" Oh, sweet Jesus, I don't need my dress size being shouted to God's creation. I'm embarrassed enough that Heather and Amy know what size I had to order. In my defense, those damn dresses run small.

After the woman retrieved my jacket, Georgia and I went back to the alterations room. I imagine a sweat shop in Russia looks about the same - sewing machines lines up, and several women (mostly Russian), sewing away on dresses. I put on my dress, and stepped out into the viewing area as I like to call it, surrounded by the 360 mirrors. Deep breath, deep breath. I think I had prepared myself for the moment - so far, so good. I wheeled Georgia over to the mirror, and gave her a few hundred Cheerios to keep her happy. And for most of the fitting, she was great, attempting to share her Cheerios with the baby in the mirror and talking up a storm.
Then, out came the seamstress from the sweatshop room. We will call her Helga, since I don't remember her name. Helga takes one look at the top of my dress, and sees that it is too big at the very top, due to my oddly shaped body. The dress fits everywhere else, in the back, through the boobs, but right over the boobs, it gaps open because it is too big. One glance at that had Helga going, "No, no, no. This is not good. This is not good." Yes, I know it doesn't fit. That's why I'm here.

Helga, who speaks very little English and has a thick Russian accent, kept saying things like, "Can't pin. Dress has boning." As if I am the first person in the history of David's Bridal whose dress was too big at the top. So, she started pinning under the arms - apparently that was an okay place to pin the damn thing. Now, about those pins - I am quite used to getting stuck with needles, as I had to give myself shots every day during both pregnancies, but it's a little different when someone is jabbing you under the arms with straight pins. Since Helga barely speaks English, hopefully she's not up on her English curse words, either.

Then Helga got to the hem. "Cannot looking down!" That's the phrase I heard from her about 50 times. Remember, my daughter was a few feet away in a stroller, and by nature, I kept looking at my baby to make sure she was okay. Yet every time I moved my head, "Cannot looking down!" Good lord, I was waiting for Helga's Russian mafia to pop out the way she was yelling at me.

So, by the end of the fitting, all seemed well and good. I was still elated with thoughts of the bolero jacket, but then I looked in the mirror, and Georgia apparently became annoyed when she realized the baby in the mirror was in fact her reflection and not a newfound friend. Now, I strapped that baby girl tightly into her stroller, yet somehow she managed to wiggle herself free. She was standing up in the stroller attempting to climb out. So I leapt toward her, screaming "Georgia Grace, sit down!" And behind me, Helga is yelling, "Cannot looking down! No move! You have pins! You have pins!" I started to say, "My daughter . . ." but Helga was already unzipping my dress and yanking it off of me so as not to mess up her handiwork.
Now, while the alterations area is in the back of the store, everyone can still see you when you're on the 360 platform, and there I was in my skivvies for everyone to see. Helga said, "No one coming back here." I don't care if "no one coming back here," I would prefer not to be seen in my bra and panties, for Christ's sake.

Then, Helga wanted me to wait there while she went to get her tape measure to take my measurements. I don't f*%#ing think so! I took Georgia and quickly scurried back into the dressing room to wait for Helga. So, in she came and started measuring me, reciting the measurements out loud. Then she took out her paper and poised her pencil over it, "Bust size?" she asked. What do you mean bust size? You just measured me! So, I remained silent. She looked at me, "What was bust size?"

I said, "I don't know. You just measured it." She sighed loudly; apparently I was putting her out, and said "You remember bust size." She didn't freaking tell me I was supposed to remember the numbers she was shouting at me in that thick Russian accent. Hell, I'm sure I heard something different than what she said anyway.

After she was finally done, I put my clothes on, and went in the sweatshop room to schedule my pick-up time - July 26. Apparently, they sew very slowly in the sweatshop. The woman asked me what time I could be in on that day (a Wednesday). I said, "Anytime after 5:00 would be great because then my husband can watch the kids."

Her response, "3:00"!

Ooookay, I guess 3:00 will work then. So I paid my $135 for the alterations, which includes a free steam clean, and we were off!

Don't forget to bring back your bra and shoes on the 26th," they shout at me as we were running out the door. "You'll have to try the dress on again when you pick up."
Oh, heaven help me!

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