My nuptials are still 13 months away, but the wedding countdown is tick, tick, ticking, like a massive alarm clock in my head. Don’t get me started on the biological clock. That’s another post for another day. My mother’s in town, and I’m taking her to see THE DRESS.
The boutique door is covered by a glaring black metal grid. Closed. Crap. We hover outside expectantly, loitering and procrastinating. Cue Mum: “Well, this is London for you. This is what they do here.”
Not to be undone, we pop to the nearest shop for a pointless rummage, returning in the hope the great black bars of despair will have lifted. But they’ve not. As I stand tiptoed, peering through them, an epiphany: a small, black, round button positioned halfway up the wall. Ah yes, that would be the doorbell. The one to press so the staff know you are waiting and can let you in.
Button pressed, entrance permitted. Feeling fully foolish. Now down to the serious stuff. Once again, I am stripped, metaphorically and literally. I begin to wish I hadn’t eaten for the last fortnight as I’m shoe-horned into THE DRESS.
Mum is approving. No visible tears (disappointing if you know my mother). She does. however, take umbrage with part of the dress that is particularly sparkly – ‘bling bling’ as the youngsters call it. “Oh no, that’s got to go.” That’s me told.
So that should be it. Job done. But nooooo. Oh no siree. That’s just the beginning. Because if I decide to order the dress, there is a procedure. Not a surgical one, as in the removal of kidney I’ve previously mentioned in order to foot the bill. Now it’s all about the fittings. “Why don’t we take your measurements now?” And just as I was about to return to my longed-after fully-dressed comfort zone…
“Ok”. Before I can blink, boom. Another posh assistant is the room. Big hair, big voice, even bigger measuring tape. She speaks about the weather in London, the weather in Scotland, the weather in Sydney, and her great great great nan’s wedding in the 19th century, whilst simultaneously wheeking the tape round my chest in one svelte move
Figures are bellowed, then poof. She disappears. Like a bizarre fairytale-come-episode of Ab Fab.
Standard pleasantries exchanged, mum and I retire to the pub for deliberations. I feel like an X Factor judge. But if I’m Cheryl, mum is definitely Lord Cowell. She says she loves the dress. “Apart from that bit of sparkly stuff. I knew as soon as I saw it that I didn’t like it”.
Two hours and glasses of wine later, she’s suggesting I go back and try it on in daylight. Thinking about it, she’s got a point. What if some strategically-placed bridal shop artificial lighting means I’m seeing Kate Middleton, but in the cold light of day I’m a Bride of Frankenstein?
To be continued