June 4, 2014

Harry Potter, Wedding Dresses and Why You Shouldn't Show Up at David's Bridal without an Appointment and 90 Minutes to Spare

There's this thing I'm guilty of doing...it's sort of like reverse snobbery. I don't know why exactly, but often I assume things that apply to the vast majority of people won't apply to me. Maybe it's because I've always felt a little bit different than other folks or maybe it's because the things I think and feel aren't quite the norm.

Here's an example. For many years I heard people talk about how much they loved the Harry Potter books. In college, my friend Stephanie was obsessed! She even read some borderline raunchy fan fiction that was not appropriate for good southern baptist girls. Harry Potter was all anybody could talk about. And thus, I assumed I would hate the wizarding world and avoided it like the plague.

Then several years later my co-worker and friend convinced me to give it a try. I trusted his opinion on other things so I agreed to read the first book in the series. Would you believe I stayed up ALL NIGHT reading it and finished the entire book in one sitting? It began my love of HP that still lives strong today.

So the moral of the story is I should learn not to assume.

Fast forward to the other day when my mom suggested we go to a local bridal store and try on wedding dresses. I have no idea why, but I guess I've always assumed that I would not be able to find my dress at a traditional store. Maybe I thought they wouldn't have my size or the prices would be outrageous. A few days before, we had actually ordered some dresses online and I was convinced one of them would be 'the one.'

Knowing nothing about bridal store etiquette, we (my mom, dad, and I) just showed up at our local David's Bridal. Apparently you need to have an appointment for wedding dress shopping, but they were having an unusually slow Friday so they accommodated us. The main reason for this excursion was to appease my mom, who felt that ordering a wedding dress on the internet didn't create the same experience of trying on and choosing from several options in a dress shop.

I was so convinced I wouldn't find the dress at the shop that I was borderline rude to the saleswoman and tried to communicate with my eyes for her to not pin her hopes on any sort of commission...since I didn't think there was any chance we'd be making an actual purchase.

She whisked me into a mirror-less dressing cube and helped zip me into what I only know to describe as a girdle and matching can-can. Three or four different dresses materialized and I tried them, but none felt all that special. I asked her if she had any really plain un-shiny dresses without a bunch of sparkles and frills. Apparently that's not the common request at David's Bridal because she looked at me like I was crazy.

Then another dress came in the dressing room, was pulled up and over my head and secured with the same clips I use to keep potato chips from getting stale. I glanced down at the dress but since there was no mirror, I really had no idea how it looked.

I stepped out of the dressing room and was met with my own reflection in wall-to-wall mirrors. The first thing I saw was my mom's expression. Even my dad sort of gave me a funny look. Then the tears...this was the dress. I loved how it made me look and feel.

I've heard people tell their own version of this story, but I never dreamed I'd have one of my own. I guess that's the thing about life...we just can't assume anything because we're constantly being surprised and learning things we never thought could be possible. For that matter, there has always been part of me that never thought I'd be a bride so even that idea has taken getting used to.

The moral of this story? Be open to possibilities. You just never know what's possible and that's pretty great.