16 May 2008


my eyes are half shut in the heat of the day. sun warms my bony back and wisps of hair hang, still, in the afternoon humidity. resting on my breastbone are the sunglasses i purchased for $4 earlier today. they are ebony with the name Oliver printed in small letters, near legible, on one of the side arms. they have two nose pads, making their wear not only fashionable, but comfortable as well. the afternoon sun feels so nice, warms my blood, and the second hand smoke i'm breathing in, isn't all that bad. the pomegranate green tea i drink tells me i'm in the far east, but all the white faces that surround me tell me i'm much further west. it's 4:20 and you know what they say-that's the best time of day. the perfect time for, say, reflection and sure, even meditation.

(just found out that those 'oliver' glasses i got at the thrift shop for $4 are well worth over $300. they are Oliver Peoples. a google search quickly revealed their worth. ha! i had a funny feeling that the clarity in which i was seeing, in that murky thrift shop window, was definitely worth the $4 they were asking. even funnier, the lady pointed out the 'designer' glasses in the locked case just before i forked over the $4. she must not be acquainted with Oliver or have the 20/20 vision to read his name.)

later that night...
after wearing my designer glasses in the afternoon sun, i met up with a dear friend to try on gowns. bridesmaid gowns. those two words together just make me cringe. maybe it's just the word gown. i think 1987. big. frilly. fuchsia. yeah. i decided a couple days ago that it's time to get rid of the bridesmaid gowns (eek) that currently fill my closet. (or maybe i'll just pass them on to my mom. she's keeping our frock's (my sisters and mine) for the grand kids to romp around in.) i'm no where near 27 (thank the Lord)...only up to five. five times that i've worn the purple, pink and green. five times i've walked the aisle, and five times i've watched from fish eye view. so any way, back to my story...i picked two dresses that had the most likeliness of being worn, ever, again (which still won't happen) and to make a long story short, well...actually i'll start from the beginning.

my friend picked me up at my apt. i, wearing my tiredness on my sleeve, asked if we could stop at the barnes and nobles cafe (in the same shopping center as the bridal shop) to get some caffeine before trying on the gowns. yes, my friend said, but don't they have a no drink policy? well, i got a latte and she got a steamer, and with steaming cups in hand, we entered the daggon bridal shop. we were greeted by a little lady that sat at this desk type thing near the front door. she clearly saw that we each had a beverage in hand. she said nothing. so, in my mind, i equated the silence to acceptance. no lynette, they must not have a 'no beverage' policy. lucky us.

so, lynette squeezed, buckled, harnessed and near stapled me into the first gown. it was okay. i resembled a 12 year old ballerina. okay, maybe 17. it was pretty. out of the fitting room i did a wee twirl and no sooner was lynette back in the stall with me unzipping the thing from me and helping me into the second dress. i noticed that the dress, not neatly hung, was instead tossed to the floor by lynette- and in the corner no less. but, i figured sooner than later, we, or the dress fitting lady, would put the darn thing back on the hanger so not to allow wrinkles to form too deeply.

well, our second friend and maid of honor appeared on the scene. since i was in the second gown, she'd have to at least see the first ballerina gown, at least on the hanger. so, up from the floor i scooped the thing to see it spattered with dark spots here and there. now, keep in mind, the dress was navy blue, so these spots weren't all that obvious. okay, yes they were, but it was less obvious than having spattered spots of latte on, say, a cream colored dress.

no more than 32 seconds later and one of the gals, who just minutes before was gushing to us about silly dyable shoes and what good prices they have them in, appeared on the scene with a furrowed brow (forced) and a stern voice. "we'll have to get this to alterations...now!" it was like watching ER and they whisked the darn gown away to get those big shocker things squirted with vaseline and plugged onto the dress to bring life back to it.

after looking in the mirror and seeing that i was still in my undershirt with frizzy, uncombed looking hair, i quick put on my nicer button up shirt and smoothed the frayed ends. (i wanted to look as tidy as possible in handling this situation of a spilled latte on an overpriced, china made gown.)

thinking, at most, the lady that gushed about the dyables would charge us a small fee for cleaning, if that, i was preparing a speech of sorts in my head.

with the navy gown draped over her forearm, she appeared at my stall door. her sad look said it all. she was going to try to tell me that i was responsible for purchasing this navy, ballerina, overpriced gown that was too big for me any way and wasn't decided as 'the one' at that. and that was exactly where she went with her words. "i'm sorry, but we tried to 'febreeze' the gown in alterations, but that odor, we just can't get it out." ODOR?!?!?! so, i leaned forward and buried my nose in the layers of chiffon. odor??? it sure smells sweet to me. come on, i got a HONEY latte. it wasn't like i was sipping on a cup of espresso. there was no coffee smell, no spots visible to my eye, and besides, isn't the customer always right?

well, with my buttoned up shirt and smooth slicked hair, i stood my ground and tried to convey that i wasn't some rich teenager using my parents credit card (because this is what she must have taken me as). no, in fact i was probably older than the lady, angela, that was telling me i had to fork over $135.00 plus tax for this gown, this gown, that:

one) wasn't my size
two) was a sample
three) smelled sweet like honey
four) was a freakin' gown. a gown. a gown costing $143.10.

so what did i do? i demanded that David come out. that's right, i want to speak with Mr. Bridal immediately. now that would be funny, but had i gone that route, i may have lost that ground that i so firmly had established with miss angela, the supposed manager on duty.

well, i told her it was pretty much ridiculous that she was suggesting i pay $143.10 for a gown i didn't want and asked to see this 'policy', this policy that if you accidentally get some honey latte on part of a dress, that you are then forced to buy the darn thing. well, she couldn't seem to think of a place that would have this policy in writing, and the other 'manager' in the back just couldn't breakaway from whatever he or she was doing, to help miss angela in this crisis. so, angela, clearly flustered, took down my number (and yes, i gave her the correct number) and said she'd follow up with me either way.

ridiculous. just plain silly. isn't that how clearance items appear on a shelf? they get dropped, stained, soiled, half eaten, doused in honey latte, etc...

so today i called two other david's bridal locations, trying to get their take on the whole 'policy'. the first store location i called said that yes, they have a no food or beverage policy. well, i followed up with, 'what if someone still brings in a drink and happens to spill some of it on a gown? Do you make them purchase the dress?' the lady said she has never had to handle such a situation because they don't permit people with beverages entrance to their store. 'well', i kept asking, 'what if still they come in with drink and spill some on a gown. do you make them pay???' she couldn't come up with an answer (i think she was miss angela's sister) and said she would have to handle it as a special case and go from there.

the second david's bridal referred me to corporate. so i called their corporate offices three times today and couldn't get through to any human person. all recordings. i'm by no means worried, but just want to get to the bottom of this. if it isn't posted anywhere in writing, and at least 5 david's bridal employees saw lynette and i with our beverages, said nothing, and then held us responsible for purchasing an unwanted gown for $143.10. well, to me, that is absurd- especially since the spots came out and all that was left was a smell of sweet honey.

so i joked with my lady friends last night that in the middle of the night there'd be a rap at my door and ...."DAVID'S BRIDAL...open up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" would be yelped. ha.

i'll take 'em to peoples court. yeah, me and miss angela, off to see judge judy.


Beccalynn said...

OH gosh! That's funny! I'm pretty sure they can't do anything if you just refuse to pay it. And since it was THEIR negligence that allowed you in the store with the beverage in the first place! Goodness! And I'm sorry you hate having bridesmaid gowns! I've never had one so I'm always jealous! But I get to be in a wedding next may...a pretty yellow dress I shall wear and I'm exscatic! I want 27 dresses and I shall keep them all in my closet and play dress up on fun, girly occasions or go to burger kind with my friends in the gowns as if we came from a fancy party and didn't have enough food! We shall throw parties where we wear them and go dancing in fields of dandelions. Wanna come along???

Jessica said...

Ooh, Becca! Can I come?

Awesome story, Laura. I had some interesting conversations with David's employees myself when I was planning my wedding, so I can easily see how that could happen. Sorry you had to go through that ordeal, but it was a hilarious story!

laura said...

it's not that i hate having bridesmaids gowns...(i'm actually quite honored to have them!) i think moreso, it's just that typically, you can't wear them again....and i have to say that the dress i wore in your wedding (becca) is by far the best in my collection!!! ;)

Ninita said...

Hahaha Laura. You are such a good story teller!!