Here’s a little something I don’t care for: people who work at bridal salons. Actually, I can narrow it down to people who work at one particular bridal salon in Charlotte, North Carolina. The reason I find myself interacting with this breed is because I have the honor of being the most decrepit bridesmaid in my sister in law’s Hilton Head wedding this summer, which means, of course, that I have to get “the dress.” I haven’t even really looked at this particular dress I’ll be sporting, but my recollection is that it’s reasonably attractive as far as these things go. I don’t really see the point in analyzing it too deeply, because it is what it is, which is to say a bridesmaid’s dress – something that will be worn once and then find its way into my sons’ dress-up bin along with the cowboy hats and that weird headlamp thingy. Still, having worn my share of ill-fitting frocks in the past, I’d like this one to fit properly. Apparently, however, that’s not going to happen.
Earlier this week I endured my own personal humiliation of measuring myself with one of those cloth tape measures. I barfed a little in my mouth as I transcribed my measurements, which are less the prototypical screen siren than Russian nesting doll. I dutifully faxed in my form, plucked a chocolate out of the bowl next to the office fax machine, and put the whole unpleasant episode out of my mind. Until I got home that night, that is, when I found a syrupy, full of question marks kind of voice mail waiting on my machine.
“Haaaaah, I’m calling for Kate? From the bridal shop? I’m callin’ because I think you might have, um, maybe measured your waist incorrectly? And I wonder if you could call me and we could see if maybe you did that wrong. Because what you wrote just doesn’t make sense. So if you could just call me I’m sure we can get this fixed?”
Yeah. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
So I called back the next day.
Dippy Southern Bridal Salesgirl: “Oh, yes, haaaah! Thanks for calling back. Yes, so, I think you maybe didn’t measure in the right place. You’re supposed to measure your waist where it curves in the most.”
Kate: “Right, yeah, that would fit the definition of a waist.”
DSBS: “Well, I’m just thinkin’ maybe you didn’t measure right, because this just doesn’t make sense. Your bust would put you in a size 6, and your hips would put you in an 8 or 10, but your waist would put you in like a 12 or 14.”
Kate: “I don’t understand that. It’s not like my waist is bigger than my hips.”
DSBS: “Well, we tend to wear our pants down on our hips.”
Kate: “OK, so then what’s the problem? Obviously I have a fat stomach. You’ve never encountered that before?”
DSPS: “Oh, no! That’s not what I meant! Your measurements are perfectly within the range of, uh, normal!”
Kate: “Well, then, what do you mean? You’re the expert. If you’re telling me that the 8 I normally wear is wrong and that I need a 14, then order me the 14.”
DSPS: “Weeeelll, how about we compromise on a 12?”
Kate: “Whatever. If that’s what you think my belly requires, then get the 12.”
“DSPS: “Ohhh! I’m sorry! Thanks for calling us back.”
Doesn’t that sound like a delightful exchange, just designed to a T to make a girl feel all dainty and sweet? I swear to God, southern girls are sometimes just the assiest people on the planet. And before you get yourself all in a twitch remember I am a Georgia girl myself so I can say it if I want and it makes it TRUE. I just don’t understand why they needed to call me about that - just make the fucking dress, don’t ask me any questions, and I’ll do my part and look like a sack of potatoes on the big day. It’s a time-honored tradition.