Saturday, February 28, 2009

Running of the Brides

At around 7am last Friday morning my husband's phone rang jolting both of us out of a deep sleep. He answered it and spoke in muffled, half-asleep tones as terrible thoughts began to swirl around in my head. Did something happen to our parents? Was Sephora going out of business? Thirty seconds later he passed the phone to me and said, "It's Y on the phone for you."

"Of course it is," I thought. Of all the people we know if there's anyone who will creatively find good reason to break the general time rules of how early/late it's acceptable to call someone, it's her. And today she had her reasons. I put the phone to my ear and in the complete opposite of her "morning voice" she blared, "I wanna go to the Running of the Briiiiiiiiides!" Of course she was referring to Filene's Basement annual "Running of the Brides," an event where teams of women line up, pull hair and strip naked in public in the name of deep discounts on designer bridal gowns.

Given that it was 7am and I was still reeling from the terror an unusually-timed phone call induces, I told her she was crazy. That it was too late to get on a line that, according to the Today Show already wrapped around the block, and to call me back at noon and maybe we'll go pick through the remains in what would essentially be a big, white, taffeta graveyard. And in a I'll-do-what-you-say-but-I'm-disappointed-like-a-five-year-old tone that only Y has perfected, she said, "Fine" and we hung up.

By the time I stumbled out of my bedroom and mainlined a cup of coffee, I woke up enough to realize that I was not being a good friend. Armed with the excuse that I was half asleep when she called, I picked up the phone, dialed Y and said, "OK, drive into the city and we'll go" and it's a good thing we did.

By the time we arrived the crowds had somewhat died down and their were thousands of gowns on the racks. One look around the store pierced the eyes with a sea of white speckled with the half naked bodies of soon-to-be-brides waiting to step into the next sample hopeful it would be "the one." Not ones to brandish whistles or matching T Shirts (on short notice anyway), Y and I started picking through the racks. Beaded? No. Lace? No. Pink? No. Finally armed with an armful of hits and misses (not missus) Y and I picked an unoccupied section of floor where she could take it off and I could help her put it on. It was dress # 2 that brought the tears to my over-emotional eyes and a certain spring Y's step that only comes with "the one." But how could the second dress be it? Y insisted on trying on a good 10 more dresses and I did my best to be a good friend and not scream, "This is the one. Buy it!" every time she put dress # 2 back on and smiled at herself dreamily in the mirror (especially since two of the ten looked like something sprung off of After all, only she could make this decision.

Knowing that dress # 2 was in fact "the one" we held on to the only two copies in the store as three to four other brides hovered like vultures waiting for us to let one of the coveted frocks out of our sight. No girl can buy a wedding gown without her mother there to give the final nod (and the final swipe of the credit card) and so Y called up her mother in South Jersey and told her to head into the city. And so, what started as "let's just go take a look then go to lunch" was shaping up to be 6 hours of watching creepy men check out half naked brides while pretending to be shopping for cuff links at Filene's Basement.

It was nearly 1pm and since Y and I possess two of the biggest appetites known to man, one of us needed to go pick up lunch. So she threw her tiny body on top of the two gowns and I promised I'd be back ASAP before heading out to Whole Foods. What would normally be a five minute visit to the grocery store in New York takes twenty because you have to battle the crowds of office lunchers picking up their whole-grain, gluten-free, tofu and bean sprout sandwiches before they smoke that lunchtime cig on the way back to the office. So as fast as I could, but not fast enough I made my way back up the three flights of escalators to the back of Filene's where Y was turning away the throngs of brides who asked to try on her gown. We plopped ourselves down in between two displays of men's undies and had a make shift picnic on the floor of Y's new favorite retailer and enjoyed ourselves. As we inhaled our food a Filene's employee and would be pageant stylist stopped by every few minutes to show us yet another monstrosity that Y "must" try on. After saying no six or seven times we finally felt bad and promised to try on the beaded taffeta tablecloth that he called elegant and stylish.

About two hours later, after running around the store looking at other dresses, taking turns guarding the two to-die-for gowns we were holding and scoping out the largest, deepest most horrendous camel toe in grey spandex you have ever seen in your entire life, Y's mom finally called and announced that she was at the front door of the store.

Needless to say, it wasn't long before we were clinking glasses in a celebratory cocktail, cheersing the bride-to-be and the gorgeous new dress she'd be sporting down the aisle. Even if she hadn't come home with a dress the sheer entertainment factor of the day and hearing a Filene's employee exclaim, "Dang, I got titties," would've made the whole trip worth it. But luckily she did get a gown and it's a stunner and hopefully her fiance won't have a heart attack when she struts down the aisle in that fierce number that was wholly worth 6 hours spent on the floor.

1 comment:

Cristina said...

Thank you to the bestest friend in the whole wide world!!!!