I hate the maul (sic). My mother loves the maul. She loves shopping at the maul and she gets things that she tries on, buys and then still returns. I’ve seen other people do this too. It boggles my mind. I hated going the first time – why would I possibly buy something I suspect I might return?
So like I said, my Mom loves to shop. And she takes forever to make a decision. She took six years to buy living room furniture. I kid you not. We went to so many furniture stores when I was young– with repeat visits on Sunday! – That I would name all the ceramic animals; then make up stories about them. I dread spending hours in a store.
So of course I married the slowest shopper in the world. He loves to comparison shop and spends hours looking up prices on-line and then he goes to the stores (avoiding the maul too) for hours as well. It was torture for me to go with him for big ticket purchases. I’d be dragging my feet within 40 10 minutes and whining to go home. So now he does all the ‘preliminary’ shopping and lets me know when he has it narrowed down to three items at which time I concede to go to the store(s) to go look. Sometimes.
I can’t help it – I hate shopping….hate it, hate it, hate it. I hate shoes, nail polish, manicures, pedicures, gold jewelry, eyebrow waxing and visits to high end salons. I also hate egg salad. But I like a good non sequitur…
Anyway I digress…
This is a story about ‘The Dress’
My cousin, in Brooklyn, got married in 1986. If you are at all familiar with Catholic Italian Brooklyn weddings, you probably know that it’s a no-holds-barred-full-on-two-year-planning-freak-out-event. Luckily, I was just a guest, as was my mother. However, she had to buy a dress. And apparently, every single store in Tucson, Arizona had substandard dresses. EVERY SINGLE STORE. Do you know how I know this? I know this because I got dragged to every SINGLE store with a dress department. She was convinced that everyone in New York would be able to find a better dress than she could find in this Not-New-York state. It was complete torture. No matter how much I whined, I was dragged along so that I could watch my Mom try on endless dresses, give my opinion and go back for the next size. That was my role. Her inability to make a decision about this dress took over our lives for over a year.
Eventually she settled on 72 dresses – ok, not 72….more like 6 – but really, what’s the difference? She brought home all 6 dresses and proceeded to spend HOURS trying them on and making everyone within a mile radius give their opinion…which she didn’t listen to…but we had to be there to look. Sometimes I’d ask her to hold up a color/fabric swatch for the couch she was buying next to the dress (she didn’t seem to find the humor in it that I did).
Eventually she was able to settle on 2 dresses. One was an electric blue sequin slinky dress (this is the 80s)
and the other, well, I can’t remember. It was probably black, because that’s the standby… and really, the best dresses are always black. As was mine.
And of course getting shoes for both those dresses was just another kind of the torture. Tons came home so they could be modeled with each dress. It felt like it was never going to end…but eventually it did. Then it was time to go to New York for the WEDDING…
She brought both dresses because she still was not quite sure which one she wanted and before the turn of the century, you could bring clothing on a vacation without being charged for brining clothing on a vacation. Eventually, after much angst and worry that she’d not be in style, she chose the electric blue sequin dress (and I must say, she looked fabbo – my mom is a Hot Property). So the first event was the hour long wedding service…. I’m sure you can see where this is going…
Yup, someone else wore the exact same dress. She was beside herself with a NEW and DIFFERENT worry and couldn’t even see the irony of the situation. That being there is no difference between a Tucson dress and a New York dress. I would have thought she would feel validated – but I was wrong… she was horrified. However, my Mom lucked out. After the (never ending) service but before the (caterers-got-me-drunk) reception, my Aunt (Mom’s sister) threw a little cocktail hour at her brownstone. So Mom was able to change into the ‘backup dress’ -disaster averted. See…it’s always the Black dress that comes through.
Can anyone guess the moral of this story?