The Other Dress

I’m trying to figure out how to tell this story without completely embarrassing myself – especially considering that many people know who I am in REAL life… Oh well, I’ll just tell it…

I suspect that if I were a guy, I’d be proudly holding my head up high after the tale was told.

You’re thinking this story has something to do with flatulence, am I right?

Close – but no cigar…

I confess, I have another dress story…about myself…I think it’s hilarious…but it ain’t pretty.  As with all my stories, it requires some back-story to get us to the hilarity – sit tight and enjoy the read.

Circa 1996, three significant events occurred in my life.

Event #1:  my boyfriend of eight years asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve (1995)

Event #2: I embarked upon my first semester of graduate school while working full time as a Vocational Evaluator (January 1996)

Event #3: I had the pleasure of eating at an upscale restaurant where staff was not well versed in the importance of washing their hands after their own number 2 event.


First off, I had no idea that event #3 had occurred (well, obviously I knew I ate at a restaurant)-  all I knew was that I was going completely INSANE working full time, managing graduate school and trying to throw together plan a wedding.  It was not a great time in the Mom-Daughter relationship world.  We fought constantly on any number of issues – but the biggest problem was the wedding dress. I have several back tattoos and a Grandmother that would apparently disown me the minute she laid eyes on my back.  My back tattoos (and living in glorious sin for eight years with Scott) were the shameful family secrets that had to be kept from my Grandmother.

Anyway, during the insanity of all this stress, I thought I caught a stomach bug.  Basically, food went in and about 2 minutes later food went out…but in a one-way direction if you catch my drift.  Two weeks later and 10 lbs lighter, I had a sneaking suspicion that this was more than a stomach bug.  I finally went to my doctor and he diagnosed me with Shigella – a wonderful intestinal bacteria that comes from human fecal matter. Even better, I had waited so long to go to the doctor that it had spread throughout my digestive system and took almost 8 weeks to run its course (no pun intended).  To up the ante a little more, the combined stress of everything I wrote about above PLUS the stress on my system from the Shigella gave me a little bout of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (AKA the ever colorful name of SPASTIC COLON).

So because some schmuck at a restaurant took a dump, didn’t use toilet paper in the proper manner (or maybe not at all), didn’t wash his scat-stained hands, I went through 12 weeks of HELL. Let me tell you, a saltine-cracker-and-cottage-cheese-diet is not as glamorous as it sounds.  I didn’t even get to experience any significant weight loss – that 10 lbs was IT.  Completely un-freakin’-fair.

SO where does the hilarity come in you might be wondering? Well, I’ll tell ya.

All the magic happened in a bridal gown store. Let me be clear – I hate bridal gown stores.  This one in particular was even more heinous than the rest.  An obsequious and sycophantic saleswoman fawned over every ugly dress I tried on. I could have tried on a potato sack and she would have gushed with phony joy about how ‘fetching’ I looked.  One of the things that I hate about bridal dresses is that they size them one size smaller than they should be – so a size 10 person would actually have to get a size 12. The kicker to that (besides the agony of feeling ‘fat’ because you cannot fit in your normal size) is that any dress size 12 or larger is more expensive because it’s considered a ‘plus’ size.  At that time in my life, despite eating crackers and cottage cheese for all my meals, I was size 12 to 14 (due to my linebacker sized shoulders).  Let me tell you how fabulous I was feeling trying on size 16 dresses that would look good but not show my tattoos.  Coupled with the annoying sales person – I was at my wit’s end.  I am obviously not a “shop ‘til ya drop” gal.

Then it happened…my guts started to churn, my stomach cramped and I broke out in a clammy damp sweat. I ran into the dressing room, threw off my dress, threw on my clothes and asked for directions to the bathroom. No public restrooms – just a dirty bathroom in the back storeroom.  At least it offered privacy…

Oi – I can’t go on … just watch this and you’ll know what happened… (the true horror occurs 1:45 into it)

Ok – I didn’t remove the toilet and dump the contents out the window– but I did quietly run out of the store kind of horrified and embarrassed for obvious reasons. The only thing that made me feel GIDDY WITH JOY slightly happy was thinking about the look on the salesperson’s face when she went to use the bathroom.

And that’s my story ~

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Eating, Food, Health, Humor, Random Thoughts, Story, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to The Other Dress

  1. Jennie Saia says:

    GIDDY WITH JOY is right! Those warehouse bridal stores are fortresses of despair, and the sales clerks are the minion of darkness.

  2. Elyse says:

    I have Crohn’s disease, and somehow I’d never seen that clip before — it shows is my life when things are, ummmm feisty inside. Sigh.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Urgh, love it. Wedding dresses and diarrhoea. Nast combination, but so funny. 🙂 hope you feel better soon form your angsty stuffs.

  4. Well, now I have to watch Bridesmaids. That scene – omg, lol. I have had attacks like that at really inconvenient times. Like right before a test, say, that’s always awesome. And I’ve had stomach flu twice this year, after not having it for years. UGH. Glad you got through it. I love the idea of a Librarian IN SIN – they really don’t know how much fun we have, do they?

    I hope all is okay – you can always email me if you wanna talk. You know, personal issues, bodily fluids, whatevs. 😀

  5. Oh wow, Denise!! You poor thing. That “Bridesmaid” scene comes to mind…I know you didn’t throw up. How awkward and awful and poor you!! Ha, that showed that saleslady!

  6. MissFourEyes says:

    Haha! I love a good poop story! You practically made the scene from Bridesmaids, you should ask for royalties.

  7. I love poop stories!!!!! This one was GRAND indeed. You win the Gold Medal of Poop Stories.

  8. I still enjoy this! I know, I’m sick.

  9. Reblogged this on The Mercenary Researcher and commented:

    Yes,yes – I’m reblogging again… I swear I have more material running around in my head…right now I’m going through some crappy angst-y stuff that I cannot quite commit to ‘paper’ – so I leave you with an embarrassing story…

  10. Pingback: Blogroll Inductee – The Mercenary Researcher | A Clown On Fire

  11. jmlindy422 says:

    Ewwwwww! I have had food poisoning and it was, shall we say, an interesting experience. I have also been in a bridal gown shop and that was interesting, too. Thank god I brought my aggressively assertive friend who told the obsequious lady, “Are you not listening? Everything you’ve brought out is ugly, cheap and not what she asked for. Now go back there and bring in something beautiful that looks even vaguely like what my friend wants.” Yay for friends . . .and antibiotics.

  12. pjamespat says:

    Nice giggle and laugh with my morning coffee. I stumbled onto your blog because your name caught my attention on a friends site. Glad I found it. Funny and well versed and honest.

  13. The Hook says:

    Fantastic story! Seriously, I’m in stitches right now!

  14. I agree that you should have lost more weight! Life is a beeyotch like that >.< (when my mom did chemo, she didn't lose a pound! She was like, "The least mother nature could've done was shave off a bit!!") But glad you left a "present" for the annoying employee, hahaha

  15. Storkhunter says:

    This reminds me from the scene in Bridesmaids, I laughed so hard I almost set off my IBS. There’s nothing more special than feeling that telltale rumbling in the most inconvenient of places. Fun times!

  16. Kim says:

    Hahahaha! It’s funny, I read another blog yesterday about farting. Must be going around.

  17. You MUST watch the scene from Bridesmaids. This is the same thing! What a terrible situation, and in the worst kind of place for this to happen to. Your pain is our pleasure 😉

  18. My first thought is that amazing things happen to you on Christmas Eve. 🙂 My second thought is did you tell your mother? I also want to make it clear that the salmonella that you got a my bridal shower did not occur because I took a dump and didn’t wash my hands. I can’t speak for anyone else, of course.

    • Ha ha ~ I know that it was not from that – and I didn’t ‘out’ you as the giver of special intestinal bacteria!

      Yes, it seems that Xmas Eve is always special – Fester went to the Kitty ER on Xmas Eve once too!

      I can’t remember if my Mom knows – she will now!

      I got salmonella b/c you like to have a lasting impression ~

  19. Andrew says:

    Ha, such a nice scene choice to illustrate your “situation”.

  20. RFL says:

    Oh man, this is terrible. I was also picturing the scene from Bridesmaids, but wow. This makes me want to never eat outside of my home again.

  21. iRuniBreathe says:

    This does not sound pretty, and also reminded me of the scene in “Bridesmaids” (as A Gripping Life mentioned). Given we suffer enough for beauty (or proximity thereabouts) I think you deserve more than that 10 lb weight loss. I hereby grant you an extra 5 lbs for damages and suffering experienced in the past. If I had the time to make you an award to go with I certainly would do.

  22. LOL!!!! This is just like that scene in “Brides Maids.” Seriously? Is there any greater relief than getting rid of the contents of a turbulent colon? hahahaha! I thought food poisoning was bad enough, the idea of shigella is enough to make me never eat out again. EWWWWW!!!!
    So Guh-ros! Glad you survived. Not even the promise of weight loss could make me wish for this. (and that’s saying a lot.)

  23. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.. I might never stop laughing. Although shigella sucks. My husband had it and I was working in the food service industry at the time, so I had to get tested too. The things you do for love.

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