Having been married twice, I have my fair share of familial and matrimonial stories to tell. What a fun category to add to my resume of been there, done that. I seem to have a lot of stories in that particular category. I just LOVE being a statistic. It makes life so much fun, as EVERYTHING has a story.
Well, when a girl gets married, the most important thing for her is the husband right…. NOPE (sorry guys, you all got it wrong!) It is about the dress (hmm…. maybe that is why I am divorced twice… priorities!)
When I was engaged the first time to my first husband, (I love how I sound like a trailer trash country song whenever I start to describe my life) my mom and I started out to look at dresses. We went all around town and tried on about every style you can imagine. Mermaid, ball gown, cupcake, tulle puff, avalanche disaster… the whole nine yards. I had no idea that there were so many different colors of white. They all looked exactly the same to me, but apparently snow white and candlelight white are VASTLY different and candelight white was the darkest shade that you could choose and still get married in the LDS temple.
After visiting about every major dress store in the Salt Lake valley, my mom and I popped in on a dress store that I shopped when I was in high school for prom dresses, “The Perfect Dress.” Well, the store certainly lived up to its name. Within minutes, it seemed to magically appear before us, on the sale rack which was right up our alley. It was gorgeous with a lace topped umpire waist and soft satin from the bust down, buttons down the back (which is something that I had always wanted, and little bows down the back. It would need to be altered, to add sleeves and a fill behind some of the lace, but aside from that, it fit like a glove!
The price tag, as good as it was, was not nearly as great as the dress. It was $700, which sounds like a steal now, but I was looking for this dress in 1999. That was a LONG time ago when gas was $0.89 a gallon. However, the dress had been marked down from $1600 as it was a one of a kind and hadn’t sold yet.
The sales ladies were so cute. They listened to my stories (I wonder how much they got paid to do that) and even let me take the dress home for a week so that I have it looked at by a professional seamstress to see what needed to be done. We took the dress home and figured out what we wanted to do with it. My aunt came in from out of town and helped us pin it into place.
Well, within that week, I decided that I couldn’t go through the with the wedding. I gave the ring back and took the dress back all in the same day. I spent that week crying, watching TV and eating a lot of ice cream, because that is what I do, even when I am not depressed, because I am awesome that way.
Fast forward one year (and conveniently skip over all of the poor decisions that I made that year) I got engaged again… to the same man. This time I was bound and determined to make it work come hell of high water. Who knew that that is what I was destined for, but that is a different story, for a different time.
This time, I asked my mom if she wanted to go shopping again with me. We were not seeing eye to eye at that time. She told me that we had already done that together, so she decided to pass. My sister went with me instead. Instead of going to all of the stores with the giant cupcake froo froo dresses, we skipped straight way to The Perfect Dress. We wandered the store for a few minutes until we got to the very back. There, in the corner was a small rack with a sign: $100 FINAL SALE.
I took one step towards and it and lost my breath. There it was, the dress, from a year and a half earlier, on the very end of the $100 FINAL SALE rack. I blinked several times and couldn’t believe my eyes. I called my sister over. She was in disbelief too. It was amazing. She said, “Ah, we gotta try it.” I stepped into the dress and my sister zipped it up. It zipped up PERFECTLY, which we all know is never heard of. I turned around and we both let out and audible gasp. That was it. That was the dress. It was perfection in every sense of the word.
I went out and told the lady that I wanted it and asked why it was on the $100 rack. Was it damaged? Did it have issues? Is it ugly to everyone else, but me? She chuckled and said that it was a store error. She said that they had had it in the back closet with a hold date from a year earlier for some reason and had forgotten about it. They had found it about an hour earlier, but it was not a current dress and just needed to get rid of it. HOLY COW! It hadn’t even been seen by anyone in over a year. I didn’t have the guts to tell her that I may have been the cause for this dress to have been put on hold.
I asked if I could have her hold it for one day, and she said that she couldn’t, as it was such a deeply discounted dress. So, I bought it. They wrapped it up for me in a garment bag and I left. On the way home, I called my mom. I told her that I had found the SAME dress at the SAME store and what had happened. I told her that I was just going to buy it because I loved it.
“No,” she said, “Don’t buy it.” WHAT???? “That is the ONE thing I want to buy for you.” Oh boy. That was going to be an issue. I was NOT expecting that. “Well, they won’t hold it. It is a final sale, I already asked.” I explained. “Just tell them that you are going to buy it, and you just need to have it held for a few days until I can find time to come and get it.” I have learned that there is absolutely NO POINT in arguing with her. “Ok. Thanks Mom. I will see what I can do.”
Oh really. Really really really really really. What was I doing to do. This was THE dress and I had already bought it. No returns. All sales final. I was in a strange situation now. I went to my fiancee’s house (he wasn’t living there, but rather with his parents (Another long story) and hung it up in the basement bedroom closet and went to ice cream to ponder my situation.
I thought of all of the different options that I had. I could tell her that I had already bought it and deal with what was to come. I could go just forgo this beautiful dress and go pick a different one. UGH
Then, my semi-to-never brilliance hit. I called the store and explained my scenario. I told them what was going on and that I was in a bad spot. I suggested that I return the dress to the store, and asked them to retag it, but NOT get my money back. I asked them if they could hang onto it until my mother came with me and let her re-buy the dress, and they could send me a check when her payment had cleared. They were so understanding and receptive to that idea. They laughed and said that they thought that they had heard it all, until this.
The next day, I returned the beautiful dress. I asked them to PLEASE not sell it on accident. They laughed and said that this was going to be a classic moment for them and there was no chance that they were going to miss this. They took my dress, with the garment bag and took it back to the backroom closet where it had been for the previous year. I left with nervous anxiety that something was going to happen.
THREE WEEKS LATER, my mom finally found time to go with me to the dress store. I called the store and let them know that we were coming down. They assured me that everything was fine, the dress was still there and that they were excited to see this come down.
Later that day, I went down and met my mom at the store. I asked to see the dress, and they were more than accommodating. As they brought it out, my mom whispered to me, “See, I told you they would hold it.” The salesgirl turned to me and my mom and unzipped the dress and brought it out in all of its lace, satiny, beaded glory. She asked, “Do you want to see her try it on?” My mom, not even looking up from her purse said, “Nope, I saw it last year when she tried it on before.” Everyone was visually stunned at that response. The salesgirl quickly recovered though and smiled as she rung the purchase up.
We left the store, and I was a little lost for words, but gave my mom a hug and said, “thank you.” I headed home and hung it in my own closet in my own room. A week and half later, I got a letter at my fiancees’s house from the dress store. It had the check from my original purchase price, and a cute note that said how much they had enjoyed working with me. They said that the dress was gorgeous on me and that they were so excited that I was so excited They said that they were so thrilled that they were the ones that got to see me try it on.
As I turned the card over, I saw a gift card taped to the back of the card. Under the gift card was a quick sentence, “We would love to see you try your dress on again, and this time, let’s find some jewelry to match… on us.” I started to cry. What great people there are in this world. They turned an awkward moment into a memory that I will forever treasure.
Oh, and for those that are wondering, my mother, still doesn’t have any idea that any of this happened. As far as she knows, the dress was on hold and she bought it. I think I will keep it that way. Although it is a fun story, I don’t know if everyone will find it as entertaining as I do.