Definition of ‘simple’ differs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 2, 2004

&uot;Have you looked for a dress yet?&uot; my mother asked me last week. &uot;You know, I can’t buy mine until you get yours. How am I supposed to know how long or what style mine should be? You know you really need to…&uot;

I got the hint. I needed to find a wedding dress, even if that project was 657 on my list of things to do. Still, there’s nothing like a mother’s guilt trip to prompt you into action, so, during a recent trip to Birmingham, I stopped in at a bridal shop my mother had recommended.

The first indication of trouble was I was told I would have to take a number and then wait on a bridal consultant to help me.

&uot;How about I just look at what’s here and then go try it on,&uot; I suggested. &uot;If I need a consultant, I will consult you.&uot;

That didn’t go over too well and I was informed I would need to cool my heels in the corner. Eventually (actually about an hour later) my consultant, who looked to be about 18, arrived at the front of the store.

&uot;What exactly are you looking for?&uot; she asked.

&uot;A dress. Specifically, a wedding dress. Nothing too fancy and I don’t want any sequins or spangles. I really want it simple.&uot;

She breezed by me and started pulling poufy white dresses off the wall.

&uot;Um, I really don’t like those,&uot; I said. &uot;I would prefer not to walk down the aisle looking like Barbie’s dream wedding. I want simple and plain, something more like this,&uot; I said as I pulled a dress from the rack.

She eyed me wearily and I proceeded to select a few more. She hung the cottonball-looking dress back up, obviously convinced that I had no taste and was not a true bride.

I went back to the dressing room, where I encountered about 20 squealing soon-to-be brides, all whom appeared to be wearing various forms of white puffy cloth.

&uot;Can you put me in the back,&uot; I asked. &uot;Really, I don’t need any help. Give me a dressing room, pull the curtain and I will be out of here in 10 minutes flat.&uot;

I tried on the dresses, more so that I could tell my mother I had done so than any actual effort to purchase a dress.

Disappointed she could neither fluff nor zip me, the salesperson disappeared, only to come back and tell me she had found &uot;a perfect, simple dress.&uot; She pulled back the curtain and thrust the dress to me. It was white and had layers and layers of fabric.

Feeling guilty, I decided to try it on. It had a large skirt which was held up by layers of scratchy netting. I looked like a doll propped up inside a roll of toilet paper.

&uot;Thanks,&uot; I said. &uot;But this is way too … poufy. Perhaps you have something in a non-toilet paper style?&uot;

The consultant was not pleased.

Leada DeVaney is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter