Opening words . . .

Thursday, 25 November 2010


If the subway engineer could have heard my shrieking thoughts, he would have slammed on the breaks, I’m sure. How did I miss such a detail? The seamstress had moved? She was recommended by Becker’s Bridal on the Danforth, but had obviously neglected to update the bridal shop with her new address? I was having a bridezilla moment - me, the mother-of-the-bride.
The mix up must have been generated in the very first call. Her accent was strong and I obviously missed the part that “she was no longer at the location,” as indicated on the list.

I spread the well worn list of ‘alterations specialists’ on the kitchen counter as if it was gold leaf instead of the scrap of paper I had been pushing around in my purse. It would be a long shot that someone would take us on such unbelievably short notice - tonight, but I’d try. My daughter said she would rather wait for another date than take a family field trip to the far reaches of the city. She did not demand a lot of explanation on the quick change of plans, as she too wanted to spend our moments finding another solution. The “what-happened” could come later - and did.

“Yes, you can come tonight if you want, but I do close at 7:00.” Well then, we had two hours. The rush hour traffic slowed us, but we arrived with an hour for the fitting. We had ourselves a new seamstress and a cancellation with the first one, who probably wondered why we had said we would come so far in the first place.

Sewing boxes, plastic cases of colourful fabrics, machines for sewing multiple layers and heavy fabrics sat muted for the next hour, as their owner made exclusive use of the pin cushion.

The seamstress parted the dressing room curtain and the bride-to-be stepped inside to enter The Dress. I reached down to pick up already-dropped straight pins stuck in the worn carpet and applied them back to the magnetic pin-infested apparatus. Whatever happened to the soft kind into which one pushed more beady pins?

The bride wriggled inside the dress, moving “the two of them” out to the work area and settled in front of us. The bride was beautiful and we were stunned to silence. The bride’s dad grinned with his all time best smirk - the one he is known for. The sigh of relief from the  seamstress broke the moment. “I’m so glad there is none of those “criss-crosses” in the back. Then they were off with the proceedings of tugging and pinning.

Madame Seamstress quickly brought to the attention of the bride that the hem would need to be addressed - it was definitely too long. The bride then snatched from her bag the shoes she brought for the very purpose. Feeling for them with her feet in close proximity to where she dropped them, she mentioned that no, these aren’t the shoes she will be wearing on her day, but the height is right. Her dad then broke in with a reckless suggestion of purchasing bright yellow Crocs for the occasion.

In response to that remark, the bridesmaids felt it their duty to make sure “Dad” was distracted from further unprofitable comments, hence they offered up the bride’s iPhone for a game of Tetrus or Fruit Ninja, of his own choice.
We all fidgeted for something to occupy our time. The moments ticked away with suggestions of “a little more here and not so much there,” each interrupting the pin sticking process. The bride’s dad took pictures with the iPhone and teasingly threatened to send them to the groom, blatantly taking advantage of the electronic device being lent to him to alleviate any twitch of boredom he might encounter.

Final decisions were made for the pre-final fitting, leaving payment to the future - the final-final fitting. We stepped back out into November’s cold with anticipation of the sunny week in January on our minds.