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A Year in Books - 2009-12-27
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Probably a new job. But maybe not. - 2009-10-08

I hate girl stuff.
2006-06-14 10:54 a.m.

I live in an apartment on the first floor. There was never really a privacy issue, because the living room window was obscured by a huge, mostly dead pine tree. The cats could enjoy sitting in the window and grooving on Outside, and I was reasonably sure that at least no one was casually glancing into my living room as they walked past.

Yesterday, I realized as I was standing in the living room naked (Just out of the shower, nail clippers not in bathroom, not a big deal because no one could see me anyway, etc) that I could clearly see the family walking not six feet from my window. They had trimmed all the dead branches off my tree when I wasn't looking. Dammit.

I'm pretty sure cats go insane if they don't get the daily Window Time, but I don't want my home easily visible to anyone who wants to walk up and take a look. Also, sometimes Naked Living Room Time does happen. (Uh...hi, Mom and Dad. I get naked sometimes. Please don't be frghtened.)

(Not that I think my parents would be freaked out by that sentence, but it is a rather odd thing to be talking about in a semipublic forum, so I decided to make a joke out of it, and then go back and explain the joke, and now I think I'm just going to change the subject entirely.)
I bought a bridesmaid dress yesterday. David's Bridal turned out to be kind of a scary place. I had been instructed to find a color called Apple Red, in a material called "crepe." If crepe was not available, "georgette" was reasonably close. I know NOTHING about fabrics, but I figured if I said those few key words, the staff would be able to point me in the right direction.

The staff was totally confused. Apparently, "crepe" is something usually used to make shoes, and they weren't really sure what they had in georgette. How did I feel about satin?

This one I knew. According to the staff at some other David's Bridal somewhere in the state, satin is totally different, and will be significantly darker than crepe or georgette. So, no satin. I placed an emergency call to Sarah's cellphone, but she wasn't home.

Why did this have to be so hard? All the other bridesmaids were able to say, "I need an apple red crepe dress" and get one. MY David's Bridal is the one in the freaky parallel dimension where crepe is only used for shoes. I thought briefly about buying several dozen pairs of apple crepe shoes, and convincing KC to fashion them into a garment for me, but then I got lucky.

"Look," I said. "This is going to sound strange, but that woman right there is wearing my sister's dress. What would you advise as a bridemaid's material to go along with that?" The woman in my sister's dress glared at me. How dare someone she didn't even know, and wasn't ever going to meet, choose the SAME dress as the one she liked? But now my saleschicky had something to go on.

(The woman in my sister's dress ended up going with a different style, but also with the Apple Red trim. While I was trying on dresses, her 5-year-old was also trying on various dresses of the same color. Freaky.)

The saleslady pointed KC and me in the right direction, and went back to dealing with the woman no longer in my sister's dress. I understand. TWNLIMSD was probably going to spend at least $1000 today. She had a bride, a flower girl, and a mother-of-the-bride to outfit. My mere bridemaid's dress which I was so obviously clueless about anyway was small potatoes.

I preferred being left on my own anyway. I trusted KC's judgement a lot more than random commission-hungry saleschicky. This may have been a mistake.

(I love KC to death, but she suffers from a strange delusion that I weigh about 94 pounds. One time, at the thrift store, I found a dress that fit that was labelled as a size six. KC has since believed that is my actual size. Every time we go shopping, I have to tell her that dress was a fluke, probably mislabeled at the dress factory, and really, I'm more like a twelve.)

(She's always stunned. "You can't possibly be a 12." Yes, I can. I am taller than you, but not really that much skinnier around the hips. I have hips you wouldn't believe, but you've never seen them because I'm not usually naked in front of you. Come over sometime and peek in my living room during Naked Time.)

(Somewhere, KC is reading that paragraph, and thinking, "Oh, come on. I've seen you in a swimsuit, and there's nothing wrong with your body. Your hips are big, but so what. You are so much skinnier than I am, I can't believe you think otherwise." This is what girls do. I love you, KC. Please understand that this entry is from my point of view, so therefore my hips are a sin against everything good and decent.)

KC pointed out that the dress sizes in places like this are always flattering, and there won't be anything above a twelve, so that can't possibly be my size. We were mostly looking at the mix and match separates, because all the actual dresses were floor length, and since my fabric suggestion had been thrown out the window, the only real guideline I had at this point was that I didn't want floor length.

I found a size ten skirt that was kind of mutilayered and shimmery the same way my sister's dress was (I just now checked. The skirt is something called "organza" and according to the website, so is Sarah's dress. I WIN!) and KC picked out a few not-satin tops. She chose a few eights and a four, on the reasoning that ok, maybe I'm a ten below the waist, but my top half is no way a ten.

The four was simply not happening. I managed to wrestle my way into the first eight, but it wasn't pretty. (I had issues getting myself out of it. I imagined having to ask KC or the saleschicky to get a pair of scissors. That did wonders for my already plummeting body image, as you might imagine. Then I realized the zipper was just stuck.) Eight was just about right.

The saleschicky took a moment away from TWNLIMSD to check up on us. She gave her thoughts on a few of the tops, which were actually in line with my own thoughts, but pointed out that the eight kind of bunched up around my freakishly large hips, and maybe I'd want a ten on top too. KC pointed out how well the eight fit everywhere else, but the saleschicky said it would be easier to alter a ten smaller where I needed it than to make the eight a little bigger.

Unfortunately, she said she didn't have an Apple ten anywhere in the store. She went and got a ten in random pink, so we could see how it fit, and I'd have to order the top in Apple, and then get it fitted.

We did this. The ten did actually look better in the hip region. She took all my measurements, and we went to the checkout. Hanging on a rack behind the counter, KC saw the exact style and color, and asked a different saleschicky to check the size. It was a ten. Hooray.

I don't think the saleschicky appreciated our good fortune as much as KC did. Somehow, I was suddenly paying for the skirt and the top, and all talk of alterations was gone. Maybe it was just in my head, but it seemed like the saleschicky couldn't be rid of us fast enough. Later, I suggested to KC that maybe we hurt her commission, because she couldn't charge me extra for special ordering a top anymore. (How could she KNOW she didn't have an apple ten, anyway? Or is that just paranoia?)

I'm not totally sure what to do now. Maybe in a week, I'll call back and ask about alterations, or maybe I'll take it somewhere else entirely. The ten top fits pretty well as is. (But it's not a PERFECT FIT ohgod, I'll shame my family if I dare wear it in public...) I hate girl stuff.


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