You’ll excuse me if this post seems a bit more scattered than usual. My brain is overwhelmed with taffeta, silk and chiffon; sequins, beads and flounces; and every sherbet hue you can conjure.
I’ve been prom dress shopping with Catherine and lived to tell about it.
Well, just barely. 🙂
She had been earlier this week with Basil to A Step Ahead, a Stamford shop where lots of local girls by their gowns. In business for 25 years, the shop prides itself on personal attention. Plus, they are such smart businesswomen that when they aren’t busy, they’re kind enough to let little girls dream big by trying on gowns. Catherine did that once or twice, years ago, so naturally we thought of them first.
And surely Basil gets extra fatherhood points for spending an afternoon prom dress shopping, dutifully documenting each choice with his phone camera and texting them to me while I worked.
There, Catherine found THE dress, the one that made her feel like the Disney princess she used to pretend to be. It had a price tag to match, so even though the dress was getting raves from friends and family alike, I insisted we cast a wider net before we plunked down the credit card.
This afternoon, we laced on our comfortable shoes and went hunting. First stop, a local department store, where one dress stood out, but didn’t eclipse THE dress.
Then we stopped at a different boutique.
There, she found a stunning midnight-blue number that was even pricier than THE dress. We can’t show you what it looked like because you aren’t allowed to photograph any of the maximum five gowns you try on in their little beach cabana dressing areas.
Plus, the super-pushy rotund salesman put us off. We were stunned to hear him tell a gorgeous girl with an adorable figure that she’d best watch her diet until the big day. “Lots of fish, lots of vegetables,” he said, ringing up her sale.
WTF? There was not a thing wrong with how this girl looks and no reason for her to be dieting.
Catherine and I had one of those wordless conversations and hit the road. We agreed he would not see any of our money.
Instead, it was back to A Step Ahead, which was buzzing with girls from Fairfield and Westchester (NY) counties on the hunt for their prom night finery. The line for the dressing room snaked halfway through the store, the place was a cacophony of mother-daughter dialogue and a swirl of swishy fabrics.
Although she hated that I was making her do it, Catherine tried on seven or eight more dresses. There was no denying it: None of them flattered her more than THE dress.
Throughout the process, as the dressing room bustled with all manner of flounces and beading, the sales staff remained friendly and kind, stressing the positive aspects of each girl’s choice and playing up her assets.
There was no negative talk to be heard. In fact, they keep a box next to the cash register where they take dollar bills from anyone who makes self-critical remarks.
We could have planned to spend next weekend traipsing through shops in Westchester, but it seemed beside the point.
THE dress is on order, its pedigree logged in a big registry so no other girl from Greenwich High can duplicate it.
Catherine is ecstatic.
I’m just going to sit here in the quiet for a little while.