Mother-Daughter Bonding

We left the house around 9:30, rushing as is usual for us. Brittany, Cassie and I were late to meet Cassie’s friends at the dress store. No, that is not a typo. She is going to prom, and needed a dress, so off we went on what ended up being an insane adventure in search of “THE DRESS” – what my husband kept referring to as The Mother-Daughter Bonding Experience.

We arrived at the first shop to discover that it was 1) closed and 2) the building was empty and 3) for lease. I did not think our chances of finding “THE DRESS” were very high given the situation, so we re-grouped with her friends and moved on to another store.

While looking for another "sure thing" according to one of her friend's mother, wee ended up at either the 99 Cents Store, or King Tux Formalwear. At least that was all that was still in the shopping center – we didn’t go into either but I was quite certain that neither of which had anything close to resembling a formal dress. So we moved along.

At store #3, we were practically assaulted by the staff. It was fairly clear that they worked on commission. It was even more clear that they were a bridal store, as almost every dress appeared in either a shade of pink, blue, or a hue of white. There were a few exceptions, which Cassie did try on, but overall there wasn’t much that was prom-worthy.

Store #4 was entertaining, but not any more useful than the previous 3. They had quite a few throw-backs from the 60s and 70s, which they were QUITE proud of – to the tune of somewhere between $500 and $1500. I later learned that they were not all that expensive. I also learned that I am very, very, very much a fashion idiot. And cheap.

Store #5 had a stockpile of dresses. There were more sequence, silk, rhinestones, and lace than I had ever seen under one roof before. This is where I learned that most girls going to prom this year want to dress like hookers. I wish I was kidding.

In addition to all of the dresses, were hoards of people. The dressing room looked like the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. I believe there were about 40 dressing rooms and maybe 2 employees assisting. MAD HOUSE does not even begin to describe the place. Cassie tried on quite a few dresses and found one that she really liked, however it was missing a tie that went across the back to connect two corset like rows of silk hooks…sort of the highlight of the dress. We were told that they could order it for us, however then we wouldn’t have time to get it altered…or they would discount it and we could try to figure out how to secure the dress on our own. Neither option appealed to me. Neither did the cost. So we discussed more than it deserved and left.

We then headed to lunch with her friends where we continued bonding, discussed strategy and the fact tat we were getting really tired. Her friends all decided to call it a day, while I made it fairly clear that we were not going home without a dress in hand because I was NOT doing this again. Perhaps ever.

After lunch we decided to head over to a place I had found on the Internet – a dress designer that had many fantastic articles written about them. We looked and looked and looked, and could not figure out where the shop was. After driving around in a business area for about 30 minutes I found an office with the name of the designer on the door. Good news – we had found it. Bad news – they were an actual designer and designed one of a kind dresses, by request only, for insane amounts of money. And –they were closed.

It was now after 3pm, and I was more than ready to be done with the shopping. Cassie was definitely ready to be done shopping, and Brittany – queen of shopping, was ready to walk home just to avoid another store. We were all ready to be done with the bonding. So what did we do? We went to a mall…because I am all about the torture.

We looked at Dillards, Nordstrom, BCBG, Cache’ and several other stores. We found one store with anything close to resembling a prom dress (Oscar De La Renta) and it was $10,000. I think it is fairly obvious that we didn’t buy it. I am not sure if that mall EVER had any prom dresses – if so, there was now no sign of it.

Our last ditch effort was a store called Whatchamacallit. It was known to be a crap-shoot. Lots of dresses, but was operated a little wonky. When we got there, there was row upon row of dresses, all segmented by color. This made it pretty easy to find what Cassie wanted, because she was looking for red or deep blue. As we were looking the owner told us that everything in the store was on sale, and that discounts would be taken when we checked out. He didn’t however tell us what the discounts were. It didn’t end up mattering though, because most of the dresses didn’t have prices on them.

After what felt like 15 weeks in that place, Cassie found a dress – blue, open back, long – very very sexy, but not too revealing. There was even a price tag on it. One I could live with. We headed to the front, and ran into a saleslady who told us that we could have 10% off of the listed price. I didn’t mind the price. I might have paid double just to be done with the effing shopping already. The saleslady seemed like a used car salesman - trying way to hard to sell us on the dress, so I thanked her and said that we were still looking. At the front of the store I asked the owner how much he would sell it for, and he offered us 40% off, which I was ALL OVER. We paid, left, and headed home – where we collapsed.

And now? We have to buy shoes. I am pushing for bare feet.