Unlikely Bridesmaid is a short series written by first-time anti-bridesmaid bridesmaid, Jackie Arko. Join us as we follow along in her first ever exploits as a bridesmaid and possibly as a “girly girl.”
“I Yelped tailors around my office, hoping to find one who seemed reassuring and gentle and female – traits that most women look for in a gynecologist.”
First of all, I know. It’s been a while. Apparently, bridesmaiding consists of concentrated spurts of anxiety and crippling uncertainty followed by long stretches of waiting while feeling helpless (because I’m so far away from everything that’s happening), all sprinkled with small victories that bring a renewed sense of hope. Which, now that re-read that, is exactly how I describe watching my father battle cancer. But that’s beside the point.
Or maybe it is the point?
Either way, I think this entry is off to a great and HILARIOUS start! MOVING ON TO THE REST OF THE COLUMN, SHALL WE?
Here’s the latest, kids. I ordered a bridesmaid dress. The dress is ordered. It’s this one:
It’s one of the ones I liked when I tried them on during my fitting, and also I fucking love a deep purple, so as of right now I feel like I’m coasting. I can’t show you the back because the website doesn’t have a rear view for about 25% of their dresses for some staggeringly inconvenient reason, but the criss-cross of fabric at the waist is actually a sash-thing that ties. We, in the bridal party, have decided that we’re tying that shit in the front and that this chick in the picture is a fool for not doing the same. So there you go. I think those are all the details. So… that’s what I’ll be wearing or whatever. I know, it’s much more real to me also.
We all ordered the dresses from the same place at the same time, which is apparently a thing bridesmaids are supposed to do so that they’re all the exact same color or something? I guess colors are hard for dress companies? (Click here for Bridesmaiding.com’s Dress Ordering Tips!) Anyway, this meant that I needed to interact with another black-pantsuit-wearing lady at another bridal store, this time one in South Carolina named Tammy. The instructions were simple: get basic measurements from a professional tailor done and send them to Tammy with a deposit by a deadline. Or at least, they would have been simple if I had actually opened the attachment Tammy sent us listing the measurements she needed.
“We all ordered the dresses from the same place at the same time, which is apparently a thing bridesmaids are supposed to do so that they’re all the exact same color or something? I guess colors are hard for dress companies?”
Since I didn’t open that attachment, I only knew that I “needed to get professionally measured.” For some reason in my head, I turned this into a HUGE process that would require an APPOINTMENT (and you know how much I love those!) at a tailor’s shop in which I would feel incredibly uncomfortable for upwards of an hour. Yes, at some point I became certain it would take an entire lunch break to get this done.
I Yelped tailors around my office, hoping to find one who seemed reassuring and gentle and female, traits that most women look for in a gynecologist. What I found were a lot of stodgy-sounding old Polish men in the Harvard Square area that Yelpers said were “impeccable at tailoring suits” but also “mean” and/or “judgmental.” So I did what I always do when I don’t want to do something: I put it off and created yet another thing to feel unbearably guilty about in my life. As a result, the deadline sort-of “passed by” and I was sort-of “late” in getting my shit over to Tammy.
Katy (bride), in a text to me: Hey, can you order your dress before Tammy from Southern Bride polites me to death?
Me: Fuck. Yes. I’m sorry.
Katy: She just called me and had the tone of a new teacher telling me that my kid was acting up in class again.
Katy: It felt weird.
Me: Okay, yes, I’ll order it tomorrow, I promise. Tomorrow. I’m sorry. I suck.
Katy: Okay, good.
Me, in my head: Ummm… why didn’t she just reassure me that I don’t suck?
So that’s how “getting measured by a professional” turned into “getting measured in my underpants by my roommate Aleah at 7:30 in the morning before getting dressed for work.” I wasn’t entirely confident in our process and was half expecting to freak Tammy out when I gave her the numbers. “Um, sweetie, are you sure that’s your hip measurement?” I could almost hear her say, sounding simultaneously horrified and deeply worried. They must have been at least okay, though, because she didn’t react at all over the phone, even when I made a fucking GREAT joke about being the last bridesmaid to order my dress. But hey, Tammy, if you aren’t going to appreciate PROFESSIONAL-GRADE HUMOR THEN THAT IS YOUR GODDAMN PROBLEM AND I’M SORRY YOU LIVE SUCH A JOYLESS LIFE.
“The criss-cross of fabric at the waist is actually a sash-thing that ties. We, in the bridal party, have decided that we’re tying that shit in the front and that this chick in the picture is a fool for not doing the same. So… that’s what I’ll be wearing or whatever.”
The dress is supposed to arrive in April I guess. I’m actually really excited to get it and see what it looks like in the plum color and stuff. Hopefully the measurements I gave Tammy were close enough to a standard human body’s that it more or less fits. If it doesn’t, I’m sure you’ll know, because I’ll be telling you all about my trip to one of those mean, judgmental Polish tailors near my office.
The next step, as I understand it, is shoes, but we have to wait for the groomsmen to pick their suits. I have no idea what goes into that process, so keep your breath bated, guys.
Comedian and Intermittent Writer