Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nurse, more suction please!

The recent drama over my plane ticket almost made me forgot about the ORIGINAL wedding drama – that of DRESS! The story is too good to leave unfinished, so here is the final (I hope) chapter in the saga of being a suitably clad bridesmaid.

Some weeks after the initial meeting with the Dressmaker, she called back to let me know that she’d like me to come in for a fitting. I was instructed to bring along the undergarments I would be wearing. Shopaholic had been raving about this supposedly miracle control underwear – that Oprah herself wore – and persuaded me to buy a pair. $50 later, I found myself wondering if this honestly did what the salesgirl, Shopaholic and of course Oprah said it would do – take whole inches off your waistline and in other places. And if so, why on earth aren’t more people talking about this?

I got to the Dressmaker’s and there it was – THE DRESS! In all its beautiful purple Maid of Honorish splendor and glory.

Dressmaker snapped me out of my reverie and shooed me off into the washroom to change my underclothes. As I pulled the Spanx underwear out of the package a glimmer of doubt rose up. I held up the garment. It was – and I exaggerate not – the size of a bikini bottom. Kate Moss’s bikini bottom. Ah, well. Here goes nothing I though. I stepped into the left leg and then stretching the top I stepped into the right.

*WHAM*. My knees snapped together with the force of the elastic and over I went. I grabbed on to the first thing that made contact with my desperately flailing hand. That happened to be the shower curtain! Down I went with a resounding crash, knock kneed with Spanx underwear around my ankles and Dressmaker’s shower curtain and rod over my head.


Then, scurrying feet and an anxious tap on the door and Dressmaker voice (in a very high register) asking if everything was ok?

I move gingerly. My head hurts from where I slammed it against the wall. My shoulder is sore as I have probably wrenched it. And my knees are still bound together by the seemingly super-elastic on the underwear.

I struggle to my feet and reassure Dressmaker that I am still alive (I can’t say the same for her curtain rod). Once upright, I brace myself and start to pull up the underpants. Slowly, painfully and with much grunting I get the panties up as high as I can. By now, I’m sweating profusely and I’m so hot that the mirror is fogging up.

I finally get out of the washroom to find anxious Dressmaker waiting in the hall. She peers past me to survey the damage. I’m trying to maintain my dignity here, but it is quite hard to do wearing nothing but a bra and control underwear. “I’m so very sorry,” I say. “I’ll pay for the damage.” Dressmaker smiles. “Honey, don’t you fret over that ugly mess of a shower curtain. I’ve been trying to get my husband to redo the washroom for YEARS. Now he’ll have to! You’ve just gone and done what I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.”

Well !

Dressmaker ushers me into the fitting room and chats away like nothing is more common that having someone wreck your washroom while trying on underwear. I’m too flabbergast to speak (yup, there’s a new scenario for those who know me) and meekly follow her directions re getting the dress on. As I’m about to step into the dress, she stops me. Stepping onto her little dressmaker stool, she reaches down and firmly grasps the sides of the underwear that are sitting just under my bust line and YANKS. I can’t but help let out a gasp as suddenly everything shifts and magically I have a waist!
Somehow the underwear has redistributed my fat so that I now have all the curves possible, but sans the fat rolls! Amazing! WHERE all the lard has gone, I’m not sure. But it sure is well hidden. So mesmerized am I that I have to be reminded to put my dress on, and when I do – whoa, I’m so impressed! The pattern makes all of my sins (and I have a lot of those) vanish and leaves me with all of the “good bits”.

As I twirled around the room in delight, I realized that I was finally at the end of this saga that began a distant 8 months ago. Although I will miss my daily prayer of, “Please Lord, deliver me from this evil” I am so happy to know that at last, I am a card carrying member of the Club of the Suitably Clad!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Explanation

I really think I should explain about the sudden need to password protect this blog and answer all the questions/comments that have followed. Who knew so many cared? Hell, who knew so many READ!

I've wanted to start a dedicated travel blog for sometime now. I'm always flitting about discovering new places and the idea of having a dedicated space to chronicling my travel adventures. The last time I went away on my mega 4 month journey, a lot of friends and family followed by daily discoveries via the blog. However, I wasn't quite sure I wanted (certain) people to have access to the blog on a regular basis. Some things I write about are NOT for certain eyes (read- family) and hence the need to go password protected.

But somehow (being the technically challenged wonder that I am), I screwed up the log in process and now the wrong email is associated with this account and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to reverse that!

Anyway, thank you for being patient while I figure all this out and I hope you like the new travel blog as well!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Not Very F*cked Anymore. Only Slightly.

So, after a whole morning of frantically calling around to various airlines, travel agents and people I know in the airline biz and scouring the Internet for any and all routes to Glasgow*, I was finally able to secure new tickets for my trip on US Airways. And I didn't quite have to pay with my first born and/or my right kidney, although the price is a whopping $400 more than what I initially paid. Ah, well. Guess that means not as many pints in Scotland!

Also, the credit card company has assured me that I will be getting my money back; it may just take a while to process and it seems like I have to turn in a bunch of supporting documents and paperwork for the same. But I will get it back. Eventually.

Now, let's just hope that nothing else falls apart between now and the wedding!

*At one point I even found a ticket to Edinburgh via Gibraltar for $900! Was tempted, but the return flights were for the wrong dates.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

F*cked. So Very F.*.C.K.E.D

Found out this morning that all Zoom flights have been grounded due to outstanding fees. Although the airline has not *yet* filed for bankruptcy, it's just a matter of time.

My ticket to Glasgow for Very Best Friend's wedding was booked on Zoom. As soon as I found out what was happening, I called the travel agent.

The travel agent said to call the credit card company.

The credit card company says their waiting for further information from the airline.

My backup travel agent says that all flights for that period are sold out.

The flights that are not sold out are priced at over $2000.

I am utterly and miserably - F*CKED. 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Head's Up

To my faithful reader(s?)

I will be shortly switching this blog to being password protected as I need to add in a travel blog under the same profile. It will be one more step for you all, but I hope you will keep visiting and reading!

I figured out how to "add a blog" to my username, but I just realized that I cannot change the profile information. I guess I'll have to create a whole new username/password etc for the travel blog. Which is a pain, but I guess cannot be helped.

Blogger peeps, why can't I have 2 blogs with different profile information under the same username?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Friends

I just love it when I am able to "discover" new things about this city. A few days ago I chanced upon a darling little second hand bookstore on Bloor - Seeker's Books @ 509 Bloor St. West. After spending a delightful 2.5 hours lost among the rows of shelves, I came away with these new friends:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Colour Purple

July was drawing to a close and I still didn’t have a dress. A feverish desperation had taken over. Every time I passed a store window and saw even a glimmer of purple, I would throw myself against the glass willing it to be something that I could wear. I even tried to make an appointment at a bridal store, but the price tags on the dresses made me abandon that idea in a hurry. Then, just when I thought I was going to walk down that aisle in a purple dyed burlap sac, one of my cousins told me about this amazing (and relatively inexpensive) dressmaker who lived right by my house. Helpful Cousin was nice enough to call said dressmaker (a.k.a The Saviour) to make me an appointment and then was even nicer and agreed to go with me.

Helpful Cousin suggested that I go scout for fabrics before I meet the Dressmaker so that I would have sample swatches to show her. A quick call to friend, Shutterbug confirms that the best place for fabrics is Queen West. Shutterbug even offers to accompany me.

At this point I realize that not one person I know is confident in my ability to pick out a dress, a pattern or even a roll of cloth that will eventually be the dress. They are right of course, but it does sting to know that one is not trusted with fashion decisions. On the other hand, it does feel wonderful to know that my friends all have my back and just don’t want me to embarrass myself with having to wear a purple dyed burlap sac.

Confident that I will be able to just LOOK at fabric myself, I wave away her offer and the following day check out the fabric stores at Queen West. When I get there, I am a little alarmed by how MANY stores there are, all with seemingly never ending rolls of fabric in every hue and colour in the rainbow. Not quite sure of how one actually goes about buying fabric for a bridesmaid dress I stumble into the first store I see (tripping on the golden lab asleep on the steps) and trust the pattern into the hands of the shop assistant. “Help!” I squeak. “Make Dress. Need Fabric.” She wanders around the store for a bit and returns with a purple satinish fabric. I ask her for a sample and march out 10 minutes later marveling at my superior fabric choosing capabilities!

It’s not until I get home and compare the sample to the online pictures of the kilts do I realize that I have chosen an entirely WRONG shade of purple!

After banging my head repeatedly against a handy wall, I call Shutterbug and in a very small (and VERY humble) voice ask her to please accompany me to the fabric stores as I am obviously not capable of this task. So, accordingly, Shutterbug and I headed over to Queen West the following Saturday. She has come prepared with a colour palate for comparison that has the correct shade of purple, and then a scale of shades darker and lighter. When we get to the first store, Shutterbug sits me down at the counter and proceeds to explain to girl-behind-the-counter what we’re looking for using phrases like “overlay of chiffon” and “muted tones for best effect”. I am suitably impressed. Shutterbug is just as picky over the fabric as Shopaholic is with the finished product. The shop girl pulls out yards and yards of all kinds of fabrics in all hues of purple. Shutterbug expertly sifts through them all and finally selects some and asks for samples. We then go to 3 more shops and do the same thing all over again. In each shop, it is implied that I sit quietly in the corner and not touch anything. Finally, Shutterbug determines that we have enough sample and we leave.

Two days later, accompanied by Helpful Cousin I go to meet with the Dressmaker - who turns out to be the Dressmaker of my dreams! She patiently listens to my garbled descriptions of what I want and somehow pieces together a pattern that will be good for me. I leave with a renewed lease on life. In two short weeks, I will be dressless no more!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I have looked at the link to the Groom's kilts a hundred times since VBF first sent it to me. Only today did I notice the legend besides the pictures listing all the items that are covered by the hire.

What in the blazes is a:
Sgian Dubh?
Ghillie Brogues?

And I don't even want to imagine what Garter Flashes could be!!!!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wedding Woes

The dress saga began way back in September of last year when VBF picked out her colours and told me that I would be required to be suitably decked out in a particular shade of purple to match with the groom's tartan. Groom, Best Man and Father of Groom would all be wearing full traditional Scottish attire and for once, the women had to match up with the men.

Sure thing, I said. No Problemo! Easy Peasy - and many more such phrases. After all, I was the only bridesmaid so I could buy virtually any style of dress and it would be OK since I didn't have to worry about any one else in the bridal party. VBF even went a step further to say that I could pick out a dress that had any combination of ivory, silver and purple and she'd be just fine with it.

Fast forward. Spring 2008.

Conscious of the fact that I know little or nothing about dress shopping, my colleague Ms. Shopaholic takes it upon herself to make sure that I am suitably clad for this wedding. Over the next three months she drags me every possible store in the downtown area - before work, on our lunch break, after work, on weekends - and makes me try on what seems like 100s of dresses. "Too long" "Too short" "Too tight" (implied - loose some flab) "Too skanky" "Not skanky enough"...... she dismisses each one as I amble out of the dressing room and take a walk around the store (as per her instructions). As each dress was cast aside, I see my dream of gaining a dress in a quick and painless manner fading away. The few dresses that DO meet Shopaholic’s high (HIGH) standards are the wrong shade of purple. We do find a few nice black dresses that I long to just buy. VBF won’t mind – she’s just thankful I’m able to make it to this twice postponed wedding. But I know that my mother will throw a blue fit when she finds out that I’ve picked out a black dress to wear to my VBF’s wedding. “Very inauspicious”, she would yell. “You want to be the cause of bad luck on their wedding day?” And then she would make me return it anyway – so what’s the point? The very Caucasian, very Cosmopolitan Shopaholic does not understand this aversion to the classic black dress, but on this point I stand firm. “Yes, I realize the only dress that does not make me look like a tub of lard is the black one, but I cannot wear it to this wedding and risk the wrath of my superstitious Indian mother.” I’m also assuming that the bride’s mother will also not be too keen on the idea – being an Indian mother as well.

I guess it's back to the drawing board.

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