Friday, June 10, 2016

My Newbery Dress Story: Part Two

So after the Nordstrom's in Nashville proved a bust, I took my Newbery-dinner-dress-shopping self to New York City. (You can not find a ball gown in my hometown, Bristol. You can rent a tux or buy a prom dress, but only barely.) The trip to New York was actually my husband's Christmas present--tickets to Hamilton, and yo, it's as good as the hype--but fortunately my generous husband did not mind at all spending the morning finding me dresses. He's lovely.

New York has Bergdorf's and Neiman-Marcus and lots and lots of swank boutiques, but while I was looking for an amazing dress I was not looking for an amazingly expensive one. So we went to the flagship Macy's, and it was the ever-loving bomb. Lots of New York women buy ball gowns. Lots of them were there that specific Saturday morning to buy ball gowns. I snagged a dressing room early, and I held onto it while my husband brought me more and more dresses to try on, and that was lucky, because even though they had over two dozen dressing rooms they had a line of women waiting for a chance at one.

Macy's had hundreds of dresses. All sizes, all colors, everything you wanted. The dressing room was a wild melting pot of Polish babushkas, Latina teens trying for prom dresses, elegant matrons, half a dozen different languages. We helped each other with zippers and cheered each other on. At one point, a child gleefully yelled, "Everyone come look at my Mama! She's beautiful!" A dozen heads popped out of dressing room doors and we all applauded a plump, comely young woman who did, indeed, look beautiful.

I tried on a parade of dresses. Disney princess was out. Bare midriffs were out. The very trendy dog-collar design: out. (I have broad shoulders and a perpetual farmer's tan.) Dress, dress, dress. Out, out, out. I'd step outside the dressing room and display each dress to my husband and a group of people waiting on their relations. Pretty soon we all got friendly. I'd come out, and the people would all shake their heads. I'd hang the rejects on the clothes rack by the door, and my husband would bring me something new.

Then we found it. Midnight blue, covered in beads, slithering elegantly to the floor. Scoop neck and short sleeves. Fits me like it was made for me. I don't look like a Disney princess in it, but I feel like a princess. I love that dress to pieces.

One of the babushkas helped me with the zipper. I stepped outside the dressing room. The whole waiting group nodded in approval. A stout woman with a Middle Eastern accent said, "That's it, honey. That's the one."

Next in the saga: shoes.