Mermaid Whores and Goth Ballerinas

I have finally finished the business class I was taking this summer – so now it’s time to finally focus on the important things in my life now, like what dress am I gonna wear in 6 months? Questions women have been pondering for ages.


Last time I went wedding dress shopping was with my friend Shira, back in January or so. First we went to a gamach which is a sort of center where Jewish brides either donate their gowns for other brides or it lends dresses to brides at zero costs. We had gone to one in Lakewood, NJ, an area known for some pretty religious families. The one we went to was being run out of this very pregnant lady’s basement of her pretty fancy house. Shira was trying on all these intense looking behemoth layered dresses when I mentioned that one particular dress was nice because it was kind of plain up top so she could wear a necklace on it. Shira replied that she wasn’t planning on wearing jewelry on her wedding day. The preggo lady gasped, “Nothing?! You’re not getting anything in the Yichud* room?”

I raised my eyebrows suggestively, “Oh, she’s getting somethin’ in the Yichud room all right.” The woman shot me a dirty look.

Shira looked confused, “What do you mean? I’ve never heard of getting jewelry in the Yichud room?”

The woman put a hand protectively on her clavicle, “Well, I don’t know what circles you run in but around here he gives you something in the Yichud room, usually it’s a pearl necklace.”

I had to leave to keep from laughing. I’m probably going to hell.

Anyways, I went wedding dress shopping today. I wasn’t super into it at first. I remember when I went prom dress shopping with my mom in 12th grade. That seemed like a bigger deal. But maybe that’s because I was allowed to wear whatever revealing dress I could dream up and now I have to comply with some rules (i.e. please don’t ever look like a gothic ballerina this time.)


Black Swan meets omg-were-you-drunk-is-that-a-fake-tattoo-on-your-chest-yes-it-is.
Black Swan meets omg-were-you-drunk-is-that-a-fake-tattoo-on-your-chest-yes-it-is.


Macy’s was stop one. The woman helping us was like 9 months pregnant and she seemed in no mood to help me in to 5 different dresses just to hear me say, “I look like a mermaid whore.” They also had about like 12 dresses so we cut our visit pretty short. Next stop was a place next door called Bridal Salon. This place was like some magical fairy-tale land of white dresses just begging me to accidently step on them. There were floor to ceiling windows and everything was covered in lace and tulle. I just wanted to curl up in basket of veils and fall asleep, knowing that everything was going to be nice and clean forever.

We explained to the woman helping us that we were looking for a dress that could accommodate sleeves to be built on (why are wedding dresses all strapless and sleeveless? I mean, people get married in the winter too right? And I’m sorry, there’s no strapless bra in the world that will convince me that I can pull off a strapless dress. There are just some things I know, OK? And if I was Randy on Say Yes to the Dress I would tell that to a LOT of people as well).

They brought out some dresses that had lace sleeves on them. I went into the dressing room to try it on and a few others. Here’s something I didn’t know: You can’t put on a wedding dress alone. A stranger has to help you. And sometimes that stranger will say “You’re not wearing the right bra. Take it off and let’s put it on and see how that looks with no straps showing through the lace.” And sometimes you will have to stand there topless while a stranger dresses you. Sometimes that has to happen through 5 different dresses while you try to carry on a normal conversation about Oh-your-son-goes-to-Binghamton-that’s-so-funny-my-brother-goes-there-how-nice while you’re nonchalantly pretending like you’re wearing something in between getting in and out of mounds of crinoline.

My friend Liana pointed out that it’s not normal how many times I find myself topless in front of people BUT it’s not as it sounds. Sometimes it’s the fitting ladies at Linda’s Bras telling me they need to get a better fit. Sometimes it’s the Russian spa lady in San Diego telling me  in broken English that I can’t wear clothes during the personal spray tan session (yes, I got a spray tan once – WHILST on vacation in San Diego. Deal with it. I was coming home with a tan EVEN if it was January and I spent most of the time crying hysterically in the lobby over a break-up. What I’m trying to say is that it was a good 21st birthday weekend)

Back to today – the first dress I had tried on was actually perfect. We decided on it. Then the woman who was helping called over a different woman to take my measurements. This woman, a thin put-together lady with an impossibly high pony-tail, came over and said “You look gorgeous, now let’s get you in the dressing room and get you naked.” At least when she took my measurements she let me keep my bra on so that was nice.

I still felt like some weird impostor trying on dresses. Especially I could tell the fitting woman was searching for the non-existent ring.  It feels like it’s some weird ridiculous joke I’m playing on these people – I guess it doesn’t feel *real* yet. But either way, it’s another thing I can cross off my list before school starts in a couple of weeks.

Other things I have to do before school starts: e-mail my professor and tell him I’m going to be missing like 34 days because all the High Holidays this year fall on the most inconvenient days for me (thanks a lot God),  get the window in my apartment fixed because I’m on the first floor and it doesn’t close/lock and I will definitely be murdered probably soon.


Hope your August is winding down nicely!



*In Jewish weddings, a “Yichud room” is where a bride and groom go right after the ceremony for a bit. Traditionally it’s for couples who don’t touch before marriage to like shake hands or something (I’m clearly well versed in my religion) but mostly it’s for brides and grooms to eat from the smorgasbord that gets delivered to their room. And then they can eat and I guess talk shit about people’s outfits without them hearing.


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