Suggested audiotrack: “The Happiest Day of Your Life” from ABC show
You’re trying on dress number twenty seven. And no, you are not taking the piss!
Literally, twenty six dresses have been carried out of the mysterious depth of the most expensive wedding salon in the city by a man reminiscent both of the Queen and a dead fish – ironically he’s carrying them bridal style – while a no less posh and obnoxious lady wheels out a dummy in exactly the same dress so you can see it ‘with the secondary vision’ – what does it even mean, for fuck’s sake?
Then you’re bloody stuffed in it – they spend ten minutes fussing around you and touching you, which makes you feel violated in a whole range of new ways – then they tsk couple times reproachfully, look at your hair askew in disdain, put some weird arrangements of wire and live flowers in them, and then ‘the reveal!’ At this point you are pretty much ready to puke. ‘The reveal!’ lost its charm on dress number two, and you just feel like agreeing on anything. But then you bite into your bottom lip and stand your ground. Mostly out of revenge to the two women sitting on a soft sofa enjoying their champagne.
Ghost white, baby powder, ivory, floral white, cream, old lace, linen antique white, vanilla, bone, Navajo white, and even ecru… Princess style, ball gown skirt, empire waist, basque waist, sheath, mermaid, also known as trumpet, duchess satin, and taffeta with a scoop neckline, vintage, ‘a bodice with a bit of structure in it’ – do they mean you have no tits? Because you really don’t. Strapless, halter, and even flamenco, ‘just a tinge of flare for you, dearie,’ ‘smooth lines,’ ‘sexy twist,’ ‘elegantly underlining your neck,’ and of course we haven’t started on the bloody fabric yet…
Deadre and Thea exchange remarks with nauseatingly sweet smiles that show everyone in this palace of torture how much they hate each other. Thea is wearing her skankiest, chaviest dress; Deadre is clad in Chanel.
You want to scream.
Dress twenty seven is gorgeous, reminiscent of Grace Kelly’s gown, and no, you have no bloody idea, but they feel they have to inform you, with specs of real gold in the taffeta, pale pink in colour, covered by cream-colored Alençon lace, designed as a ‘fitted bodice with high rounded collar and a flared skirt’ – and you think that no man is worth all that.
And then you take a deep breath in and close your eyes.
John, you will think of John. You let your imagination roam freely – and immediately blush. Oh, this morning was fun…
“Oh, lovely blush, my darling! We have to take it into consideration when choosing the outer shell for your gown!” The Dead Fish bloke rejoices… and that is your limit.
You jump off the podium and run up to your escort – or should you say your prisoners?
“I am done for today!” you whine. “That is obviously not working. They all are lovely, but I really…”
“Wren, my darling! You are just a bit overwhelmed.” Deadre’s calm voice is like honey and snake venom. “Perhaps we should have some tea, and then we can continue. Arnold?” She beckons your executor with slight twitch of her elegant fingers, and you throw Thea a panicked look. The Dead Fish is nearby right away, pretending that he came to talk instead of keeping his eye on the ‘peau de soie and lace masterpiece.’
“Of course, of course, tea! We have lovely coconut and toffee macaroons, and white chocolate truffles.”
Do they think you are a toddler to be tempted by sweets, and what the actual fuck, even food looks like a blushing bride here?! Which you are not! This morning you shagged your future husband on a mahogany desk, in his office, from behind, mewling and begging for more, expressing your enthusiasm in the most direct and lewd statements and suggestions? There might have been some occasional spanking there too. Should you be wearing white at all? You don’t think so!
Thea stretches her hand to you. There is a flute in it.
And then you make the best decision in your life.
“Don’t mind if I do.” You take the glass and topple it over into yourself. The bubbly tangy drink runs down your throat, and you breathe out. “I think I need a moment.”
You go back to the fitting room, take off the dress, shimmy into your denim and tee again, and yes, it does say ‘Come to the nerd site. We have Pi’ on it. John thought it was hilarious. And its collar might be a bit stretched. Damn his grabby hands! Or bless them! The dexterity of a surgeon, yum!
By the time you step out of the fitting room, the rocket of your consciousness has passed the tandem stage, and you have been propelled into the sparkly bliss with the explosive charge of alcohol in your blood.
Your head is set proudly, shoulders squared, and you pin the Dead Fish to the floor with most surely the most self-assured stare he has ever been on the receiving end of.
“I want a trouser suit. With a tuxedo jacket on top. Long, to the mid shin. Silk. Mandarin collar tuxedo shirt underneath, black buttons. Strappy sandals. John adores my toes. Have to remove them out of his mouth all the time.”
Deadre at the background chokes on her champagne. Thea jumps on her feet and cheers.
The Dead Fish looks blanched, and smiling widely and smugly, you affirm, “And I will have those macaroons now.”