August 6, 2008 Amy FriendsThe FutureWeddings

I went to David’s Bridal today for the first time. I was to be fitted for my first real bridemaid’s dress. I walked in and found myself in a huge room filled with rows and rows and rows of dresses. I shivered in the air conditioning. One side was for bridemaids and the other side for brides. It was an overwhelming swarm of purples, blues, greens, blues, oranges and pinks in contrast to egg shells, cream and white. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the selection and by the sheer majesty of a sacrament/rite of passage/etc supersized and Americanized! stood there for a minute and waited to be directed to the blue light special on aisle 8. It took me 10 minutes to wade through the forest of dresses to find someone who worked there. I told her I needed to be fitted for a dress. She found the bride’s name in the computer and pulled a dress from the forest of a different shade but the same model as my dress. I tried not to think about the 1700 other size 6-8 girls who had worn this generic 100+ dollars worth of satin to be fitted. It reminded me distinctly of buying a car, I was test driving and then sending away for the right color. I was led to a changing room. It fit although it will need to be hemmed. I looked at myself in the giant mirrors up on a stool they use for altering and felt overdone, on display and well ridiculous . Is this beauty? Is this what I am supposed to want? Is this what every little girl dreams of? Walking into a store like this, pulling the magical white dress from the plastic hanger and then standing up here for everyone to see how beautiful she is?  This is one of the ultimate displays of love between two people?

10 minutes later and 150 dollars later I have a brown satin dress on order.

Where is the sacred in this strange form of marriage? In all the money we spend? In the party we throw? In the gifts we receive? There is celebration and love of course but where is mystery, the divine in all the fluff. What am I really doing…Am I assisting my friend by standing with her, affirming her commitment, her love? That I think I can do, the rest of it well I dont quite understand. I know very little of these things of love, of romance, of glamor, of marriage . But the glimpses of what I see I find disappointing.

I love my friend and I will do my best for her.

and so I enter into to this strange cultural ritual.

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