So here's the thing, the youngest of Tonya's brothers is getting married. And of course, there has been quite a bit of hoopla going on with Tonya's side of the family. Everyone be very happy the last one is getting hitched to a nice young woman. Well, everyone that is but mother Dragon, who is more interested in what on earth she is going to wear. Let me tell ya, it's been a trip listening to the Dragon lady complain about colours, sizes, styles, sizes, length, sizes, fabric, sizes . . .
Yes, there is a problem with size. So here we go, Tonya has been driven quite a bit mad by her mother's not being able to find THE DRESS. After all, this is mother of the groom and well we must present our self looking fabulous or not at all. I actually overheard her talking about not going to the wedding. I was like what? Not going to your last unmarried child's wedding? WHAT?
Yeah like I care that much. Anyway, somehow, as it always happens, I got stuck going dress shopping with me dragon-in-law. Yes, I did and I lived to tell about it! No easy feat let me tell ya that and the outing was more than once, I deserve a medal. The excuse was from me wife, I should go to give a man's opinion because a daughters, well, a daughter is too close to the dress buying person. Yeah right and Tonya had been out with mommy dearest several times and was driven near crazy for the experience, so she was done was what she was saying, but not saying, if you know what I mean.
Let me tell you I thought we would be going to the mall. Well, no we can't go to a mall and buy a dress off the rack! No indeed, we need to go to an exclusive bridal store and buy one that can be ordered. I should have known that, instead I had the nerve once she was buckled in me Saturn and I asked the stupid question of which mall were we going, of nearly getting me head bit off and then a talking to on bridal wear. Oi!
As I put the motor in gear and headed out I grumbled to meself, "no Macys for HER!"
We were going to Nashua which is like two hours away from where I live, or I should say were WE live since Dragon still be living with me. SIGH! On our way we hit a small bustling town and there was a bridal shop and I didn't stop because I didn't see it, but the half blind Dragon did and had me pull a U Turn in the middle of a busy highway to go back.
Once I managed to get us turned around without causing an accident, we got out and in the window of this rather small establishment were assorted bridal dresses and lots of purple bridesmaid dresses, which I assume must be the popular colour for those unfortunate woman who hate purple, but Bridezillas insist they wear it. So in we go, and on one side is this jumble of dress racks upon dress racks filled with the young and beautiful figured women's dresses and on the other side . . . not so much, but the old lady section for the mother of the bride or groom. Oh yeah, I knew right off we weren't going there, but that's what the young thing who came running up to Dragon did, she caught her by the elbow and guided her over to the over 40 dresses. Size 16, size 18 and up!
Most of the old lady section was full of silver, gunmetal grey and black sequined numbers that were anything but attractive. NO BLACK, SILVER OR GREY! That was what was shouted at the young thing, who then had a terrible time finding something that wasn't that colour. Lots of what is called champagne, which is almost a nude colour in the Dragon's opinion and not to be worn. Navy, which was disguised as sapphire blue was considered too dark, and then burgundy, too near purple.
"I wouldn't be caught dead in purple." Said Dragon.
I was curious, as the young thing went in the back to see if there were any new arrivals. I asked the Dragon what colours were the wedding party wearing.
"Purple! In varying shades and styles! Can you imagine? They will all look like grapes!" She said annoyed.
"And the groomsmen?" I croaked.
"Shades of gray with salmon bow ties and purple cummerbunds. Yesh! All colour blind, every single one of them!" She near hollered.
I knew then to keep me gob shut and just stand there hoping she'd forget about me.
Well, the girl came back with a 'maroon' dress that had several tiers. I could see the Dragon's nose go high in the air, and knew instantly this would not go over big.
"THAT my dear is RED!" Dragon pointed out.
"Oh no, no, it is maroon, see here on the label, Maroon Dream."
Well, she tried it on and declared she was too fat, it was a fat dress, it didn't slim her, it make her look 20 pounds heavier.
|'Gabriel, do I look fat in this?"|
She stopped and stared in the mirror contemplating that gem.
That ended the shopping trip for the day. She found nothing she liked so after two days of complaining about it, she decided to get a dress made. Nothing like waiting until the last moment.
"I know a woman who tailors and probably could make you something in time." Tonya said.
Well, this seamstress turns out to be the woman from the Chinese restaurant in town. Mr. Dennis Chang's wife Lijuan Chang. No, Dennis isn't the man's given name it is Kang, but I guess Kang Chang sounds funny to the American ear so he changed it to Dennis. His wife calls herself Lily because she said Americans butcher her pretty name so badly with their tin ears not able to comprehend the rhythm of her name so, she just couldn't take it anymore, and Lily it be.
Lily came over with fabric samples and measuring tape, tailors chalk, and designs. At first Dragon looked unsure and I overheard her tell Tonya she didn't want a kimono, but a dress. Tonya told her to stop it the woman did all kinds of dress making and if she should change her mind she probably could make her an arse kicking kimono. Oi Tonya!
So a dusty rose colour was selected, satin with lace overlay. Um hum. Jacket to cover larger upper arms. Um hum. Fitted under the bodice to give appearance of youthful uplift. Um hum. Tucked in slightly at waist to make it look like Dragon had one. Um hum. To the floor to cover those knees with all the dimples. Um hum. Finally, a lacy overlay beyond the satin for panache. Um hum.
I could hear this while I tried to read the newspaper. I sat there laughing to meself but was soon called in to look at the fabric and the dress design. Why I want to know did they need me? A man's opinion I was told. Like my sorry opinion would matter to of all people, the Dragon lady. Well, it was all very nice I suppose. I know nothing of these matters and not being suicidal I muttered all the affirmatives like I was Ralph Lauren.
I went back to the living room to resume me newspaper reading. But it was hard to concentrate because I could overhear Mrs. Chang and I had all I could do to keep from fits of laughter.
"You measure straight up and down like small oriental lady." Lily Chang said to Dragon. "You one inch difference from straight line."
"I am not oriental as you can see. Can we just get on with it?" Dragon said her voice tinged with annoyance.
"You need tell me what shoe you wear so I know length." Mrs. Chang said.
"I don't know I have to get shoes for this dress. But I would guess they will have a one inch heel if that helps you."
"Shì de! So 50" from here to ground. Lace overlay be two inch between dress hem and top of toe of shoe. Ok?" Mrs. Chang asked.
"I guess. You know the dress design better than I." Dragon answered thinking Mrs. Chang had cursed about the dress length. But I knew better it wasn't shite, it was YES in Chinese. Me knowing this thanks to Ms. Jaio.
Then silence for a few minutes when Mrs. Chang says to herself, "Oh can't be right."
I turned to see what wasn't right and it was sleeve measurements.
"You have long arms like hóuzi."
"Like what?" Dragon asked.
"Never mind it." Mrs. Chang must have realised that what she was comparing arm length in Dragon to, would be considered a racial slur if she said the English word for it. I knew what she said because (once again) of Ms. Jaio. She was saying Dragon had long monkey arms. Yes, but Dragon thought she was referring to bigger arm holes, and was looking at her upper arms in consternation.
"Are you thinking I need bigger arm holes?" Dragon asked perplexed.
"Oh no, no I make so jacket fit good, ok?" Mrs. Chang's face was red.
Before that got out of hand I came back and suggested sequins on the jacket as if I knew what I was talking about, just to take the pressure off Mrs. Chang.
"Sequins no problem." Mrs. Chang said with a tentative smile at Dragon.
"Oh plenty of those along the bodice and maybe on the jacket lapels." Dragon said looking at me like I wasn't clear on lapels, gees.
I was pleased I managed to change the subject. So that was basically it. Dress ordered, promised to be here by 28 July for fitting. No fittings needed in-between (which had Dragon wondering why not).
"Oh mother, trust her, I've seen what she makes for herself and everything is lovely." Tonya tried to reassure the less than trusting Dragon.
So 28 July came and so did dress delivered by Mrs. Wang all smiles. Dragon looking askance as usual like something won't be right. Tonya all pleased the dress was done in time for any alterations that may be needed (none were). Me, relieved I didn't have to venture out with that woman one more time.
Well, we came close R. Linda, yes we did. We almost had the perfect dress. It was well made, better than anything at the bridal shop or for that matter, Macys. It fits beautifully and is very flattering BUT for one thing, it isn't dusty rose, its PEACH!
How this happened no one knew but then Mrs. Wang's brain exploded as she remembered she asked Dragon if she would like a colour to represent the groom's side of the family and that would be salmon. And Dragon at first had said yes, but the colour swatch was peach not salmon so she instead selected dusty rose. But in Mrs. Wang's frustration with the sizing of the Dragon, she lost all memory of dusty rose and went for the peach! Oi, oi, oi.
But it isn't over yet. Tonya convinced her mother it was a striking dress, please try it on and see if it was not. Reluctantly, Dragon took it to the other room to try on while Mrs. Chang and meself bit our fingernails. It took her an overly long time to get into the strapless number. Mrs. Change went in to help because Dragon shouted there was no zipper, what are all these laces? Seems Mrs. Chang thought it best to make corset like lace up number in the back to save Dragon broken zipper and for adjustment after she feasted on wedding cake. I tell ya, that little thoughtful addition was not appreciate at the time.
I got so worked up at listening to Dragon complaining and poor Mrs. Chang trying to reassure her, that me stomach got a bit on the dickey side. When noticed I was holding me tum, the wife asked what was wrong. I admitted this dress thing with her mother had got to me and Mrs. Chang being such a sweet person, it was like sending in a baby chick to a python.
Dragon couldn't hear my words only the whining tone of my voice and shouted the question what was wrong thinking we were discussing the dress. I tell ya, the woman! Tonya shouted I had an upset stomach and Dragon shouted back for her to get me a mint from her purse that that would help quell the upset.
So Tonya got the tin of Altoids from Dragon's purse and when I saw Altoids I was thinking they be strong and not going to help, BUT Tonya insisted so I popped one in me mouth.
Meanwhile, out came Dragon and Mrs. Chang. The dress was beautiful. It looked better than anything she had tried on and the colour looked great on her. All was forgiven, Mrs. Chang went home pleased and a bit wealthier than when she came in.
As for me, I was decidedly sick. I could not understand that now that the upset was over, why me sensitive tum was feeling worse than before.
"Tonya, give him another Altoids." The Dragon said as she left to get out of her dress.
"I need to help you out of those laces," Tonya said following her mother, "Gabe, the Altoids are right there by her purse on the table."
I went over and looked at the tin, really not wanting another of the overpowering mints. But then something caught me eye.
|Notice the date, un huh.|
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