Only six tries to find the perfect wedding dress

Susan Keezer
 |  The Daily Telegram

My granddaughter, and only grandchild, is about to be married. I am not the only one who thinks she is probably the most beautiful, kindest, sweetest and funniest woman in the whole of these United States of America. Her mother and aunt would concur.

Upon learning of this coming union, it came upon me that I must acquire an appropriate gown for the event. This didn’t seem such a challenge on the face of it. So the search began.

Lions stalking wildebeests, hunters waiting for deer in the forests, cats waiting to pounce on mice were no cagier than I was in search of the perfect dress for this all-important occasion.

Cleverly disguised in jeans, a down jacket, boots and winter-jagged fingernails, I raced through the racks of dresses at a department store. I flicked hangars aside one after another at the speed of a woman determined in her quest. Aha. A light floral appeared from nowhere it seemed. I snatched it to my bosom and headed for the cash register.

The gum-popper there grabbed my debit card, glared at me as if I might be someone not to be trusted with popcorn balls, did something with the card, returned it and shoved the bag at me. She said, “You have 60 days to return this dress otherwise it’s yours, Hon.”   Out of all that, the word, “Hon” reached my attention. I hate it when strangers call me “Hon.” Makes me feel like Rosie the Riveter or one of the Andrews Sisters (look it up).

I sped home, got this garment into the house, looked at it and thought aloud, “What was I thinking?” I hung it carefully, tucking that 60-day warning into my brain.

The search resumed.

It was time to hit the online stores where no one knows your name and can’t tell that your bunions hurt, you haven’t made your bed since Tuesday, and that you and make-up parted friends yesterday.

I went deep: “Fifth is Fourth for Sixth Store” in Boulder. I saw a fine dress, hit “Order,” and I sat back with satisfaction. Four days later, the box arrived. I opened it with great excitement to find I had been sent a totally different dress in a different size. Now I had to take time to call this store and tell them it was not fair that I should have to pay for postage to return something I had not ordered. The customer service rep agreed and after 20 minutes on hold, I was given a 38-digit code to apply to my mailing label that would prepay the postage.

Back online I went to see what might be lurking in the dark and found something in a good color. I quickly ordered it and waited for its arrival. And waited. It finally arrived like an overdue baby. I opened it to find a color that could well create nausea throughout the bridal party and guests. I also found that it came all the way from China and that if I wanted to return it, it would cost more than the dress was worth to ship it.

I ordered three more dresses. Now I was up to six.

In the meantime, that 60-day return limit from Dress No. 1 had slithered by so I would have that forever, No. 2 went back to Boulder, No. 3 was going to consignment, and I was waiting for Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

Sadly, No. 4 had a wad of fabric bunched up at the waist that could have hidden a pregnancy well into its sixth month. “Number 5 looks like an old lady dress,” I moaned, and some family member looked at me and said, “Well?”

But No. 6? It is perfect. It’s long sleeves drip with crystals, sparkly bits and pieces. It was designed so the eye goes to one’s arms instead of waist or hips. Now to find the right shoes and handbag. My hair is uncontrollable so I am looking for a silver mesh bag to put over my head.

I wonder if I will be chained to my chair at the back of the reception room if I request the music people to play “Earth Angel” or “Get a Job.”

Susan Keezer lives in Adrian. Send your good news to her at