Unpublished Opinion

Friday, July 29, 2005

Naked Brides

I do not understand why as soon as a woman gets the moniker of "bride," a portion of her brain suddenly takes over that makes her do crazy things...things she would never normally do...things that make other non-brides say "Hmm?"*

Today I apprehensively entered into that scary world. The world where all sense of normalcy is thrown out the window in hopes of getting that perfect gown. Yes, today, I went to Filene's Basement annual "running of the brides." Upfront, I must point out that I realize that this would be a more interesting story if I had arrived the moment it started. But, to be truthful, I was scared. I had heard the stories, I had seen the film, I had read Filene's Basement's own scary press release. I was very, very afraid.

So I ventured over there at 10am, two hours after it started, with butterflies in my tummy and fear in my heart. As I descended into the basement, I saw the racks and racks of white and ivory and my fear turned to excitement. A group of women were heading up the escalator next to me, all wearing shirts saying "I survived the Filene's Basement bridal event." Later I would want one for myself, but was unwilling to pay the hefty $12 cost.

I then heard what would be the first of about fifteen cheers that I would hear over the next hour, signaling a bride had found the perfect gown. I also saw a sad-looking woman wearing a sign that said "Tina. Size 4. Strapless. Ivory." It was almost like a "if found returned to Douglas Elementary" sticker you might have in a textbook. I was not sure if she was Tina, or Tina was her friend. Was the sign to help her remember what she was looking for or in hopes that other people would look at her and say "Oh I saw a great size four ivory strapless over there! It has Tina's name all over it!"

I then walked over to the first rack and started looking. It was not too crowded. No more so than a store during lunch hour. I relaxed. And then I saw her. A woman that would be the first of the (way too) many women I would see that morning...in their underwear. I could tell she had planned for this, as she had a nice matching set, but still...she was practically naked.

I know you might be thinking that it was no different than the gym or that "we are all women here," but that wasn't the case. There were several men...lurking. I can only hope they were with one of the brides, but even so it was...creepy. There were some woman that had clearly read the aforementioned press release and were dressed in a sports bra and shorts, as recommended. There were some clever women in tube tops. But most of them were just wearing regular undies and bras.

As I walked through the racks and racks of dresses I spotted a few I liked, but the fear returned. Would I, too, have to get naked to find my dream dress? Would I have to bare flesh in order to fully experience the moment? But then, a glimmer of hope: I saw a woman walking with an armful of dresses. I watched her as she walked into the (you will never guess) dressing room! That is right, the actual dressing room. The place that non-brides go and trying clothing on, while maintaining their self-respect and dignity. I quickly went back and grabbed four dresses I liked and went to the dressing room.

Now, I expected a line or perhaps the same scene of nakedness taking place behind the security of the dressing room walls. I told myself I would wait for a room if need be or even change in the open, so long as I was in the dressing room area and away from the wandering eyes. But, as I walked in, the clerk pointed me to a (gasp!) empty dressing room. In fact, they were almost all empty. In addition to the one other bride, there was one older woman trying on cute summer tops.

You might be thinking that the dressing rooms were small and would not accommodate the three or four friends that the other brides brought along or that the mirrors wouldn't be as good, or any such other excuse as to why the brides would choose not to be in the comfort of a dressing room over the completely wide-open space of the main part of the store. But, alas, that was not the case. There was one large room and several medium sized rooms. They were big enough for the bride and one person to help zip her up. Outside the rooms, there was a three-way mirror and several small mirrors. And plenty of space there for several of your closest friends to ooh and ahh as you twirl about.

Which makes me wonder why, then, were the brides choosing nakedness? Maybe they wanted the full "running the brides" experience. Maybe they were doing it because everyone else was doing it. A grown-up kind of peer pressure. I don't really know. I am happy that I did not succumb to it.

You may be wondering if I saw any catfights over dresses and the answer is no. I think I arrived too late for the drama. I did see a couple of tear-stained faces and a lot frowns (like Tina). I also had a woman try to weasel her way into getting my dress. I had it hanging up on the end of a rack as I gazed at it one last time, just making sure it was THE ONE. She walked up to me and said "Ooh that's pretty! What size it?" while proceeding to push me aside and check the tag. I replied "It's one size bigger than I would like, but it is the last one like this" and picked it up and headed to the register.

Victory was mine as I paid for my beautiful dress. I am very happy. And no one had to see me naked.

* Now, I realize that this is not true of all brides. Kiki was a fine bride, as was my friend Karen, whose wedding I was in several years ago. I venture that I, too, am normal. At least so far...


  • great description..it made me laugh out loud :-)
    I can't believe you found a dress!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:04 PM  

  • I was accidentally anonymous

    By Anonymous YM, at 9:46 PM  

  • i would have come help you lug it home :-)

    By Anonymous ea, at 5:23 AM  

  • I did think about how you got it home on the bus-it is bad enough carrying yourelf. Funny story

    By Blogger kikis' sister, at 8:59 AM  

  • good story.you will be a fine bride...(ps email me )

    By Anonymous kiki, at 11:31 AM  

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