It was a Saturday morning in April, and Katrina and I were going to attend an event called “Brides Against Breast Cancer.” This was our first attempt to find a gown, as Katrina had been totally swamped with finishing her master’s degree. For this charity event, shops donate gowns, and brides can buy them at reduced rates, all proceeds going to cancer research. I was a bit nervous about driving the 1 1/2 hours to Charlotte, since I am ridiculously directions-challenged, and Katrina has unfortunately inherited that particular gene from me.
Happenstance #1 – It was raining lightly that morning, so the outside work my Steven had planned was called off. He surprised us by volunteering to drive us. Yay! He has the directional thing going pretty well. And, you know, the father of the bride doesn’t get to be involved much in the whole wedding planning process. We were so pleased he would be a part of the dress adventure. And after we had been on the road for about an hour, the rain suddenly cleared up, and we had a lovely spring day to enjoy.
The drive went quickly, and we found the Marriott easily. The ballroom was huge, and had been separated into smaller areas with drapes. It reminded me of the Dior fitting rooms in “Mrs ‘Arris Goes to Paris.” There were tall mirrors here and there throughout the room. Katrina tried on about a dozen gowns. They were so lovely! Each time, she would go out and show her father, where he was seated in the waiting area telling the story of Katrina’s life to an attentive worker. About half the gowns were tried on again, and then four again, then three, then down to the last two. Agony and suspense! Finally, bells rang, music played, and a voice announced “A bride has found her gown!” (They did this every time a gown was chosen.) A photographer took a few shots of her in the gown. The gown was boxed up and we went to pay for it, and then things got exciting for a few minutes.
You see, our credit card was refused, and we were told that a fraud alert had been activated on it. As we stood there dumfounded, Steven’s cell phone rang. It was Danny, calling from home. “Daddy, do you have your credit card? The company called to say someone might have stolen it.” Well, it turns out that the “Brides Against Breast Cancer” charity operates out of a Florida office. We had left our residence that morning (in South Carolina,) and shortly before reaching Charlotte, had stopped and bought gas and some snacks (in North Carolina) so when the credit card company saw a Florida purchase coming through, the alarms went off. We were delighted at their vigilance, but here we were, all ready to “say yes to the dress!”
Happenstance #2 – The week before, I had gone to a home jewelry party, and had brought my checkbook along. I don’t usually use the checkbook, and when I do, try to put it back in its customary drawer immediately, but this time I had forgotten, and oh, hallelujah! there it was in my purse. And the charity was willing to accept a check. So, we had successfully found and purchased the dress – at less than a quarter of its original price – on our very first dress shopping trip. And we had the father of the bride along to enjoy the day with us.
Our dress adventure is one I’ll always remember – and after August 3rd, I’ll be happy to add a picture of the bride on her day!