Introducing Madeleine…

MADELEINE: In order to save $400 on sales tax, I decide to send my wedding dress to my maid of honor, Danielle, who lives in New Jersey. She receives it and guards it closely until the day of my first fitting, at which point she drives the box (unopened – a Kleinfeld requirement) into Manhattan to meet me at Kleinfeld.

Madeleine and fiance.jpg
Mitch and Madeleine

I meet her inside the store where, as gown protector, she’s visibly sweating from the demands of her job. But all is forgotten when we walk in the fitting room and I lay my eyes on my dress for the first time. It’s stunning! My dream gown. I rush to put it on, with the help of the tiniest Italian seamstress whose name I cannot pronounce. All goes well until the final buttons. . . .it’s too small on my ribcage! I feel dizzy. I can’t breathe.

“We can take it out a 1/2 inch or so, don’t worry,” says Giaovanito. A 1/2 inch will do nothing to help a size ‘0′ torture device. In the middle of my pain and distress I hear a conversation emanating from the fitting room next door.

“Daddy…!” A loud outer-borough girl (OBG) is trying on her wedding gown while screaming at the members of her bridal party and into her cell phone: “Daddy, I’m trying on my Goddamn wedding gown!”

Danielle peaks around the corner and then gives me the “you have to see this girl” eyes. OBG beats me to it and pops in to visit me. She is wearing a huge bejeweled gown covered in lace, beading, and what looks like a lot of Tic-Tacs. Though tall and quite pretty, her overpowering breasts and eye makeup draw so much attention it’s difficult to appreciate other things.

“Oh your dress is nice, but so simple,” she says.

Instead of a pleasant exchange between two brides-to-be, this has quickly turned into a weird dress competition.

Well, yes, compared to the disco ball you’re sporting, it could be perceived as simple, I think to myself.

“Did you pick out your crown yet? You should do that soon, because the good ones sell out quickly,” she adds.

She didn’t just say “crown,” did she?

But I smile, and tell her thank you, but I’m not a crown kind of girl. She rolls her eyes, grabs her cell phone, and marches back into her own room. Giaovanito, God bless her soul, takes one look at my face and before anything totally obnoxious can come out of my mouth she closes the curtain.

When we finish the fitting, Danielle heads back to NJ and I hop on the train to go home, thankful that my dress is truly beautiful though painfully snug. But on the train platform who do I see but OBG and her posse. And they are staring at me as if I have Ebola. I manage to read one girl’s lips: “She’s the one who isn’t wearing a crown,” she snickers. All of the other girls point and whisper.

Luckily the train pulls into the station. I opt for a different car than the posse and head back uptown.