We're going to the Senior Prom!
And, we can thank my father for it all. Last week, before all this medical hoopla took place, my father had me run a few errands for him. The thing is-- with my father--he has very specific directions when it comes to running his errands. Even though a particular chain store has several convenient locations, he has his favorite. And, he insists on using that particular one and not the one that is closest to where we live. Not only does he insist we do it--he makes it impossible for us not to do it. He calls in his orders there! Yeah, there ain't no getting over on that man.
That's exactly what happened one evening last week.
I must tell you---I was not too happy about it all. After a full day of work, I would have rather run in and out of the store near my house, drop everything off at his place and then go home to cook dinner and get on with my own chores. But, it was not to be.
So, there I was---with Toni in tow since I was going to drop her off at the gym on my way back to my dad's--I was stuck in traffic, heading across town in pouring down rain to pick up something I could have very well picked up less than a mile from my house. That's when I decided to take a little side street in hopes of by-passing the traffic tie up and save a little time. I may have got around the traffic. But, I didn't save one minute of time. And, it cost me a whole lot of money. Because there sat a little formal wear store--a tiny place that I had heard about but never knew where it was. This is where our little story of happenstance begins.
The shop was filled to the brim with prom-going girls and their mothers. On a rainy week night, no less. The chaos was deafening--a few girls fighting with their mothers, others giving directives to the seamstress and others either squealing in delight or whining about their plights. I had never seen so many teenage boobs sticking out of dresses! (Where in the hell do they get those big boobs anyway?) And, the place was packed so tightly with racks of formal dresses that it was hard to make your way through. Definitely not the luxurious,bright and sprawling environment of the place we drove 2 hours to visit--the mecca of promgownwear--where you are greeted by an elegantly dressed woman at the door and a tuxedo-attired man plays a jewel-encrusted baby grand in the center of a beautifully decorated, elevated stage.
Toni and I were given a young helper to assist in wading through the hundreds of dresses. We were assigned a make-shift dressing room and told to find what we wanted. Which we sort of did. There were short ones. There were long ones. There were ones with necklines up to there and ones with necklines down to there. There were sparkly ones and poufy ones and ones with ruffles and bows. Toni dutifully tried them on as I stood with the other mothers and gave my critques. At one point, Toni found herself stuck in the little dressing area--pinned in by a very poofy princessy pink number that was entirely too poofy to get out the door. Another time, she poked her head out sheepishly while wearing a skin-hugging gold lame get-up with a split down to her navel and another slit up to where her thigh meets her hip---all held together by three rhinestone straps. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. And so, many dresses later, we called it a night, bid our good-byes to our helper and our new found prom-going friends and moms and made our way out the door. Into the rain.
As we passed the little shop's 2X5 window on the way to the car, we spotted the most beautiful, eloquent, frothy dress on display. Both of us stopped in our tracks--right there in the rain. That was the dress. Without even sharing a word--we both hi-tailed it back into the crammed boutique. "We're back!" I called out to our helper---who was now someone else's helper. Everyone turned to look as I shook the rain from my shoulders and announced--"we want to see the dress in the window." With that, the helper looked at me "oooooh, that's so beautiful! a little pricey though." Hey, I didn't have my husband with me.....so I wouldn't be allowing a price tag to stand in between my daughter and the most perfect dress. But, she didn't know that.
When Toni put on that dress--time stood still. A hush fell over the room and stars began to twinkle as she dreamily floated across the room---so shiney and sweet and youthful and elegant. So simple. So so exquisite. Everyone stopped to stare at this angelic creature....my little brown eyed girl with the soft locks, memorable beauty mark and delightful smile.....as she glided regally towards the mirror in the billowy, wispy, dazzling, watercolored dress. Choirs of angels began to sing and soft bells could be heard in the distance. The rain that fell outside the window seemed to whisper her name. All eyes cast dreamingly upon her as mouths softly opened in dazed wonderment. As tremendously enchanting as that moment was--there was nothing as beautiful, nothing quite as captivating as that moment when her eyes met mine. In that surreal silence--we both knew that our journey had ended--right there in that little boutique on a quirky side street across from a used car lot in Bridgeville--as the rain softly fell outside and dusk fell. It was nothing short of magic.
Yes, my friends, a story to tell the grandchildren.....
And, lest we forget who got us there.
Another reason to obey your father and take detours. You never know what dream you will capture.