Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dress Shopping

Jean recently posted that she'd like to get a fake yet glamorous engagement ring, just so that she can go to a boutique and try on bridal gowns. I'm here to tell you all that the experience is probably not worth that sort of trouble.

Last weekend, Kate accompanied me on my first attempt at gown-shopping. The first place we checked out was very, very sketchy. I really hadn't known where to start, and had just written down names of places from the -- that's my excuse for how we ended up at a nasty little "prom gown" store that claims they carry bridal gowns because they happen to have a few cheap-looking white dresses, covered in sequins, that have trains. The saleswoman at this place was really dreadful, and put me in a serious funk. As soon as we walked in the door and headed toward the bridal section of the store, she put her claws of death right into us, latching on firmly, and would not let go for the remainder of our time in the store. She asked what I was looking for. I replied that I'd like something without a lot of beading -- at which point she really ought to have admitted that they didn't have anything of the kind, and I would be better off to look elsewhere. Instead, she brought out dress after dress, each one (except for a few exceptions) more hideous than the last.

All of these dresses embodied everything I hate about most wedding dresses I've seen -- each one screamed in a shrill, high school voice, "I wore this to Junior Prom!" I tried to think of a means of escape, but couldn't seem to do so politely without first trying on two dresses. I vanished into the little room and managed to figure out how to deal with the volumes of cheap fabric well enough to actually step inside the dress. When I emerged, asking Kate to zip me up the rest of the way, the pushy saleswoman leapt between us, saying, "I'll do that." Katie saw my growing consternation (I can be really anti-social, and I hate salespeople who won't leave me alone when I want to be left alone) and attempted to remedy the situation, telling the woman, "We might be a while here; I'm sure you have other things you need to get done." Said saleswoman replied indignantly, "Honey, I can't leave you alone. We pride ourselves on our customer attention."

Well, she gave me attention all right. She gave me so much attention that by the time we left the store, I felt violated. She seemed incapable of zipping a dress back down just enough for me to grab my zipper on my own -- instead, she'd zip it all the way down past my underwear, leaving me standing in a large room in an open store, blushing to my roots and mad as a wet cat. She also managed to touch pretty much every part of my body during the course of our time there... and I only tried on two dresses!

Once that was over, we did have some good success with Kate trying on a few bridesmaid dresses, just to start getting some ideas of what might be nice. We found a few that we really liked, and since then, I've found another one that I might love, by looking at pictures online.

Well, we left the sketchy place, and the next place we tried was a big improvement. Once I started asking prices, I realized why the improvement was so noticeable. Hmm. Nevertheless, I tried on about a dozen gowns -- and almost all of them were pretty nice. I never like how I look in dresses, but none of these had me cringing at all. Amazing.

If you're interested, Kate has posted an account of our shopping trip as well. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sarah Marie as Picky Proofreader

My new job is decent. And, when I get such a hefty paycheck each week, I can't really complain. I am a proofreader at a financial typesetting company. I like looking for errors and demanding that they be fixed, so all in all it's a pretty good fit for me! (ha-ha.) Apparently I passed the initial proofreading test with flying colors, and the temp job is already showing promise of becoming a permanent position - if I want it to. Which, really, I don't. It's nice for the summer, though.

Most of my co-workers are really characters, to say the least. One of the proofreaders has declared that I look like Mandy Moore. He also calls me a "vivacious violin vixen." Yeah... he's quirky. Another co-worker has been in the career of proofreading for far too long, and daily reminds me, "Don't get trapped here. Don't stay here. You get back to doing music. You love it. That's what you should be doing. I don't want to see you stick around here too long." Another character in the story of my work life is the hispanic man who has been painting the hallways for the past two weeks. He asked one of my co-workers, in Spanish, "Who is the pretty muchacha?", and when I walk by, he puts down his paint brush and gazes at me quite openly, smiling widely. As awkward as it is, I can't help feeling a teeny bit flattered; I don't think I've ever been the object of such open admiration from a complete stranger before.

Something I don't like about my new job is the commute. My commute is titan -- I know this because one day I listened to Mahler's Titan Symphony, with the closing bars dying away just as I pulled into the parking lot. (That's a very long drive, for those of you who don't know Mahler!)

And now, with my new morning schedule of rising at 6:30 each day, it is well past my bedtime this evening. Goodnight, my friends.

Friday, July 7, 2006

T Minus Six Months

I'm getting married in less than six months! And while sometimes I think I'd rather just elope and avoid the hassle of planning a wedding, I must admit that this is a rather beautiful and awe-inspiring place in which to be married:

More FavoriteBoy and Nephew

More pictures of FavoriteBoy? Well, if you insist! After all, he is dashingly handsome...

More Pictures

A few more pictures from my time in California:

At the beach! The two Jonathan's together -- one of the brother variety, the other of the nephew variety. Then Nathan and Jonathan. Finally, Emily and Jonathan sharing an ice cream cone.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

FavoriteBoy and Nephew

Ooh, ooh, more pictures! Here are a few early-morning shots of FavoriteBoy and my adorable nephew Jonathan, taken while we were in California vistiing my sister.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Graduation Photos

My diploma arrived in the mail. That reminded me to post a few graduation pictures.