Monday, February 11, 2008
Last week I drove a couple of hours away from here to catch up with Ru. Her boyfriend proposed over the holiday and we were now on a mission, a mission to find her dress. She already had some ideas about what style she wanted, so that made things easier.
I enjoyed the drive out to meet her. It had been a while since I had driven anywhere far enough away to actually enjoy the drive. It was kind of foggy out, with a mist that was just slightly too warm for snowflakes. Bare trees lined the road, and snow still covered the ground. Between the poor visibility and the somberness of winter, it was almost like I was driving in a monochromatic world. The trees are in that completely state of dead right now, with no promises of spring. It's almost like looking at their roots, and if you could just flip them upside down, maybe you could find some leaves and life somewhere.
Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks were in a neck-and-neck competition, alternating their wares at progressive rest stops along the toll road. The further east I drove, the more country music stations there were. The snow accumulation also started to grow, and I began to pass evergreens with branches so laden with snow that they stooped like old widows.
The dress shop turned out to be a perfect midway point, with Ru and I arriving within minutes of each other. We found her size, and begun the process of heaving plastic bundles containing precious volumes of lace, beads, and satin on a rack. (My shoulders are quite thankful that she wasn't interested in the full-skirted dresses.)
She stepped out of the dressing room with the first one and it was amazing. Gone was the girl with the rainbow t-shirt and sneakers I had walked in with. The first dress fit amazingly, so well that it blew the next several out of the water... but it wasn't quite right.
We went back for more, gleaning the rack of everything in her size that wasn't immediately offensive to the eye. A few more dresses, and then there it was. When she stepped out of the dressing room, she suddenly looked like a bride, instead of a pretty girl in a pretty dress. I was pretty sure that we were on to something because she kept that one on longer and endured more of the banal chatting from the saleswoman. Reluctantly, she took the dress off and tried a few more, but clearly we had a winner.
I couldn't believe that we had found her dress in one outing, and Ru was hesitant to make any rash decisions. So, we went out for an early dinner, scarfing obscenely potent garlic bread, spinach salad, gnocchi, and chocolate cake. Ru was back to her quirky self, asking the waiter to bottle up the quart of milk they brought her with the cake. We went back to the shop, made arrangements to pay for the dress, and because I had to work early the next morning, we parted ways. Mission accomplished.
In other news, Army Guy came back early from Ranger School this past week. He was disappointed to return not having completed the training, but it boiled down to a whole lot of unfairness on the part of the instructors. While I'm disppointed for him, I am glad to have him back early, and have promptly responded to his returning by getting a nasty runny nose and cough, and being great fun to hang around with. Sigh.