Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How I Know I am Marrying a Saint

Mr.W. and i strolled happily from Tiffanys. Another thing checked off the wedding list. Next step? Clothing for him.

When we first began planning this grand event(which has taken on a life of its own), Mr.W. nixed black tie right off. Ok. No problem. So what do you want to wear?
Blazer, white shirt, tie, and khakis. No penguin suits. Ok. No probelm.

All was well until he mentioned that he had the blazer, a nice white shirt, and a few pairs of khakis to choose from. All he needed was a tie and he was all set. Uh...Problem!

If I was wearing an extravagant and exhorbitantly expensive dress, which I could only wear that one day, well, then pulling old clothes out of his closet(pleated front khakis to boot!). No way. Uh uh. Nada. Not going to fly.

To the rescue came one of the groomsmen, the one I affectionately call "Sally". Why, you ask? Well, all I can say is you've never heard him order dinner. I'll split the steak(with his girlfriend), with, could I have...haricot vert instead of the asparagaus? Oh, thank you, that would be wonderful, love. (he's British). And could we have extra fries and sauce, on the side?" It's the constant request for sauce on the side that gets me. But I digress.

This particular groomsman politely refused to wear khakis. He had never worn khakis. Would never wear khakis. Hated khakis. After a ten minute ramble of like sentiments, expressed vehemently, punctuated by lots of British slang(he's the only person I know from whom the word 'wanker' seems natural). Mr. W. got the point.

And that is the short version of how we ended up heading toward Brooks Brothers to order a new blue blazer and some nice, new, summer-weight gray flannel slacks. Cue the Halleluiah chorus.

Found BB and proceeded inside, at first simply browsing, then looking for a salesperson. And there she was. An older woman, leaning against a table.

"Can I help you?" she asked. She was definitely a native New Yorker. I explained what we were looking for. She shook her head. They had nothing that would fit Mr. W., who is short. She proceeded to describe the kind of short-waisted pant he would need, which they did not carry. If he were to wear the pants they offer, "the crotch would be dragging around his knees." Ok. Got it.

Onward, the intrepid shoppers went. Hmmm..... where to go.

"Do you mind if we take a stroll through Saks, Fifth Ave?" I inquired. Mr. W. was more than happy to oblige. Boy, he'll never do that again. Insert evil laugh.

My mother used to get her face care products at the Saks on Belmont Ave. in Philadelphia. It was torture. She wandered around looking at the clothes, the coats, the jewelry, then proceeded to the Erno Lazlo counter to buy what she came for. This was before my affection for shopping developed. Ah, the lost opportunities.

Well, we could rectify that. Through the doors, Mr. W. and I plunged into the mob, skirting the myriad make-up counters, and filing past the individual boutiques. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, all vying for my attention. Up the escalator we went. The next floor offered rack upon rack of designer temptations. I meandered around the floor, touching, coveting, reveling in... oh, see that Armani skirt and jacket? wouldn't they be perfect for the rehearsal dinner?

In my defense, I snapped out of it before even looking at the price tag! Onward around the spiraling arrangements, back to the excalator. Up, up up!Six floors of row after row of exquisite clothes. Isn't this dress pretty? $1800??? Not that pretty.

The men's department starts on the sixth floor. And yes, I walked through every floor below. Poor Mr. W., but, after all, we were here for him. (I know. I know. Does it really make me a bad person?)

For the first time, I was a bit overwhelmed. And Mr. W. staggered along in a daze.
"Do you see anything?"
"I don't know."
"What do you want to do?"
"I don't know."

We needed help. I approached a young man who was more than happy to help. Summer weight blue blazer? Mr. W. tried on a few before finding one that was close. Next, he took a pair of low-rise, light-weight gray slacks into the dressing room.

After being assured it was allowed, I took a seat on one of the couches in the main area of the room, while Mr. W. locked himself in one of the private rooms. I watched the antics of the small, busy tailor and the other customers while I waited for Mr. W. to reappear. And waited. And waited.

I turned to our helper, "He's going to need a bigger size."
"How do you know?"
"Trust me. I know." Sure enough, Mr.W. reappeared wearing his...khakis.

After a few more attempts, another salesman came in and offered his two cents.
"I'm not sure he's going to find what he needs here." Oh no. Not again. "You might have to try Men's Warehouse or Simms. He needs something called a 'portly short.'"

Um. Right. I could see that going over really well.

I saw the tailor hovering around my affianced, his head was shaking. I watched him exchange a few words with our young salesman, who then ran out of the dressing room on a mission.

What he brought back fit well. The tailor made his marks, pinned the pants, and voila! We had the makings of an outfit. Turning to me, the tailor handed me a tag.
"This is the brand and the style he needs. Keep that, so you'll know in the future." he gave me a couple of other possibilites and hurried off to another customer.

Mission accomplished. But....

The shoe department is on the eighth floor...

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