Yesterday was the annual 'Running of the Brides' at Filene's Basement. Designer wedding gowns are sold at substantial savings to those willing to push and shove and wear funny hats.
I always want to punch them.
My DIL dreamed of wearing a Vera Wang wedding gown. My son will tell you his wife always wanted "a dress by Suzie Wong or something like that, some skinny Asian chick."
Vera Wang had a sample sale in Chicago right after Jeffrey and Connie were engaged and so off we went. Me, Connie and her Mom. Since this was a last minute decision we couldn't get rooms in the same hotel as the sale. Once we settled in at our hotel about a mile away Connie and I decided to go scout out the sale location. It was around 10 PM and the sale was set to start at 9 the next morning. We found the hotel and it looked very very quiet. As the taxi rounded the corner we saw a few people sitting on the street by the side entrance. I'll never forget the taxi driver - "that's those crazy bride people, by 2 AM there will be hundreds of them."
The look of panic on my DIL's face was tragic. The short plane ride from NY to Chicago had been delayed and she was exhausted. Her Mom was already asleep back at the hotel. Visions of waiting for Springsteen tickets danced in my head and I told her that if she got me a folding chair and a blanket I'd join the line.
I've been to Chicago many times and it is one of my most favorite cities. Waiting all night on that line was one of the best times I ever had in Chicago.
After getting my camping supplies at a Rite Aid the taxi took us back to the line. I got out and shouted out to my co-linees - "hey girls, Vera makes plus sizes right!!."
They liked me.
My real story was told quick enough. A rep from Vera Wang called me "that fabulous mother-in-law from NY" - he was a giant teddy bear of a man who had just been dumped by the love of his life and here he was running a wedding gown sale. He had the most delicious twisted sense of humor and we had a grand time together.
I met a lawyer from Boston. A secretary from Wisconsin. A police officer from Florida. There was a young girl there from a very strict family. She had begged her father to let her sleep on the sidewalk. He kept coming down to check on her. I told him I'd look out for her but I think that might have only made him more nervous.
My most favorite line companion was a man (the only one) who was marrying a woman who was divorced with a child. He insisted she stay upstairs with her daughter. He told me she had never had a real wedding and her ex was a bastard and he wanted her to have everything she deserved. He was a sweet sweet man.
We took turns going for coffee and wandering around the surrounding streets. At one point six or seven of us were standing in front of a high rise with arms linked singing "Oprah, Oprah - please come out and play" - I don't know if Oprah even lived there.
At 7 the next morning one of my new best friends called my DIL at the hotel screaming that she had to wake up and come get on line - and bring breakfast for 20. She and her Mom arrived shortly after. With breakfast for 20.
The Vera Wang people were wonderful. My teddy bear buddy knew the line and he kept it organized. It had grown and grown overnight and was now stretched all around the hotel. The relief in my DIL's eyes made me so happy.
We were let in 12 at a time. No pushing, no shoving. Lots of laughter and excitement.
I gave my folding chair and blanket to a homeless guy on the corner.
My DIL got her dress.
That's the way to 'run the brides'.
some photos of me and "my girls" were taken using my DIL's brother's camera but the memory card was lost so I can't share them. the photos here are of the Filene's sale from the NY Daily News