Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Brides of Others

Two friends of mine are getting married at the end of next month and their caterer just went out of business. Yikes! I thought maybe I should pick up my wedding dress from the store because you just never know.
Who could abandon such a beautiful
bride in produce?
Reader, you may have noticed that the only picture in this post is a stolen flickr shot of some stranger’s bride bear left among the melons at Albertson’s. I’m not a highly superstitious person, though if I have the option not to walk under a ladder, I’ll take it. Just in case I do wind up wearing this gown someday, I’ll keep it a surprise. I will say that if the dress were a Netflix movie I would describe it as retro, feel-good, and independent.
Well, "independent" except that when I got the dress home and decided to try it on for an audience of cats, I couldn’t zip the bodice myself. I remembered that bridesmaids perform more than merely ornamental or folkloric functions (wasn’t that how bridesmaids got their jobs? To confuse the evil spirits as to which woman was the bride? Though how evil spirits could confuse irredeemable satiny Pepto Bismol confections with the white dress that's clearly the star, I’m not sure.) I held up my dress as best I could and smiled at the cats and at the mirror. In an alternate universe, I’m getting married in this dress on Saturday. (In both universes, my shoulders look pretty good. I’ve been working out).
While I was trying my dress on, the right side of my face was still numb from a filling that morning. Of course, if I read in a short story that a character waited until she was partially anaesthetized to pick up a wedding dress she no longer needs, I might be tempted to roll my eyes. Dulling the pain! I'd snark at the book. How clever! As it was, I had Vaseline clumped on my lips, and I was hoping my speech could be understood.
My new dentist, Dr. Crump, sometimes refers to himself in third person as “Crump” (as in “remember, Crump said to brush those back teeth with extra care.”) I sat through hours of sordid dental and orthodontic work when I was a kid.  I don’t remember liking it (except for aesthetic moments like choosing the color of my retainers: tie-dye with extra glitter!). But I don’t remember feeling as panicked as I did during this most recent visit. Crump is very kind. He asked me several times, “You’re feeling no sensation?”
My tooth looked borderline OK on the xray, so much so that Crump debated whether to go for the filling now or just keep the tooth under observation. Once he removed my old, leaking sealant, though, he said the decay just “mushroomed” and was close to the nerve. He switched to a slower drill that he described as “more discriminating.” I'm sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.