My Ten Dollar Wedding Dress

For sure I’m the same girl who loves her Chanel and those sexy sexy toe cleavage Louboutins.

But I’m also all about a bargain – a good deal – a TREASURE.

When tugboat man proposed and we set a date, (yes, Dr. Laura, I had a ring and a date) — it was time to commence the checklist and countdown to becoming Mrs. Tugboat Captain.

I didn’t expect to find the perfect wedding gown at the DAV (that’s short for Disabled American Veterans) but I was getting desperate.

I had visited all of the local wedding shops, tried on a lot of gowns that didn’t feel right for me – not for a second marriage — and they didn’t speak to me design-wise.

Remember, it was 1994. Not as bad as the eighties, but still…light years before “Say Yes To The Dress”.

It was January; the wedding was the following month and I didn’t have anything to wear.

Not quite time to panic, well, yes, time to panic.

I would have been a Bridezilla if I wasn’t the one who was doing all the planning.

As a last resort, I was going to sew my own dress – but there wasn’t a whole lotta time.

One day I was aimlessly driving around and thought what the heck, I’ll try the thrift stores, whaddid I have to lose?

I stopped at the DAV on Coast Highway in Oceanside. It never smelled fresh, and that was a turnoff for sure, but I’d had luck there previously when I was looking for a vintage Hawaiian shirt.

Dejectedly, I dragged my feet over to the “fancy” dress aisle. It was an exercise in futility, but I wanted to be thorough.

I certainly didn’t expect to find the perfect wedding gown here — although there were lots of graduation-type dresses that looked like they had seen their one and done status and that’s how they ended up in the rack of last resorts.

And there it was.

Smashed and smooshed between two hideous body-deforming shiny blue taffeta trashed bridesmaids gowns or quinceanera dresses…

…my little jewel of a a wedding dress sang her sweet song of lace and froth.

Not too much; just right. Oh so right.

Lace tiers and sheer long sleeves and a nipped-in waist. SO ME.

A slightly Victorian feel or something that wouldn’t be out of place at Highcleer Castle. (Downton Abbey reference)

ME WANT.

I didn’t even bother to try it on in the (ick) sketchy“dressing room” — really just three dirty blankets hung from a partition.

Cost? It was $10. TEN DOLLARS. I’m not sure of the designer’s name — whatever label had been attached was removed, but someone cared. There was LOVE in the stitches.

One thousand pennies.

What if it didn’t fit? 

As soon as I got home, I tried it on and it was a perfect fit. Perfect. Like bespoke. Like so perfect I got teary.

SO meant to be, just like my tugboat man.

Although it was as immaculate as if it had never been worn, I always feel the need to add some embellishment. I went to the fabric store and bought twenty yards of chiffon for a belt/sash and then I decided I wanted to give the gown a slight vintage feel. I filled my tub with ten bags of Earl Grey tea; dipped and soaked the gown just until it was tinted a faintly champagne-ish color.

Absolutely fabulous.

May I present Mrs. Tugboat Captain in these old and scanned pics.

weddingdress1 Yes, I have to cut tugboat man out of every one, but I swear he was there.weddingdress2 Haha, half a head, but I’m not dancing alone! See the gorgeous sash.weddingdress3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gallimaufry. What’s That? Today’s Confused Hodgepodge.

Gal·li·mau·fry  [gal-uhmaw-free]
…a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.

That’s today’s title and a great descriptor…a little bit of everything ‘cos, well, just because.
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Update on my son...

Staples removed (20+ of them!!) thanks to my good friend’s doctor hub whom we’ve known since our boys were in first grade and we used to go to aerobics classes together…he’s a topnotch internist at North County Internal Medicine.

A while back they added something special to his practice, NCIM Aesthetics — specializing in state-of-the-art laser skin laser technology PLUS my personal favorites: Botox, Juvederm, and Radiesse. Give ’em a call @ 760-726-2302 or email NCIMaesthetics@gmail.com

So far, the only hitch in Angel Boy’s recovery was a by-product of taking Augmentin for an infection he got in the hospital…another really awful stomach bacteria called c. difficile, but with a switch to Flagyl and some high quality probiotics, his fever and the infection disappeared. He’s finishing up his recovery in SF with DIL. Alll he needs to do now is build up his strength and gain back the nearly twenty pounds he lost over the last month.

Me (‘cos it’s always about me, right? I mean, even when it doesn’t seem to be all about me, it’s really ALL ABOUT ME.)

Suffering from writer’s block again, so I’m watching back to back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Real Housewives of Orange County (or New York), and Sherlock —  all very successfully helping me NOT create a post — or writing — of any value. There’s no real writing inspiration, just escapism.

Honestly, I don’t know who I’m crushing on more: Randy Fenoli from SYTTD (I’d kill for his eyebrows) or Benedict Cumberbatch as the ultimate Sherlock. I love them both! But not nearly as much as I’m lady boning for Richard Roxburgh as criminal lawyer Cleaver Greene in Rake, (the original Aussie one), not the US version, on Netflix.

Watching SYTTD and Housewives is something I can ONLY do when my tugboat man is out to sea; it’s one of those pesky non-negotiables when he’s home.

He literally REFUSES — says, “Im outta here” as he leaves the room, so I save them as my guilty pleasures when he’s thousands of miles away.

A successful marriage is all about compromises, right? Do I want to have a fight about a stupid TV show? Nope, not this Princess.

With my very empty nest, it was time to put on my comfortable shoes and flex my weakened shopping muscles. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent the day as a little retail butterfly, flitting from one store to the next, checking out the offerings and laying down the “plastique”; I’m a bit rusty and needed a warm-up before attempting one of the big malls or my own personal mecca, South Coast Plaza.

After a great hour-long boot camp class at 24 Hour Fitness, I checked my watch, 10:00 a.m. and I was off! First to Target for essentials, then Trader Joe’s and a vacuum store for a new powerhead belt, on to Marshalls to test my shoe-spotting and ability to browse both-sides-of-the-aisle-at-the-same-time skills.

After the one hour mark, I was a bit tired and thirsty so I stopped to eat an apple and grab a bottle of water — it’s imperative to stay well-hydrated and nourished whilst shopping.

Revived, I meandered downtown to get my glasses adjusted and stopped at my favorite consignment shop where I’ve previously discovered Valentino and Missoni treasures –not so lucky on this day, but I didn’t leave empty handed; there was a sweet and comfy chartreuse bathing suit coverup  that called out to me.

This practice shopping excursion ended with a visit to Lowe’s for vegetable seeds, a pomegranate tree, and mesh to cover an apple tree that’s being eaten by nasty ground squirrels, presumably cousins of the elusive Spirit Squirrel™.
Click here to read all about it.

Still all about me, but on a serious note…

I was just diagnosed with vitreous detachment in my left eye which is sad because I thought the sparkles I was seeing was once-and-for-all proof positive of my Princess-ness.

However, I was wrong. Here’s the info from NIH (National Institutes of Health) in case you ever see sparkles and it’s not the optical or silent migraine type of lights.

It’s definitely NOT something to ignore…

What is vitreous detachment?
Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina.

In most cases, a vitreous detachment, also known as a posterior vitreous detachment, is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

Who is at risk for vitreous detachment?
A vitreous detachment is a common condition that usually affects people over age 50, and is very common after age 80. People who are nearsighted are also at increased risk. Those who have a vitreous detachment in one eye are likely to have one in the other, although it may not happen until years later.

Symptoms and Detection
As the vitreous shrinks, it becomes somewhat stringy, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina that you may notice as floaters, which appear as little “cobwebs” or specks that seem to float about in your field of vision. If you try to look at these shadows they appear to quickly dart out of the way.

One symptom of a vitreous detachment is a small but sudden increase in the number of new floaters. This increase in floaters may be accompanied by flashes of light (lightning streaks) in your peripheral, or side, vision. In most cases, either you will not notice a vitreous detachment, or you will find it merely annoying because of the increase in floaters.

Treatment
How does vitreous detachment affect vision?

Although a vitreous detachment does not threaten sight, once in a while some of the vitreous fibers pull so hard on the retina that they create a macular hole or lead to a retinal detachment.

Both of these conditions are sight-threatening and should be treated immediately.

If left untreated, a macular hole or detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters or an increase in flashes of light in peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

But enough of THAT stuff, right?

On that happy note, I’ll wrap up this Wednesday gallimaufry and try to focus on a submission for Erma Bombeck Workshop all because I opened my big mouth on Twitter and kinda sorta got dared to do it. SCARED! Wish me luck, y’all!

ermabombeck