Cloud Nine?

6:58 AM
Saturday, we started shopping for the last prom dress. Well, Chloe's last prom dress, anyway. We're gonna have to start all over again in a few years with our little bug. But that hardly seems possible. Though we have had mad success at the same store for the past few years, Chloe wanted to try a new place that was at the end of the earth. We went. We and 42,000 other people. As soon as we walked in, my throat started to close. Chloe glanced over her shoulder at me, and I smiled and clung tightly to Lily's hand lest I lose her in the mad throng of shoppers.

Within 2 seconds, Josh (I think that was his name) offered his services as a personal shopper. Thank goodness, because I couldn't hold onto Lily and sort through thousands of dresses. He had a brief conversation with Chloe, "What size are you?" "What style dress are you looking for?" and then disappeared. Chloe and I exchanged worried glances and continued getting bumped, shoved and elbowed, as eager mothers and daughters, and even a few dads (poor guys, on super bowl Sunday, no less?) ripped through the dresses sending sequins and ostrich feathers flying.

Momentarily, Josh returned with a few options for Chloe to try. She found a few others. I took my eye off her for a second, and she vanished. I looked down to make sure Lily was still beside me, even though I could feel her sweaty little hand tightly grasping mine. It's an OCD thing, I guess. I bent and asked her, "Did you see where Sissy went?" Her response was wide-eyed terror followed by a very loud, "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" Yeah, it's kind of hard to hear over the cacophony of techno music and checking accounts draining.

About ten harrowing minutes later we managed to navigate 15 feet to the dressing rooms, in time for one overly eager mother to rip open a curtain and reveal my partially clothed child. "Whoops, wrong one!" she laughed, as I contemplated whether to smile in return or clock her. I smiled, as I heard Chloe's death whisper, "GET IN HERE!" Lily and I joined her in match-box sized room. Now there were three of us, five dresses for Chloe, and a giant peacock number left by a former occupant. I was sweating, my heart was palpitating, and my head was pounding. A few weeks before, I had heard on my Jesus radio station, "In every situation, trust Jesus. He is there." I immediately felt even guiltier for having dragged the Son of God to Henri's Cloud Nine, which was one of the closest places I could imagine to HELL.

Again, I smiled at Chloe, who responded with an exasperated, "I just want to go home. I'm sorry."

"Just try them on," I suggested, trying to make the best of this debacle. She did. Each one meriting little more than a half-hearted headshake. The most viable option of the five, an aqua gown with mirror-like jewels sewn all over the bodice, quickly lost its luster, when I glimpsed the price tag. $1038. You have got to be kidding.

Chloe quickly got dressed, and we dashed out of that place carefully avoiding Josh and the other sequined-vested sales associates. I was a little bit irritated that we had only used 15 minutes on the parking meter since I'd paid for an hour, but I decided that $.15 wasn't worth enduring any more of that place.

So, this week we are going back to our usual place. I am anxiously hoping for much better results. I thought Lily would probably opt to stay home with the boys, but she said as long as I buy her ice cream on the way home, she's in.


  1. I bought my Mardi Gras dress at a place like that. Verrrry Interesting. Lily and ice cream --- a girl after my own heart. ;-) Hope y'all have more fun this week!

  2. This prom dress thing is a racket. She should just rent a tux. I will, however, however make some dress suggestions since I am (as well as being the most well-informed man on earth) also a fashion maven:

    You're welcome.

  3. I didn't thank you. (Cam and Gloria)


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