So that about sums up my weekend in a nutshell.
The actual explanations require a bit more space, so stay with me here. We went to Charlotte for the weekend to see B's friend John's new house, to celebrate my little bro's 26th birthday, aaaaand...for me and Mom to go wedding dress shopping! Unfortunately, as per normal in my life, everything didn't go to plan but it was a wonderful weekend nonetheless.
We arrived on Friday night and had a chill evening grilling out at John's house, or "barbecuing," as he calls it...he's from New Jersey, bless his heart. They don't understand that barbecue is a noun, not a verb, but he made some terrific steaks, so I'll forgive him this time.
We woke up Saturday to rain. B and John went off to fix John's bike, and I went off to meet my mama. After a harried lunch with Mom, the Little Bro, and Little Bro's fiancee (aka "Sort-of Seester") at the Cheesecake Factory, Little Bro set off to celebrate his birthday on the golf course with some buddies, and we ladies turned to the important business of wedding dress shopping. This is not an exercise for the faint of heart, or the easily discouraged. The first place we went was uber-fancy and creepily quiet. The saleslady informed us that we couldn't try on wedding gowns today because each bride had her "special time" and today was not my "special time." To which I wanted to reply, "Woman, the love of my life asked me to marry him. I'm nearly 30 years old and have waited AGES for this. Every minutes until the clock strikes midnight on April 26th is my @#$%ing special time!" However, I kept my mouth shut, even when she forced my poor mother into a horrible bright purple satin dress with peplum...my only response to that could be termed, "WTF?". Terrible, terrible mother of the bride outfit. BAD.
We then trudged through the rain back to the car and decided to call David's Bridal. They were booked up on appointments that day. I was starting to get really discouraged - would I even get to try on a dress?! Despairing, I then called New York Bride and Groom, recommended to me by my former college roommate, Meg, who is getting married this October. Their voice recording said you never needed an appointment there - yay! A lead! So we drove through the monsoon to NY Bridal.
When we arrived, they were accommodating, friendly, and SUPER easy to work with. They gave me a fitting room right away and told me I could pick six dresses to try on at once. BINGO. So I went, and after much helpless deliberation (seriously, it was a LOT of big white dresses), I picked my first six. Mom and Sort-Of Seester got ready to help me into all this. Seester asked me which one I wanted to try on first. Overwhelmed, I said, "Ummm, the one closest to the door." Geography seemed as good an indicator as any. So on it went (after much stumbling on my part...this is not for the uncoordinated, either). I liked it. I really, really liked it. However, I was expecting to like all the rest of them that much. I was afraid it would be a hard decision.
Nope. No way. Not even a little bit. After two dress shops and roughly 15 dresses, that first one remained The One. I ordered it today on my lunch hour. When you know, you know...can't wait to wear it on my big day!
Then, after all that hard work trying on dresses, it was time to go back, meet up with B, John, and John's lady, and celebrate Little Bro's birthday. We decided on a casual Mexican restaurant, which Little Bro and Sort-Of Seester assured us was wonderful. As soon as we were seated, a mariachi band came into the room in which we were seated. We thought they would play a song or two, then circulate through the rest of the restaurant. Oh, no. Not even close. They stood at the booth next to us (right next to my poor B) and played THE ENTIRE TIME WE WERE EATING. And they only had one volume: earsplitting. This went on FOR AN HOUR. Y'all, I'm so not kidding. I could barely hear my brother, who was sitting right beside me. My B kept saying "Huh? Huh?"
By the time we left, our collective heads were about ready to explode. We didn't even listen to any music in the car on the way to the next bar. We just enjoyed the sweet, sweet sound of silence. Ahhhhhh. The next bar went a little better - we even got to have conversation! So overall it was a great weekend. However, if you're at my wedding and I'm in my white dress, and B and I keep saying, "Huh? Huh?" to you when you try to talk to us, blame it on the mariachi band. Ole!