Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The One

Tired and happy. I love that feeling and that's how I felt when I snuggled down on my sofa last night after a lovely weekend in Paris. Babs and I took advantage of the long weekend and my parents' hospitality to go over and shop for a bridesmaid dress.

To tell you the truth, I'm not a keen shopper. I get bored, hot and restless very quickly and am generally a huge pain the arse to be around. But when you're shopping with your best friend to find yourself a bridesmaid dress for her wedding, it quickly turns into something special.

Deep down we were both a little worried that we wouldn't find anything suitable and that by the end of the weekend we would have reached a state of blind panic grabbing desperately at a selection of hideous dresses in the hope that they "might look good on". If we couldn't find anything in Paris where life appears to be one long catwalk and there are more shops than is necessarily a sensible idea, then we were probably fucked. Outwardly though, each for the sake of the other, we were both pretty
blasé about the whole thing, dismissing the pressure with parisian style shoulder shrugs.

As it turned out we found the dress we wanted about fifty metres into Galerie La Fayette, Paris' most famous department store and our first stop of the day. We both fell in love with it the minute we saw it and new immediately it was "the one". However, the Fates, it seemed, weren't going to let us have it as easy as that. The dress was the right size, but they had sold out of the colour we'd fallen for. We went to the champagne bar to steel ourselves for a trek across Paris in search of the exact model we wanted. Fortified somewhat by the bubbly (it was a special occasion after all) we headed to Printemps, another big department store next door, where it turned out they had the dress in both the wrong size and the wrong colour. Strike one!

So far we'd been visiting department stores where this particular designer had a small outlet. Next we hiked to the other side of Paris to visit the main shop itself where we were confident that they would have what we were looking for. Alas it wasn't to be. Right colour, wrong size. Strike two!

Disheartened, we asked one of the shop assistants to call around the other stores in Paris to find out if any of them had what we wanted. Our luck was in. The last big Parisian department store, Bon March
é, had the only dress in our size AND colour in the whole of Paris. They put it to one side for us and we hurried over to claim our prize!

Delighted with our find and surprized that we'd completed our mission so quickly, the rest of the weekend was spent strolling around putting the world to rights instead of in the mounting state of hysteria we'd both been secretly dreading.