Shopping and Other Hazards

David L. Ryan/Globe staff. 
OY! I was wondering to myself why I haven't felt inspired to write for two whole days in a row, then I realized. I'm afflicted with a disease not so bad as COVID, but possibly as preoccupying: I'M SHOPPING FOR A CAR. (Also, Portland, but let's not right now. Moving right along for the time being...)

I know many people who love to do online research when they're buying a big-ticket item, and often, I turn to them when I know they have already selected something I am looking for myself. Marla, Ted's wife, Keri—you guys get the prize for smart-minded research. Me, I get the prize for, "Ah, eff it, this looks good, why not."  Understand who you are working with here. I don't like extensive shopping research. The things most people agonize over, I try to get out of the way immediately. I believe with my entire soul in "good enough." 

Example: Wedding dress, 2002. I thought it would be hilariously ironic to go to notorious Running of the Brides wedding dress extravaganza at Filene's Basement. Wikipedia calls it a "local tradition since 1947," and for many years, it got national media attention for the sight of screaming Bridezillas storming the steps of Filene's and feverishly pulling dresses off racks at opening time to get the best deal. Young women assembled their teams, wore matching tee shirts, brought whistles so they wouldn't lose each other in the maze of organza, and down they went in search of a $249 deal. Then, they would strip down to their whatevers and try on those sugary confections right there in the aisles. Oh, I had to go. Because, you know... Sue.

I took the train from Wellington Station in Medford to Downtown Crossing in Boston, arriving in the smelly, hot station at 6:30 a.m.. I took my spot in line behind a handful of very excited bridal parties. This was before mobile phones ate our brains, so I brought a book. For some reason, I chose The Hobbit—no doubt just to prove the irony, and make sure everyone around me knew just how funny it is that this aspiring Cantabridgian was totally ready to have a fist-fight with a bride-to-be from Revere over some $89 wedding dress inside. I didn't really have a bridal party at the ready, but I did have Debie, who has the same sense of humor as me and who was also getting married soon.

We met there. We were fairly early in the line, and when Deb arrived we just looked at each other and laughed. After a short wait, the doors did open and people did rush down. We walked. Everyone went to the racks in the middle. We veered off to the left, to a corner that was quieter. Me, I tried on two dresses. The second one fit well. A group of girls were shopping with their seamstress. They were standing by the mirror and when I arrived with the dress over my tee shirt, she took one look at me and in a Greek accent that automatically meant that everything she said was going to be absolutely, incontrovertibly true, said, "That fits you perfectly. All you have to do is hem." 

Sold. She wasn't wrong, but the hemming cost twice as much as the dress did. 

Pretty dress, though, right?