(Wedding) Breakfast at Furbelows

When Mary’s wedding plans are derailed, she turns to her friend for help. This story is revised from one submitted to the 2015 NYC Midnight Competition

I look up as a customer enters Furbelows!, then sigh. It’s just my friend Mary.

Instead of her customary flounce and greeting of ‘Hey! Hey, baby. What’s going on here?’ she just slopes in. She runs her fingers over a pair of Mary Janes in the window, glancing about her. 

Sensing that this is not a shopping spree, but wedding related, I grimace. 

“Hey, Mary!” 

“Hiya. Busy?” 

“You have just rescued me from a three hour google fest. I had  just reached the dizzying heights of three hundred possible uses for aluminium foil…. Business is so slow,  I’m going to start paying clients to shop!”

Mary no longer has the  bright bushy glow I associate with her updates on silk taffeta dresses and beaded tiaras. Instead, she looks more like her favorite aunt not only died, but was eaten by crocodiles. Have to think fast. Has she fallen out with Jason. Is this a temporary rift? Could it be worse than that – has he pulled out of the wedding? So I quip, “Maid of honor to the rescue! Wedding jitters?”

“Oh no—nothing like that.” A wan smile plays across Mary’s face as she sees the relief in mine.

“Phew! I don’t have to say the wrong thing about the groom, and then regret it tomorrow when everything is all pink and roses again.” OK, so I’m a shallow friend, but we’ve all been there, am I right?

“It’s just—well…I kinda made a mistake.” Mary says. 

“A mistake?” My wedding radar perks back up. Breathe! “What mistake?”

“I kinda ordered my dress online…“ Mary starts. 

Oh man… kinda? Sensing there was going to be more, I wait.

“and the bridesmaid dresses… and the groom and best man’s suits and they just arrived.” she finishes in a rush.

“…and?” I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“and they are bright green! I mean bright, bright, lurid green!”

I’m pretty sure my face is doing that goldfish gape thing now as I try to recover some sense of direction. “That’s not a mistake, that’s an own goal by Freddie Krueger as directed by Michael Bay! What on earth were you thinking?”

“I don’t know. I wanted a designer dress, it was supposed to be Vera Wang. So sue me!” Julie’s face is getting blotchy, she isn’t big on crying but she may just take a swipe at me, so I back off.

“And Jason says he won’t wear green for the wedding.” On the edge of hysteria, she plonks down at the old desk I use as a counter. 

“And…and… the bridesmaids are all laughing at me.” At that point the waterworks start.

I need to get her calmed down or we will be wiping noses on sleeves of the nearest vintage dresses and costing me a pretty penny in the process. “So, what’s the plan?” I ask, avoiding the “I told you so” on the tip of my tongue. I’m suspecting a sideways maneuver. I’m not disappointed. 

“Weeeellll…,” Mary starts, sniffing. Wait for it! Here it comes.

She continues. “You doooo own a vintage clothing shop, and I was thinking thaaat…” And bam, there it is! Time to swoop in to the rescue methinks. She is my bestie after all. 

“Thaaat maybe I had a dress or five that you could borrow?” I finish, reading her mind.

Mary breaks down completely, her attempt at a grateful smile through the waterfall of tears looks more like a pained tooth extraction.

“I haven’t said ‘yes’ yet!” I point out.

“Oh! But you will!” she gushes. “Just think, a themed wedding! I always wanted a themed wedding… Breakfast at Tiffanies, Philadelphia story… I could dress like Grace Kelly, or better still, Marilyn or…”

I head her off. “Honey with that hair you should be thinking Jane Russell!”

I wouldn’t mind, except this was the original idea we had, with me providing the dresses. But oh no, the bridesmaids wouldn’t like vintage clothing… they might see it as second hand. The stuff I carry! As if! People just don’t get the workmanship that went into these dresses. So … Julie wants Holly Golightly in… let me see… “Four days-time!” I echo out loud.

“Can you do it?” Mary looks like a desperate puppy and I cave. I still remember that Swing class we met at. I had just emigrated from England and found the vintage scene in Washington State alive and well. Julie introduced me around. In turn, I introduced her to her fiancé.

“Sure… shall we start now?” I move to the rail of 1940s gowns and pick out a few possibilities. We are lucky, Julie would have fit well in the golden era of Hollywood, she has that “Sweater Girl” look. I, on the other hand, am more “Sweaty girl” alas. I am definitely a product of the fast food generation!

“Come on then, let’s get started trying these on,” I say,” You had better call the bridesmaids, they are going to need to drop by for fittings.”

I turn and survey the racks. The bridesmaids will be fairly easy, but there is one minor complication.

As I said, I’m not really a Sweater Girl, but I am the maid of honor, so I had better get sewing! Move over Holly Golightly, here comes Jane Russell’s bigger sister!