Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Dressmaker

I first met the dressmaker when I was working at my summer job at the Boys and Girls Club, a year before our wedding. She had a couple of kids at the Boys and Girls Club, and she would always come and talk with me for a little while before she took her kids home. Frankly, after a day of being with bratty, noisy kids, I was just relieved to have a little adult conversation. So when she told me she was a dressmaker who had made dresses for several weddings before and then showed me some of the pictures, I thought, what the hell. She couldn’t be that bad.

Not that bad? Well, where do I begin…

The first time I drove to her home, I couldn’t believe it. She lived in a trailer with a HALF DOOR. Yes, a half-door—one of those you see in movies about rednecks.

Then I went in the half-door and was immediately attacked by a barrage of dogs and cats. There must have been at least four or five of each. I’m telling you, no one should have that many pets—especially someone who lives in a tiny trailer with a half-door.

Then her kids started hanging on me, while we tried to talk business. She told them to get the f*** away from me. Yeah, that was nice.

Still, she was already done with one of the dresses, and it looked pretty nice to me. So I thought, the dresses are the important thing. And the price. She was only charging $40 per dress. I thought that was pretty reasonable.

Several months later, it was the night before our wedding, and while I was hanging out with some of “the girls” at their hotel, Iwanski’s sister and cousin (who were from out-of-state) drove to the dressmaker’s for a final fitting. Or so they thought.

It turns out, she was only half-finished with their dresses. And as they sat there in the little dingy trailer, with dogs and cats and kids climbing all over them and the dressmaker swearing at all of them, the phone rang.

The dressmaker answered the phone and then got off the phone quickly, a panicked look on her face. “The milk truck’s coming!” she said anxiously.

“Get the f*** outside!” she yelled at her kids.

My future sister-in-law and cousin looked at each other in confusion. Why was a milk truck coming? And why was it such a big deal?

It turns out that the dressmaker had hired a guy to bring a milktruck full of water to fill their above-ground pool, and he was coming in a few minutes.

The problem was that the pool wasn’t up yet.

So she asked them to come outside while she and her kids put up the pool. They sat there on folding chairs in the yard, watching this woman swear at her kids to hold up the sides of the pool correctly.

Then something unbelievable happened.

The dressmaker actually ASKED my future sister-in-law and cousin to HELP HER put up the pool.

And what were they going to say?—No?

No, they were too nice to not help her.

So the night before our wedding, with the bridesmaid dresses only half-done, our dressmaker somehow enlisted the help of my future sister-in-law and cousin to help her put up her pool.

My sister-in-law still laughs about that moment, as she stood there holding up the side of a pool, while this big fat redneck woman screamed obscenities at her children.

All I can say is, it’s a miracle that Iwanski’s sister and cousin forgave me for that one.

I think it just shows what a great family I married into.

Oh, and then the best part of all.

My sister-in-law’s dress was so long that she kept tripping over it all day. So later at the wedding reception, as the dressmaker sat there with her kids (I couldn’t not invite them), my sister-in-law gave her sister a pair of scissors and asked her to cut off the bottom of her dress (which she did). The look of horror on the dressmaker’s face was just priceless.

Yes, it was a truly redneck wedding. But after all was said and done, I’m glad it happened exactly that way. Because no one can ever say that they don’t remember it.

We all laugh when we recall the infamous Iwanski redneck wedding. It was nothing if not memorable.


sfoofie said...

no, stop...I'm crying I'm laughing so hard....

Anonymous said... left out some important details! First off, the half door was the top half. Yes, the top half. What purpose does that serve? At least the bottom half would keep critters either in or out. Secondly, we we greeted by dogs and cats, and to this day I still swear, FLEAS. Thirdly, Ann and I were there for our 3rd fitting the day before the wedding. Ann was able to try on a bodice (no skirt yet). She gave me my dress balled up in a hefty bag and told me to take it to the cleaners. Well, they were closed so I ended up ironing the dress with someone's travel iron. Fourth, when we went to pick up the dresses, the dressmaker sent you and me to Walmart for more thread (She ran out and didn't finish). We returned during the whole pool fiasco. Lastly, after promising to stay up all night to finish the dresses, she ended up sewing Lindsey into her dress at the church, and Ann and Lindsey had the appliques saftey pinned to their dresses. I wouldn't trade the moment for anything. I think it was true bonding experience for all of us!! Love ya MHP!

Barb said...

What is it about us "nice" people that we can't hurt peoples feelings even though they are truly taking advantage of us. Geez! I'd love to see pictures sometime!

Mom2Valerie said...

I. So. Remember. The. Scissors. HILARIOUS!!!

Miss Healthypants said...

Sfoof--sometimes reality is more funny than fiction. :)

Anony--LOL! That is too funny--I forgot that the half-door was the top half! And going to buy the thread at Wal-mart...and the garbage-bagged's all too funny! Thanks for reminding me! :)

Barb--that is too true. Nowadays I would probably stand up for myself more, but back then--well, I guess I was young and dumb. *grin*

Mom2--I know!! LOL! :)

Lisa said...

I laughed as hard at this as I did at the hams!

And then anony's comment! The top half? Oh my word!

Mathman6293 said...

I noticed that Lisa did not mention any of the weddings we attended during the summer of '88 when we also got married. Let's just say that Indiana redneck weddings seem similar to the Wisconsin version.

Mazel Tov on your marriage.

Daisy's Mom said...

We didn't need to forgive you... we were never the least bit upset. I remember thinking, "I am going to laugh at this for the rest of my life, and I will never let Carla forget how hard she made me laugh..."

And again... thanks for making me laugh, full-on belly laughs until I pee my pants a little... again!!

(I forgot it was the top half of the door)

And you forgot the photographer used a disposable camera for half of the pictures!!

sageweb said...

Oh my gosh...that is so funny. but really when you find a good deal like that and years of can you turn it down.