The Bridesmaid's Tale

 

No, I'm not the bride. She should be here any—

 

I'm not sure. I think it's the “Pollyanna.” And I believe the color is “Bahama Breeze.” Is that available in—ah, I see. Well, I don't know. I suppose “Tahitian Sky” might be—I mean, it looks pretty similar, but—yes, I guess we'd better wait for the bride.

 

Well, I usually wear a 6, but I know these dresses—yes, of course. Oh, you do measurements here? Perfect. Sure, I can just—two inches “over” in the hips? What does that mean?

 

I wasn't planning to do a juice cleanse, no. I guess I could stand to hit the gym a little more often. I go to Pilates twice a week, and—no, Pilates isn't the gym. Yes, I understand it's not an aerobic workout. Do you think I can get away with an 8? Oh. Okay.

 

No, I understand. I'll take the 10.

 

Shoes? I don't know. I think she said something about open-toed pumps. In pale gold or neutral?

 

An up-do. With plenty of spray, to hold the shape—it's in July. Yes, very humid.

 

I guess I will need a good concealer. I'm not really much of a makeup—well, no, I wouldn't want my “face” to melt. I do want to look nice in the pictures. Look, I really just need your help with finding the dress, so maybe—

 

Hair, nails, and makeup are at 7:30 that morning. The ceremony's at 2.

 

Yes, I bite them. Filthy habit, I know. Since the sixth grade, but I read in Cosmo that short nails are in now so—

 

Oh, I don't know. Something metallic? Silvery pink? Or pink-y silver? Sparkly but not vulgar, she said. I wasn't worried about calling attention to my hands, but now—Azature? No, I'm not familiar with their “Butterfly Wing”collection. I don't even know what— Do you think Duane Reade—? Of course not. Where's the nearest—Madison and—? That's an hour from here! I'm sure it is the best.

 

You're right, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event. At least I hope it is, ha ha. Please don't tell her I said that.

 

So how much will the dress actually—? $539—that's with the alterations? Before the alterations. Okay. And with tax it's—?

 

Well, that's more than I was expecting, but—no, I don't have any cash. I can give you a— Oh. Am Ex only? I may need to call—

 

I'd really prefer not to come back here again tomorrow. Well, no, I'm not working, but—

 

Am I seeing—? As a matter of fact, I am—about six months. I'm thirty.  3-0. Yes, I guess six months is longer at thirty than it is when you're—but we're not quite ready to—oh? You did? After four months? Thirteen years and counting. Well. You can't argue with that. Yes, of course, when you know, you know, but don't you think—

 

The bride? She's five years younger than me, so twenty-five.

 

They met on OkCupid. O-K C-U-P-I-D. It's an online—no, I don't think it's just for freaks. A lot of people these days—when I wasn't with someone, I— There's nothing wrong with asking someone out at the grocery store, but that kind of thing just never seemed to happen to—

 

Do I think who's “The One”? Oh! Well, he's wonderful, but—

 

Do I hope I'm the one to catch—? I don't think she's doing that. The bouquet, that's right, I don't think she—yes, I know it's a tradition.

 

Well, yes, sure, I guess if she throws it, I'll try to catch it. It certainly can't hurt.

 

****

 

Raina Lipsitz edits short stories about herself and others at imaginarymoney.com. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Brooklyn Rail, McSweeney's, and Nerve.com.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

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