Castle Couture

There are a few places in the world that babies should never be allowed in: bars, China shops, and as I have come to learn: Bridal Stores. A few months after I had my daughter my mother wanted to take me shopping for a wedding gown. My husband and I got married legally, but never had a wedding, We figured since I was pregg-o we only had 9 months to plan for a baby so the big wedding could wait until after I gave birth. 

As soon as I could put on a pair of jeans that didn’t have an elastic waist, my mom put the baby in her finest outfit, I grabbed my maid of honor and we went off to the dress store. Since it was our first time at the Rodeo, we thought it would be a good idea to go to the newest, fanciest store in town: Castle Couture. We walked in and the lobby was decked out with white marble columns and ornate crown moldings, it was beautiful-very Jersey. Typically if you walk into a bridal store with a baby on your hip you may not be treated with the best service, but the woman at the desk, Brianna, couldn’t be sweeter. She was young and worked in fashion but got laid off. We commiserated about the whole fashion industry, she told me her boss was crazy and I told her mine got annoyed at me for getting pregnant: we were instant buds.

Well if you’ve ever watched TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress you know that the saleswomen come into the room with you to assist in getting the dresses on. I didn’t know this at the time and as it happened I went to the beach for the first time that summer only a few days before my shopping adventure. If you check out my picture you can see that I have the complexion of an ill vampire. Usually I soak myself in SPF 50 before leaving the house (even in the winter months) but I had a new baby and my mind was elsewhere. I put sunscreen on but I didn’t realize it wasn’t waterproof. So after my first hour at the beach I went into the water and off went the sunscreen. My chest happens to be the most sensitive part of my body so I re-apply the SPF 50 every half hour or so. Well, let me describe to you this sunburn that I had. My chest and face were still as white as my picture, but my stomach and thighs were purple, but not an even purple. There were little spots of white all over my stomach where the sunscreen ricocheted off my chest and it looked like a handprint on my thigh where I possibly wiped off some of the excess. Now I have to strip down in form of Brianna, I’m desperately trying to explain to her that I don’t have a skin condition; I just can’t apply sunscreen properly. To top it al off, I just had a baby but I never bought new underwear. (I guess I thought they would fit eventually.) Here I am with 2 sizes too-small string bikini underwear that was cutting mercilessly into my post-baby muffin-top. Poor Brianna was so sweet but she was probably thought, “ this girl can’t take care of herself, how's she going to take care of that precious baby?”

I eventually swallowed my shame, we tried on a few dresses and we were having a nice time. Then I found a dress that was a true contender. I’m standing up on the pedestal; my best friend is so excited. My mother is on cloud nine, her only daughter is in her wedding dress and she has her first grandchild in her arms, there were tears in her eyes, It was truly a beautiful memory Then, in the silence of this moment, my three month told bundle of joy lets out her loudest, wettest, diarrhea sounding poop. It echoed off the marble floors. Way to go Ali. Brianna did her best to pretend she didn’t hear it, my best friend is mortified and my mother just casually takes the baby outside to clean up. I didn’t even try to apologize, I just went back to the dressing room to take off the dress, you should never be in a white gown when diarrhea is nearby. We didn’t end up buying anything from Brianna; II was too embarrassed to ever go back to Castle Couture.