Wedding dress shopping with daughter makes me wonder where all the time has gone

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

It’s another rainy afternoon, perfect for watching basketball playoffs. But there is a more important task on the horizon – daughter wants to go buy a wedding dress.

I am not much of a shopper, except when it comes to electronics and cars. I cannot go into a store and look around hours for clothes. I know what I want, buy it, and then go back to the stuff that interests a person like myself. It usually has at least two HDMI connections.

But this is different because daughter has requested my presence as she tries to decide which dress would look better on her. So, I chose a time frame when the NBA playoffs involved teams in which I was not all that interested, and off we went.

I have no idea about how this dress-buying stuff works, but I know that it starts closing a chapter in our lives. It’s happy and sad all at the same time.

This is the same little girl I held in my arms when she was a baby, taught her how to swim and ride a bike, throw a softball for a strike and how to hit a line drive.

Suddenly, I blinked only once, and here she is asking me to go wedding dress shopping with her.

I have had some basic training in this type of activity before. She convinced me last summer to go with her to a bridal show. I’m becoming sort of a veteran of this sort of activity.

The bridal gown store was actually not as awkward as I thought it would be, and there were plenty of free adult beverages to ease the sticker shock.

So, we went to this store with really nice bridal decorations. Daughter had made an appointment on the Internet and already had picked out all the dresses in which she was interested.

That saved us a lot of time. I sat in this little chair made for women and waited for our turn.

I must be a really good dad, dear reader. I was the only dad in the whole place.

We were offered something to drink, and chose champagne. These bridal businesses have this part down good – adult beverages are a good investment.

Everybody gets into a better mood, and at the end, the price is not right, but it is at least sedated. They cannot make it right all the way because that would make me unconscious.

Then it was wedding dress selection time. These clerks know their business. They can put a woman in a dress in a matter of minutes, using different size clamps to hold it in place and make it fit. I have some of those same clamps in my toolbox.

She came out of the dressing room and looked magnificent. That’s the one, I thought. That’s the dress. Then she came out a second, third, fourth and fifth time, and again each time I thought, that’s the one.

The problem was that each time I saw a different dress, it was the same daughter wearing it. She looked beautiful in all of them. How am I supposed to look past that?

Wait a minute. Is this the same girl who got her ear pierced at Brazos Mall and jumped out of the chair after one ear was done because she saw the piercing gun? I had to urge her to return to the chair because there was one more ear left to be pierced.

I’m going to need another sip of champagne to help make this decision. Luckily, her mother and two friends were also there to help.

It was a group decision with a little help from her two brothers, who were instant-messaged photos on a family thread.

The dress looked perfect on her, and we all had a good time helping her make a decision. But there was another aspect to all this that kept lurking in the back of my mind. But, we all move on as time passes.

The girl with the messy long hair and dirty knees who drew an angel on my driveway not so long ago has become a beautiful woman and will be a beautiful bride.

Cost of wedding dress: Not all that bad. I expected worse after attending those bridal shows. Price of rolling through memory lane while daughter picked out a dress: There is no price. It was earned throughout the years and was well-deserved.

“Let’s go ice skating.” I said. “We’re right next to the Galleria.”

Maybe another time.