2015 NYC FlashFiction competition Challenge 3!! (Group 8) - Well... this is the first time I made it this far, and expecting there to be increasing competition... so,...be gentle dear reader...
Comedy; A Vintage Clothing Shop; Aluminium Foil
(Wedding) Breakfast at Furbelows
When Mary’s wedding plans are derailed, she turns to her friend for help.
I look up as a customer enters Furbelows!, then sigh. It’s just my friend Mary.
Instead of her customary flounce and yell of ‘Hey! Hey, baby. What's going on here?’ Mary 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. Are you busy?” Mary asks.
“You have just rescued me from a three hour google fest which had just reached the dizzying heights of three hundred uses for aluminium foil... or aluminum depending on your origins. Business is so slow that I’m going to start paying clients to shop!” I reply.
Mary has lost that bright bushy glow I have been associating with updates on silk taffeta and beaded lines. Instead she looks more like her favorite aunt has not only died, but has been eaten by crocodiles. Have to think fast. 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 and then regret it tomorrow when everything is all pink roses.” OK, so I’m a shallow friend, but we have all been there, am I right?
“It’s just…. Well… I kinda made a mistake….” Says Mary.
“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….”
“…and?” I prompt, 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.
“So, what is the plan?” I ask, avoiding the “I told you so” that is on the tip of my tongue. I’m suspecting a sideways maneuver. I’m not disappointed.
“Weeeellll…,” Mary starts. Wait for it! Here it comes.
She continues. “You do own a vintage clothing shop, and I was thinking ….” And bam, there it is. Time to swoop in to the rescue methinks. She is my bestie after all.
“That maybe I had a dress or five that you could borrow?” I finish, reading her mind.
Julie smiles gratefully.
“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, but 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?” Julie 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”.
Three days later, having carefully packed up all the dresses and folded them into a vintage traveling chest, I was still waiting for confirmation that they had arrived at Julie’s. I give up and call her.
“What do you mean they are missing? They are in the trunk.”
Julie, on the other end of the phone, is frantic, “Well I just looked and they aren’t there now!”
“But everything is in there, dresses, suits, the lot! How can they be missing?” At this point I am yelling. Not cool I know, but a lot of my money is tied up in those dresses. I start to pace the shop floor. I check my itemized packing list again. Dresses, check, Mary Janes, check, Dinner suits, check. This can’t be happening!
“Well there is no sign that anyone broke into the car.”
“Car? What car?” I’m confused.
“The car, with the trunk…“
“Car? What are you talking about? It came in the store delivery van. It’s too big for the car.”
“What’s too big?”
“The trunk.” Then the penny drops. I forgot where I am, lost in translation. I start again, “OK, the dresses are in the travelling trunk we sent over… yes, the old box thingy….”
After I hang up, I turn and survey the racks. 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!
Copyright © Liza Rose. All rights reserved. Last Updated October 2019.