When You See Tears...You KNOW It's "THE DRESS"

On Friday morning, Robby and I jumped in the car...stopped off in Natchitoches and picked up Sarah and Parker Ann.  We then headed to Marshall to pick Caitlin up from school.  We were going to Dallas for the weekend to meet with our wedding coordinator AND hopefully find a wedding dress.<br /><br />Although we had decided on a few things for the wedding, I felt that we needed to get MORE done.  I just wake up every day thinking of all the things we have to do for this wedding...yes, just "thinking" about it at this point and I finally decided we needed to get into gear and start "doing" more.  <br /><br />The plan was to meet with our wedding coordinator.  She had an event planned for Saturday, so I thought we should perhaps take advantage of that extra time to search for a wedding dress.  Oh, I know I told you all we had looked once before, but I felt like the more time Caitlin had, the more dresses she was going to find that she liked and then an actual decision would NEVER be made.  I told Caitlin to get online and find a few bridal boutiques she would like to visit and make appointments.  My organized little "bride-to-be" not only did this, but then made an itinerary and e-mailed it to me!  WOW...she was SO much more on top of things than me (thankfully...).  <br /><br />Our day was to begin at 10:00 and we all headed for breakfast (she didn't have lunch penciled in for us until 1:00!) and then set off for the first boutique.  Robby kept saying that we would be better off if we left him at home...I said, "OHHH...NO WAY!  We're not ABOUT to make a major wedding decision without you.  You just get prepared and come along!"  On the ride to the boutique, I could feel the tension in the air.  It appeared to be just hanging there; buying the wedding dress was a BIG DEAL.  Robby and Caitlin are "two peas in a pod", being such business-minded people.  Both wanted a beautiful dress AND wedding, but their focus is always SO on "getting a good deal" and not letting anyone price gouge them.  I must admit it was THAT talk that had me more stressed out than the wedding, itself.  I'm the one who just has wonderful ideas and can find ways to have them implemented...even if it DOES cost a little more.  You see my dilema now?!<br /><br />At the first boutique, we were lead inside and given a representative who questioned Caitlin about her likes and dislikes...THEN we set off to look through the racks and select dresses.  They were having an annual event that day and there was an absolute CRUSH of people there, but soon we all found ourselves sitting in a viewing room to see Caitlin model some absolutely BEAUTIFUL wedding dresses.  Robby snapped pictures on her camera and I snapped some on my phone; Parker Ann charmed everyone by peeking into the corner of Aunt Ca-Ca's dressing room curtain and admiring people's jewelry.  There was only one dress that truly did not make the cut and it was hurriedly carried away, when Robby made the comment that it, "looked like a bird".  And the suddenly...things took a detour that I KNEW would be coming.<br /><br />You see, Robby had stayed in "business mode", while Caitlin had begun to move into "OMG!!!  I'm a bride mode".  I could tell that she was conflicted about spending too much money, but was also being drawn into the act of "buying the dress of your dreams mode".  And THIS was precisely why I INSISTED that Robby make the trip and go through this process with us!  As we pulled away from that boutique and headed for the next one, Caitlin began to talk to her dad and the tears began to flow.  She was stressed and he was stressed...and I was SO proud of Sarah and me...we kept our mouths SHUT and just listened (we conferred later...).  I could tell those two were approaching a Water Lou and before we knew it, Robby was taking Caitlin by the hand as she wiped the tears from her face and they were headed to a bar next to the boutique where he decided they needed both a "little talk" AND a "little drink" (for medicinal purposes, you understand...).  As Sarah and I looked on from a bistro table outside, I realized that this approach was most likey going to work a little better than the one I would have taken (yet ANOTHER good reason for Dad to join us..).  After the drinks were downed we walked across to the next boutique.  Well, actually, they make a quick "walk through" and left.  Both agreed that was NOT the place she would find her "dream dress".  <br /><br />We had officially strayed from our "itinerary" and had LOTS of time before our next appointment.  There WAS one boutique, however, that did not require an appointment.  It was the one that I was anxious to visit anyway because they had announced that the company would be going out of business nation wide by the end of the year...everything was 50 percent off!  Robby wasn't so sure that they would even have anything left that she would  like...I was banking on this place and when we walked in, found that a deal here (IF we actually found a dress here...) would be even BETTER than we originally expected; there would be a 15 percent discount and then on top of that another 50 percent!  Now THAT should appeal to everyone in our "search party"!<br /><br />After being assigned a representative, we were told we could browse through the racks and were allowed to choose 5 dresses at a time to try on.  Suddenly, Caitlin turned around and asked if she could look at the more couture dresses in the front of the store..."SURE!  Those are all on sale too; choose anything you'd like," said the associate.  Caitlin and Robby walked straight to the same dress.  They pulled it out and looked at each other...smiled and agreed that they both LOVED it.  About that time, the associate came back and appeared to be SO EXCITED that they were looking at that dress.  She explained that it was the only one like it to ever be made and had just arrived 3 days ago from the runway show.  The designer, Kenneth Pool, had designed it specifically for a collection that their store was going to sell, but now that they would be closing, there would be no more made.  The associate also told her that no one had even tried the dress on yet...she said, "You MUST try it on RIGHT NOW!"  We took the dress with 4 more dresses and entered the dressing room.<br /><br />Looking at those dresses, Caitlin decided to try the "one of a kind" dress on first.  To our surprise, it fit PERFECTLY around her (no clips required...!)  It was GORGEOUS!  She walked out in it and as her dad, Sarah and Parker sat there, she climbed onto the platform in front of the mirrors.  People began to gather around and were commenting on the dress.  It was so unusual and I was not surprised that Caitlin had chosen to try this dress on.  I thought it was "HER" and she seemed to really love it.  We both turned to Robby to get his opinion.  He just continued to stare at her in the dress.  We prompted, "Well...???"  He just sat there.  We looked at each other and then at him again.  Caitlin said, "Dad,...Do you like it?"  He could not speak and suddenly put his head down and began to cry.  We all looked at each other and Caitlin began to cry.  As we walked into the dressing room, I even began to shed a few tears ( and everybody knows I don't cry easily...).  We looked at the other dresses hanging there and Caitlin said, "I don't think we even need to try on those; do you?  They say, 'WHEN YOU SEE TEARS...YOU KNOW IT'S THE DRESS'".<br /><br />She did not try on any more dresses and Robby paid for the dress and it should arrive here this week.  We are considering having a custom hair piece made to go with the dress and have already found a lady who is going to also make a custom veil to go with it.  I cannot WAIT for all of you to see it (at the wedding, of course...NO pictures beforehand!).  If we could have commissioned a designer to create a dress for Caitlin, it could not be more "perfect" for her.  Her sense of style an uniqueness in dress has always been noted and THIS dress...Her "DREAM DRESS"...is no different

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