I watched the most bizarre show last night - I am still trying to wrap my brain around it.
The show was on TLC and was called The Running of the Brides. It was basically a show about the annual bridal gown sale at Filene's Basement. Filene's is a store similar to our Winner's, where brand name labels are sold at super-reduced prices. The gowns they were selling were designer gowns, for example one Amsale was regular priced $3000 and sold for $500.
Okay, so people want a bargain. Totally understandable, and so I see the original motivation.
The brides start strategizing way ahead of time, and they organize "teams" - one of the teams featured had between ten and fifteen people, but most brides went in with 5 or six close friends and family. In spite of the advanced planning, no one really has an original strategy, they all basically do this:
a)get there early to get a good spot in line
b) when they let you inside, bride grabs an area that will be the team's territory
c) team members grab as many dresses as possible and bring them back to the territory (all of the dresses had been removed from the racks within less than two minutes - literally - this time I am not exaggerating)
d) team members are then delegated as things like dressers, protectors, barterers. Some team members were wearing bike helmets, and everyone wore their hair pulled back just in case the elbowing and hair pulling got out of hand
The bride strips down to the least amount of clothes she feels comfortable in (most had on tanktops and biker shorts, but some were in bra and panties) and the dressers pop the dresses on them one after the other. They decide very quickly whether it's yes, maybe, or no. Yesses and maybes are kept aside, and noes are sent out with the barterers to trade with other teams. Protectors have to make sure no one is sneaking in and stealing any of the "yes" or "maybe" dresses, or worse any of the dresses that haven't been tried on yet. All of the women featured in the show had not only tried on about 50 dresses each in less than two hours, but had also chosen "the dress" in that time.
Am I nuts? Nothing about this is appealing to me, except maybe the discount part. Being half naked in public. Sorting through stacks and stacks of satin and tulle and giving each dress about one minute of consideration. Plus, one of the teams had flown in from Jacksonville, Florida (the sale was in Boston. That eliminates the entire "bargain" aspect of the entire exercise!
I want my dress-buying experience to be relaxed. I want a large, roomy dressing room and I want people to bring dresses to me. I want lots of choice, but I don't want to try on a hundred different things. I want the sales person to know what they are doing and be able to intuit what I am looking for after just a few tries. I want people I care about with me and I don't don't don't want to feel rushed.
Is that crazy?
Oh, and I want the dress I finally choose to be on sale. Please.