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The Dress Trip

We took the 7:00 ferry on Friday night, which, as you might expect, was very, very crowded. We ate at the buffet. Iím not so thrilled with the BC Ferries buffet, but Owenís Aunt Anne was paying for it all, so who am I to complain? After we were done at the buffet, we went and bought magazines in the gift shop - I bought Cosmo and Owenís cousin Alison bought Marie Claire. I found that the articles in Cosmo were pretty irrelevant for me, since they were all about things like, how to juggle dating several men at once, or how to manipulate your man into asking you to marry him.

When we arrived in Vancouver, I realized that I had forgotten what a big city looks like - you know, six-lane divided causeways with broad sweeping vistas of streetlight upon streetlight, houses stretching out across the landscape as far as the eye can see. We reached our destination (we were crashing with an old school friend of Owenís uncle) but our hosts were out for the evening. They had left us instructions as to where to find the extra key, but it was dark and we spent about 10 minutes looking for it.

After we finally let ourselves in, we got settled down and watched an Inspector Poirot mystery on A&E while reading magazines. I read Alisonís Marie Claire, which had some slightly more relevant articles, in that they involved people who were already married or at least paired off. They interviewed one woman who was upset that she made more money than her man, because she was sick of splitting the bill and couldnít wait for her man to make more money so he could pay for her all the time. I think sheís kind of missing the point. There was another article, where they sent the men off to buy clothes for their girlfriends or wives, and then afterwards the women got to try on the clothes and say what they thought of them. I thought it was an interesting article, except that if I sent Owen off to buy clothes for me I would end up with a U of A law t-shirt, U of A law sweatpants, and a case of beer. (I didnít think that beer was apparel, but I asked Owen what he would buy me in a situation like this and thatís what he said.)

The next morning we got up and had cereal and tea. Iím not afraid to say that tea isnít enough for me in the morning, so I asked if we could stop for coffee before looking at dresses, and Alison chimed in and said she wanted coffee too, so we went to a very cool place called J.J. Bean Micro-Roastery. I knew Manmeet would laugh at me if I went over to Vancouver to shop for clothes and ended up bringing back coffee instead, but $10 for a pound of beans fit much better within my budget than the $600 dress I liked later.

Then we went to the Bridal Shop street. Vancouver is really cool, because if you want to look at anything (wedding dresses, sari silks, designer things from Vogue magazine) you just go to the appropriate street and then there are like 3 blocks of nothing but stores for what you want to look at. I tried on lots and lots of wedding dresses. Alison took lots of pictures of me in wedding dresses. Alison tried on a few bridesmaid/grad dresses, but they werenít stunning enough for her so we went for lunch.

After lunch we went down Robson street. Robson is the street where you can buy designer things from Vogue magazine. Itís really cool, but I always get kind of sad there because I totally canít afford to buy anything. Anyway, the first store we went in was BCBG. I tried on a dress that would have been cute for the formal in January, but it was $600, so I had to limit myself to making a sketch of it and promising myself I would make a knock-off of it when I could get my hands on some practice fabric (weíll see whether that actually happensÖ). Alison tried on a bunch of dresses and then narrowed it down to two choices, both black. One was very sophisticated and sort of timeless, a sheath dress with spaghetti straps and a little tiny bit of a train. The other one was like entirely backless, which was what she wanted, except I donít think she liked the sleeves all that much and I kept telling her that if she wore it it would be less than five years before she was turning her nose up and saying, ĎOh, I canít believe what I wore to my grad. It was sooo early-oughts!í

Alison didnít end up buying any of the dresses, but I think she bought three baby-tees with rhinestones on them before we started to head back to the car. By the time we were done, we were pretty worn out. After all, it had been a very long day of shopping. I was happy to get on the ferry and sit down at the buffet table again.

Score: Three and a Half Pints   - the amount of coffee, tea, and beer it took to get me through an entire day of shopping. It would get more if I could actually afford to buy anything on Robson street, and if it wasnít such a pain getting dressed and undressed so many times when youíre trying on clothes.

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