I am staying with dear old friends, and have been reminded about an incident that occurred about 13 years ago. I am not sure what the moral is, I am only sure that there must be one. If something washes you anew in shame more than a decade later, there is something to be learned.
It was my final fitting for my bridal gown, and I needed to pick a suitably-glamorous-but-not-too-beauty-queen tiara and veil. My friend Kate was coming with me, to restrain any extreme diamanté impulses I might have.
Unfortunately, we had both been Out the night before. Out, as in a dozen or so greyhounds apiece (the fashionable drink du jour), which left us on fairly shaky feet that Saturday morning, as we shambled towards the Bridal Galleria.
As we came within view of their dark, mirrored windows, I realized that there was no way on god's earth I could keep down the egg sandwich I had optimistically forced myself to ingest an hour earlier. Sure enough, most of the egg sandwich, a whole lot of vodka, and more grapefruit juice than I ever hope to see again in my life made their sudden reappearance. Kate, bless her heart, gamely held my hair back, and encouraged me to aim forward towards the windows, rather than downward towards my open-toed shoes.
After this bilious ordeal, we brushed ourselves off and headed into the store. We were shown into its hushed recesses, and my gown was brought out, reverently wrapped in crisp layers of white tissue. I was forced to make a quick detour to the bathroom at this point (the egg sandwich was not coming quietly), but Kate was able to zip me in, and the attendant then began to attach a variety of headpieces for me to choose from. I chose rather more quickly than I am led to believe brides usually do ("That one will do. Get. it. off. my. head. NOW.")
The staff were very understanding and unfailingly polite, even though I must have smelt like a sewer. I put it down to the fact that they were used to dealing with fainting, tizzicky brides, albeit caused by high emotions rather than high jinks.
However, as we were leaving the store, Kate nudged me urgently in the ribs.
"Look at the windows."
"Can't. look. at. anything."
"Look at the bloody windows."
I looked up, and realized with horror that they were not made of dark, mirrored glass. They were made of one-way glass. I hadn't been able to see the store's inhabitants, but they had sure as hell been able to see me, depositing the remnants of my night out all over their nice, shiny windows.
So, what's the moral?
I can think of two:
1. Choose your mixer carefully. Grapefruit does not sit easily on the stomach.
2. Always, always, be kind and respectful to your clients. Even when they vomit on your windows. Until death do you part.